"Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior" is an essay that is making the rounds of moms, blogs, everybody. It appeared in The Wall Street Journal about a week ago. Yes, it's provocative. It also includes some commonsense advice we may all buy into, even if we don't follow it.
But the points that will catch your attention are: no playdates, no sports, hours of music practice each night, no computer games, no grade less than an A except in gym and drama, and so on.
The author, Amy Chua, suggests that Westerners don't believe their children can do certain things, or that their self-esteem will suffer if they can't do the task well. So parents let them off the hook, instead of demanding they practice or study until they succeed. Her argument is that the getting there may be tough, but if kids keep at something, they will eventually be good at it, and therefore enjoy it, because now they will be praised and rewarded for their skills.
This is over-simplified. Be sure to read the essay itself.