With all the conversation in reaction to Amy Chua's piece from the Wall Street Journal on why Chinese Mother are better than American Mothers, I find AnnMaria De Mars' outlook on parenting quite inspiring. Her general thesis: let a child find what they love, and their interest and passion will fuel their success. In her efforts to help her children find what ignites them, she realizes that there are stumbles along the way, and that is part of the course.
Chua's article, I found - as have many others - to be a rigid approach to parenting and teaching children. The true merit I found in it wasn't in any of her tactics, but the underlying premise of her parenting style - boundaries. While the boundaries she set up for her children were far too rigid for my liking (not allowing a 7-year-old to use the bathroom until she has mastered a piano piece), I think that staying true to boundaries one has set for their child is important, and is something that I find lacking in American culture, particularly with time management, family-time requirements, and limits to computer/games/texting etc.
However, there is no Utopian approach to parenting, and most parents find new inspirations along the way.