Helen’s presentation was excellent visually and rhetorically. Her workshop had the subtitle of "Beyond Tiger Mom" and she spent considerable time talking about Amy Chua and her parenting style. But she didn't caricature Chua or bash her like many have done. Helen talked about what we agree with in Chua's approach and more importantly, in her motivation. This was really smart and well-executed. It was pretty amazing when she shared about her own father, how successful he was and yet how he still he felt like a failure. She did an amazing job pinpointing what it meant to be a child of the Asian immigrant wave of the 60s and 70s and then she transitioned in a vulnerable and gentle yet incisive way towards what might be deficient about the American dream. Its what I tried to do in my Isaiah Chen article but her tone was far more gracious. Her humble yet insightful approach was refreshing and unique.
She asked the important questions that Asian-American parents are not introspective about. There really is no more important question for Asian-American Christian parents then to be nailed down on how we define success. Missional was also a good buzz word to unpack.
Helen spent the rest of the time talking about eight missional family values. 1) Generosity - giving of time and resources to others 2) Sensitivity - to the needs of others 3) Utility: putting words into action 4) Diversity - developing relationships with people different from us 5) Hospitality - welcoming people into our home 6) Community - finding others 7) Humility: always hungry to grow and learn 8) Intrepidity: boldness and the courage to risk. I felt she could have done better connecting these values to the gospel.