The “Tiger Mother” is back at it again with her parenting advice and this time it involves a “totally valid and legally enforceable” contract.
Amy Chua, a Yale University law professor, became famous for her controversial parenting tactics after she published them all in a bestselling book in 2011. Her “tiger mother standards” involved forcing her children to play musical instruments for hours a day, drilling them in math, forbidding sleepovers and definitely no dating.
Chua, 53, is now back with more advice to teach struggling parents how to handle their offspring. The Tiger Mother had her adult daughters, Sophia and Lulu Chua-Rubenfeld, sign a legal contract to stay at her Manhattan apartment during the summer.
Sophia, 23, and Lulu, 20, are working in New York City this summer and had planned to stay at their parents place for free. Chua, however, was only going to let them stay at the apartment that she and her husband, Jed, had spent 20 years saving up for if they abide to her terms. She wrote in The Wall Street Journal:
“Fortunately, I teach contracts law at Yale, and I came up with a solution. I made my daughters sign a contract — totally valid and legally enforceable — the text of which is reproduced below.”
WHEREAS Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld are the owners of Apt. [XXX] at [XXX], and their children are not;
WHEREAS Children owe their parents everything, even in the West, where many have conflicted feelings about this;
In exchange for Amy and Jed allowing them to stay in their NYC apartment from June 1, 2016 to August 1, 2016, Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld and Louisa Chua-Rubenfeld agree to the following irrevocable duties and conditions:
- To occupy only the junior bedroom.
- To greet Jed Rubenfeld & Amy Chua with spontaneous joy and gratitude whenever they visit.
- To make their (joint) bed every day, and not to fight about who does it.
- To never, ever use the phrase, “Relax—it’s not a big deal.”
- To always leave all internal doors in the apartment wide open whenever Jed, Amy or any company whatsoever (including relatives) are in the apartment, with an immaculately made bed in full view and no clothing or other junk on the floor of the bedroom in sight.
- Whenever any guests visit, to come out of the bedroom immediately in a respectable state, greet the guests with enthusiasm, and sit and converse with the guests in the living room for at least 15 minutes.
- To always be kind to our trusty Samoyeds Coco and Pushkin, who Sophia and Louisa hereby agree have greater rights to the apartment than Sophia and Louisa do, and to walk them to the dog park at least once a day when they visit, within 30 minutes of being asked to do so by Amy.
- To fill the refrigerator with fresh OJ from Fairway for Jed on days when he is in town.
- 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.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have duly executed this agreement.
_________________ Amy Chua
_________________ Jed Rubenfeld
“The contract was signed by all four of us and went into legal force two weeks ago, and I can now say with confidence that I highly recommend this approach for parents with grown children—at least in America, a land where the laws and social norms heavily favor children over parents.”
So far, she says, the contract has been highly effective. The last time she and her husband visited the apartment, the refrigerator had orange juice and the master bedroom appeared to be untouched. On top of that, their two daughters greeted them in the manner that they were legally bound to.