Saw this really interesting documentary last night on BBC Two: Wonderland: Meet Britain's Chinese Tiger Mums. It's fascinating to see how pushy especially the Mums are in getting their children to excel academically. In their eyes their children should be the best in everything and achieving excellence doesn't have to do with talent, but is in everybody's reach as long as you work and study hard. For that they have their children on a tight study schedule (even in the weekends, holidays and on their birthday). Time for play is also scheduled, but should only be a small fraction of the time spend in a day.
In The Netherlands lately there has been a lot of discussion around our so-called C-culture: passing an exam is good enough, no need to go for an A. Many people believe our knowledge economy is lacking behind because of this attitude. I don't believe, however, that adopting the Tiger mum approach would be the solution. I wonder if many of these children in the end will be happy with the life that their parents have chosen for them. One of the mums in the documentary revealed that she had been pushed by her parents into the accountancy business, but she didn't like this at all. Which in the end resulted in quitting her job after two years.