Author Amy Chua writes strict rental agreement for children

  • 14/06/2016
Amy Chua laughs while speaking at the annual Literature Festival in Jaipur (Reuters)
Amy Chua laughs while speaking at the annual Literature Festival in Jaipur (Reuters)

The author of the conversation-starting parenting memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Amy Chua, has released a rental agreement penned for her children.

The Chinese-American mother -- who is open about her high expectations and strict parenting -- set out a list of rules to be followed if her two adult children were to stay in their mother and father's New York apartment for the summer.

"My daughters Sophia and Lulu are now 23 and 20, and they're both working in New York City this summer. Their plan is to stay (for free) in our Manhattan apartment, the pied-a-terre, that my husband, Jed, and I spent 20 years saving up for," Ms Chua explained in an article.

"Fortunately, I teach contracts law at Yale, and I came up with a solution. I made my daughters sign a contract."

The agreement read, in Ms Chua's standard satirical style, that that the apartment belonged to the parents and not the children.

"Children owe their parents everything, even in the West, where many have conflicted feelings about this," read the contract.

It then set out a list of legally binding rules for the daughters to follow, including:

"4. To never, ever use the phrase, "Relax, it's not a big deal."

"8. To fill the refrigerator with fresh OJ from Fairway for Jed on days when he is in town.

"9. To keep the pillows in the living room in the right place and PLUMPED and to clean the glass table with Windex whenever it is used.

"ADDITIONALLY, Sophia and Louisa agree that the above duties and conditions will not be excused even in the event of illness, hangovers, migraines, work crises or mental breakdowns (whether their own or their friends').

"Sophia and Louisa agree that if they violate any one of these conditions, Amy and Jed will have the right to get the Superintendent or a doorman to restrain them from entering the apartment; and to change the locks."

Ms Chua's 2011 novel The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother was written on the high expectations she had for her children, and those expectations have not wavered in this latest legally-binding parenting technique.

Ms Chua's parents were Chinese immigrants to the United States, and raised her in a strict household.

"They demanded total respect and were very tough with my three younger sisters and me.  We got in trouble for A minuses, had to drill math and piano every day, no sleepovers, no boyfriends," Ms Chua wrote on her website.

She said she respected her parents for this and as an adult her relationship with them is very close.

When Ms Chua had her own children she used a similar style to parent but with her second child Lulu did not take to it and began to rebel. That was when Ms Chua began to write as a way to confront the family’s issues.