Most of the time when we persuade children, we are also persuading them to form certain beliefs and perspectives about this world that they are just starting to know. In this post, I will use two excerpts from Amy Chua’s “Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother” to illustrate this.
Amy Chua is a great story teller, especially with the really controversial ones. The book is about her obsession with ensuring the success of her daughters in everything they learn.
My observation is that when adults have high ambitions for very young children, they often require the children to abide by tough rules or plans that do not necessarily appeal to that age group. The most convenient way to do that is by persuading the children to believe that there is something wrong about people who do otherwise. It works by teaching the children to divide people into dualistic groups and then ask them to join the side that is preferred by the persuader. Slowly, the children get the impression that there must be something very wrong with people who are not like them. This anti-pattern is called “Divide and Conquer”. Continue reading