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So, once again it’s Monday. I am taking a couple days off before I start my new job. Today my article about was an editor’s pick on I’m very honored that David picked my article. Another editor’s pick is Grad Money Matter’s . I read this article before it was featured in the carnival and wrote a pretty long comment on it because I have had some personal experience with that. Grad Money’s article is what is prompting me to write this article about how Asian parents influence their children’s success in life.

Anyway, when I was in college one of my friends was talking about Asian parents and we came to the following conclusion. Basically the following are the only acceptable careers to our parents: doctor, lawyer, engineer, and financial professional/investment banker. Then my friend mimicked his mom’s accent and said that these were the only acceptable colleges, “STANFURD, HAHVARD, YALE, and MIT”. The whole room busted out laughing and then one guy said, “Well, I guess we’re all failures since we’re at Berkeley”. We may have hyper-stereotyped our parents, but it’s funny because most of what we concluded is true.

Pretty much all of the Asian kids with first generation Asian parents I have met have felt pressure from their parents in choosing a college major that may lead to a high paying career. I think this family enforced career selection may be one of the many reasons why Asian households have the . I think it makes sense that parents want their children to be successful, but a lot of Asian parents’ perception of success is very narrow and consists of a high GPA and then a high paying job. So many children are pushed to be doctors and engineers whether or not they like it. I have known several girls who were pushed into engineering and medicine only to despise their majors and found their coursework to be too difficult. Not everyone is meant to be an engineer or doctor, and some Asian parents do not seem understand that. I have also seen Asian parents that pushed their kids to succeed to the point of hurting them. For example, a girl I knew in high school was scolded by her parents on her graduation day for not being the Valedictorian. That is just very unnecessary and cruel.

Cultural clashes occur between first generation Asian parents and American educated children because in America you are encouraged to think outside of the box, create, and be yourself, but in most of Asia you are expected to memorize, repeat, and obey. When Asian children step outside of the box of what their parents consider to be successful, conflicts arise and for the most part I think the parents are just worrying too much. For example, my second cousin was groomed by his dad to be a doctor and he went to an ivy, but he chose to major in photography instead. It didn’t please his dad at first, but now he is successful as a technical game artist. Generally people perform better in what they love to do, and people find success in all kinds of random things in America. I think it is much better to do what you’re passionate about than to go to a job you hate everyday. In fact, some of the pushy Asian parents really stunted their children’s success because when their children end up in a despised career they are usually lugubrious and do not care to excel in any manner. I have seen many examples of these engineers who absolutely hate what they do and want to get out everyday.

Despite all the slightly negative stereotypes about first generation Asian parents in this article I do believe that like all parents they want the best for their children. The parents are right in wishing a good career on their children, but ultimately for their children to achieve success they need to learn to make decisions for themselves. It’s problematic that a lot of these parents do not take the time to understand their children’s strengths and preferences and just try to push their children into a mold of what is considered successful in the Asian community. It’s true that when we are young we are not absolutely sure what we want, and parental advice is always helpful but I think it is unnecessary for Asian parents to throw a ballistic fit when their children consider a career in fine arts. There are many ways to succeed, and parents are human beings who can make mistakes too.

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generic viagra pillson 11.05.07 at 8:43 pm

Wow, that’s some response! Being a first generation Asian, I hope someday, I won’t turn into the stereotypical parent you have mentioned here :)

I kinda understand why most Asian parents behave the way they do though. It is hard to explain it to someone who has not really grown up in an Asian country – but let me try. When it was time to pick a college degree, I picked Engineering – not because I really liked Engineering, but because I didn’t have other options. My parents were the typical middle class and the ticket out of middle class is an Engineering or a Medical degree (and the sight of blood made me queasy, so that option was out). If you did well in school, everyone (not just your parents!) just assumed that you would go into a medical or engineering school. It was not meant to suffocate you or force you into a degree you didn’t want, but was more in admiration that you have the potential in you to liberate yourself from the middle class daily grind to something better (or at least that is how they perceived it). And that did bring us a long way from where we were. We may still be the middle class and we may still be stuck in the daily grind, but you have to *live* in the daily grind in an Asian country to appreciate the luxuries that we term as middle class here! And I know that without my parents support, I wouldn’t be here today. So, like many others, I respect my parents and thank them for their hard work and sacrifice to make us what we are. And like many others, at some level, I believe that it is our duty as parents (when we have kids) to give the same kind of “support” and maybe an occasional nudge to our kids.

The other thing is, most middle class families back home didn’t have much money and to have a bright child that could go on to become a doctor or an engineer was something that made parents immensely proud. And while it does put a lot of pressure on the kids, taking pride in intelligence and hard work is ingrained in us. And I guess in a materialistic society like the US, we want to pass some of that pride in hard work and valuing intelligence over cunning, to our kids. I agree some parents do take it a bit farther than others, but with newer generations things seems to be getting slightly better.

I could go on and on, but like I said, it is something very hard to explain. I do hope I could give you some perspective on why most Asian parents push their kids to excel.

generic viagra pillson 11.05.07 at 11:24 pm

I completely understand how it is to live in an Asian country. After all I lived in China for 9 years before moving to America. We were middle class too and I don’t think it’s necessarily true that there is no choice other than engineering or medicine. Almost all my family members were teachers and the living was extremely simple, but not horrendous or anything. We had a place to live, food, and health care. In fact I’d say that the health care system in China when I was young is actually better than America’s, but that’s an entirely different discussion. I agree that people definitely have A LOT more here in America. I think it’s a problem that Asian parents sort of brainwash their kids to think that there’s nothing beyond engineering/medicine/finances. I recognize that Asian parents tend to financially support their kids a lot, too. That’s what makes it difficult for kids to deny their parents’ wishes. Like someone who commented in your article said, parents shouldn’t be able to control their kids’ lives using money either. Anyway, it is a difficult situation in some families, and the wars go on. I find that a lot of these fights could be avoided if the parents just trusted in their kids. If their kids are truly bright they will make the right decision for themselves.

generic viagra pillson 11.06.07 at 7:06 am

baglady — I wasn’t trying to justify it, just trying to understand the reason behind the behavior (and to hopefully get a better control over my own when I become a parent!). Regarding health care, I think public health care back in my home country is minimal, but the private health care is a lot more affordable than here and probably as good. It is other small things (e.g., power outages, water shortages, corruption etc) that seem to make a huge difference in life style.

“I find that a lot of these fights could be avoided if the parents just trusted in their kids. If their kids are truly bright they will make the right decision for themselves.”

That’s so true! One more thing I hope I will remember it when I turn into a “parent” some day :)

generic viagra pillson 11.06.07 at 7:43 am

I echo the blood making me queasy part. My parents immigrated from India, I was born here. I was given two choices doctor or engineer. And I was told that I had to get a master’s degree if I was ‘just’ an engineer.

I got my chemical engineering bachelor’s got an offer from big oil, and took the money and ran. Mom doesn’t like it, I was able to explain to dad with simple NPV calculations why earning a masters wasn’t worth it.

I had a roommate whose parents were Indian also. He was told growing up that there are THREE choices: doctor, engineer, or computer science.

Monetarily its probably the best for me. But if I had my choice I would have went for an economics degree and would be working on my masters right now. Oh well … maybe in 5 years …

generic viagra pillson 11.06.07 at 11:04 am

yeah, the graduate degree thing is another thing that my mom hounds me about a lot. She keeps on saying that a master’s degree is absolutely necessary but like you I did the calculations and from a financial standpoint it’s not worth it. Additionally, I have taken masters level courses at Berkeley and they were actually easier than the undergrad courses in the same subjects. Anyway, I wrote a blog post about graduate school a long time ago here:

generic viagra pillson 11.06.07 at 8:57 pm

What you say is, unfortunately, to a large degree very true. I find that (since we’re talking in broad generalities here) Asian parents in particular seem to feel that their kids “owe” them something more than other cultures, and I think that is a major barrier to the kids feeling free to do their own thing. You reminded me the first season of So You Think You Can Dance, the show on FOX, which had a finalist who was Asian (Japanese, I think), and he had a rather punk look. I remember him saying once that his parents really didn’t approve and I felt so bad for him because he clearly loved dancing more than anything. And yet, I’m sure there was tremendous pressure on him to take school seriously and find a respectable profession, instead of support and encouragement to help make his dream of being a professional dancer come true. I wonder what he’s up to now?

generic viagra pillson 11.07.07 at 9:41 am

What u say is in fact very true-i’m first generation Indian…and though my parents did not push me to be a doctor-i felt the pressure to go on that path, but afterwards, my sister and brother suffered the consequences of dealing with my parents’ pressures on them to achieve equally as high. My father at one point had deemed my sister as a failure in life for pursuing Pharm D and not marrying a doctor! To me, that was too cruel and unfair. But now as a parent-i forgot those days , i want the best for my child too…i believe he will be most successful if he is smart and in the best schools…I do thank you for giving me this insight-hoping to print out your article and keep it somewhere that i will surely read as my son grows older (he’s 2 :-) But at the same time, I will push him to get a good education and succeed at whatever he is doing-which is also something Asian parents push for-education is very precious and a gift-its the best investment a parent can give his/her child. I guess we second generation Asians have to use the best of both worlds…

generic viagra pillson 11.07.07 at 3:02 pm

Wow, there is some great discussion here! I would say that being ABC, I think more like baglady, but I appreciate ispf’s perspective on how my parents feel. Sometimes I feel bad for my parents being stuck between two very different cultures and trying to reconcile both, so I try to understand but sometimes it’s just easier to be ignorant. I wouldn’t say I was *forced* to do anything, but I was strongly encouraged (and nagged) in certain directions. Since I had a weak will (compared to many Americans I know) that’s how it goes. Sometimes I have regrets but I’m making the most of how things went, and in the end I would still have to say that my life is more fortunate than many in this world, so I really have nothing to complain about.

generic viagra pillson 11.11.07 at 9:55 am

[...] baglady presents How Asian Parents Influence Their Children’s Success posted at The [...]

generic viagra pillson 11.11.07 at 11:16 pm

My dad pushed the typical three on me in school. No amount of pushing or nagging could convince me to choose what he wanted. I majored in journalism and loved every single minute of my brief career.

I’ve been out of school for a few years and my dad said recently he shouldn’t have pushed because I really enjoy what I do. I’m not a full time reporter or journalist but I love freelancing and have another interesting day job to supplement. And I’ve been able to take my freelance work and develop aspects into a future business.

Asian parents look down on careers that aren’t the typical three because they don’t know how to respond or help with struggling artists, writers or musicians. There was a girl in Silicon valley years ago who killed herself because she wanted to be a drama major. her mom didn’t approve. It’s also a pride and competition thing. Parents don’t like to tell people their kids are “artists” or work various odd jobs because I’m sure the other side is going to say their son or daughter is working at X big Internet company as an engineer or something.

generic viagra pillson 11.12.07 at 12:02 am

Yup, the competition between Asian parents about their kids is fierce. It’s actually kind of hilarious to watch them compete. One of my best friend’s dad actually said that his sperm is super valuable because his kid is going to MIT. Additionally, another one of my friends said that since she graduated college her mom no longer knows her peers so her mom started comparing her to high school kids. She finds that very very annoying, but it’s funny. I really think Asian parents need to learn that they really shouldn’t compare their children (us) to others. I think the manner in which Asian parents compare their kids is less about pride in their kids but more about their own vanity and accomplishment. That is what is annoying.

generic viagra pillson 11.13.07 at 7:03 pm

[...] How Asian Parents Influence Their Children’s Success by The Baglady – I found this so interesting because I was raised in just about the exact opposite way. My parents never even mentioned college to me and I had no idea why I would even need to or want to go. I guess I was the typical ‘lazy American’ though I was fortunate enough to finally get my act together. [...]

generic viagra pillson 11.17.07 at 8:04 pm

A really thought provoking post. Being a first generation Asian, I can relate. I posted on my blog.

generic viagra pillson 03.15.08 at 5:12 pm

I’m only 14 and my parents are exactly like that. For the pass 2 years i’ve been slacking off just because I couldnt stand my parents wanting my grades better and better. When I was in middle school i had A’s and B’s, But they wanted straight A’s and thats just not me. Recently i have been getting C’s and D’s. I know those are not very good grades but their discipline is way too harsh. The last 2 years I got absolutely nothing for my birthday or Christmas from my parents. Also in both years, my Dad (who is a fucking faggot because he cheats on my mom) did not even bother saying “happy birthday son”. I’m pretty sure he forgot about it the second time. My mom is almost as bad. Shes so annoying, not in the “because i care about your health” way, but she constantly gives me lectures about making money to have a good life. CONSTANTLY. After 14 years of it I’m getting really tired. I really cant stand them. My parents are the best example you could ever find of ANNOYING ASIAN PARENTS.

generic viagra pillson 03.15.08 at 7:35 pm

This is so true. Mine were pretty pushy. They always focused on the bad grades I got and never got a “Great Job” on the A grades I did get. I felt like such a failure in college cause I couldn’t get into Physical Therapy school like my mom wanted. It’s a little hard to shake the low self esteem I developed from the pressure to succeed and the disappointment my mom shows when I didn’t (according to her). The intentions are all well and good cause I know my mom wants me to be financially well off, but not when it’s to the detriment of a person’s self esteem and making them feel like a failure.

generic viagra pillson 04.15.08 at 7:23 pm

I totally agree with everyone here, the fact is that asian children owe them to be more successful and make tons of money and make them proud. I have almost always listened to everything they said-blah blah blah, but, i also like video games a lot. I used to play them all the time AFTER finishing my homework and following their directions. Everything was fine until they stopped letting me play games because of what other chinese kids my age were doing. They basically banned everything fun: reading fiction (not school related), whatching tv, playing video games, and going on the computer. Althought they did encourage playing sports it was only basketball (dads favorite), baseball (american favorite), and football (american favorite). Sadly, at the time (age 12) i only liked soccer at the time and my parents wanted me to “fit in” even though they were the ones that were keeping me out. So basically the only time i had “fun” was in school with my friends. I started secretly playing games. But since i played games, the time before my parents came home had to go somewhere-it took up my homework time! So now my grades are bad, i can’t play games, and my parents are always mad at me. This is a result of their “teaching”. It might just be me, but i think their influence led to this.

generic viagra pillson 05.01.08 at 8:22 pm

my parents never really pushed me into anything. being working class folks, they didn’t have money for stereotypical piano/violin lessons or SAT preps or any of that stuff. not to mention that they didn’t go to high school and don’t really know how academia works. anyways, i have a feeling that my dad is embarassed that even with a B.S. all I was deemed fit for was working at Starbucks; when all of his friends’ kids are probably accountants/pharmacists/doctors/dentists. if my mom was still alive, she’d be embarassed, too. ironically working these crappy jobs (in their eyes anyways) has really made me appreciate all the hard work my parents did to raise me. a lot of times asian parents coddle their kids by paying for everything and saying that they don’t have to worry about money just worry about school. asian parents don’t even realize how suffocating they can be. i knew this one girl whose hair was falling out from being stressed all the time. yes, this occurs in other cultures, too, but asians seem to be more anxious about fitting in or “keeping up with the Jones’s” also, asians (indians, chinese, koreans) seem to not understand the concept of not being cut out for something. with enough hard work, of course you can become a doctor/engineer! forget about being squeamish or being dyscalculic, with enough studying you can become a great doctor/engineer. -__- why would anyone choose not to become something “great??”

generic viagra pillson 05.24.08 at 1:40 pm

My parents pushed me, but I pushed harder. I eventually escaped college, but at a great cost financially and emotionally. College was a rocky ride. I was hospitalized, took one semester off, and dropped a lot of classes. I attempted over 50 credits and earned 10.

It took a long time before my parents backed off. Maybe it was my sisters’ academic successes (2 out of 3 ain’t bad).

Now I’m forging my own way as a writer, graphic artist, blogger, and consultant. It’s hard work, but not as hard as living someone else’s dream.

generic viagra pillson 07.08.08 at 4:25 pm

It’s even worse when both your parents are 1st gen asians in medical careers, because then you are bound to follow the same path no matter what.
I like art, “that’s perfect, you know how much cosmetic surgeon make these days? that’s perfect for you”
But I hate the sight of blood, “ok, then be a physician, plus you’ll get used to the blood”
But I don’t even like dealing with sick people, “then be a radiologist, you just have to look at images”
That’s boring, “then do research…”
Great, except I don’t actually support genetic engineering and all that

It goes on until my parents finally decided that I’ve talked back enough. Ya I can see how having a stable job with good pay is nice and all, but… I don’t even know what to say. -_-
Now I’m a Biophysics major on the path to medical school (hopefully), ah life is beautiful.

generic viagra pillson 08.03.08 at 5:33 pm

i stumbled across this page on the same day i was inspired to do some real sociological research on this exact topic: whether there really exists this “Asian pressure”. Although it appears to be true, it would be interesting to compare it at different levels. Comparing 2nd gens and 1st gens, also looking at other ethnic backgrounds and seeing if they face the same job choice pressure, and if not why? Anyways, as I said, I would like to do some real research on this, and if youre interested in helping out please let me know!

generic viagra pillson 01.26.09 at 1:41 am

[...] talent pool to choose from.  When you couple that with the fact that most Chinese and Indians are ingrained to study math and science from birth, it is really no surprise that there are less American [...]

generic viagra pillson 06.11.09 at 9:15 am

It would be interesting to see statistics on how many kids actually become “failures” i.e. working minimum wage jobs because the pressure backfired. As an ABK I had similarly pushy parents but since there were 4 of us it got somewhat diluted and I ended up a Visual Arts major and my folks were actually proud of me. Anything else would have been a disaster in reality since the only math I could do was addition and subtraction!

generic viagra pillson 06.14.09 at 11:04 am

Asian parents claim to love their children, but they don’t really. They love their face more than anything else. The children are just ornaments. They’re not real people, just shells with a face.

My parents think they are great because they ” let ” me do what I want. But when I made choices which didn’t bring them face, they disowned me.

I hope they rot in hell.

generic viagra pillson 06.14.09 at 11:08 am

And they use the excuse of how much they or some ancestors had to work hard and how I have let them all down blah blah blah. People in every culture have worked hard, but asian parents use it as an eternal guilt trip to trap you emotionally.

They are just psychic vampires.

generic viagra pillson 06.24.09 at 5:49 pm

[...] you can show off to friends and family via dinner parties.  Having face also includes having successful kids, and sometimes a nice car, too.  The value of face is priceless for a lot of Chinese people, and [...]

generic viagra pillson 06.29.09 at 5:39 pm

Having first generation asian parents suck! Their way of growing up is on the opposite end of the spectrum compared to how we grow up here. My dad is stubborn and it’s usually his old-traditional way or no way. I love them to death, but man! they frustrate and aggravate me! Unless you have first generation asian parents, you will never understand no matter how hard you try. It’s a lot more hard and difficult than anyone can imagine. It’s hard to have the life you want as an asian american kid and satisfy your parents at the same time because if you want to satisfy your parents, then it means being pure asian, not asian-american.

generic viagra pillson 07.08.09 at 2:15 am

It was interesting to read this. I grew up in India and my parents really wanted me to go into medicine or engineering. First, when I decided I was not interested in engineering, they were furious enough. A year later I decided I did not want to do engineering either and their world fell apart. My father would simply not let go of the topic, even for a moment. We were up half the night with him yelling at me, trying to make me change my mind. Eventually he forced me to “agree” to take up engineering even though he knew that it made me deeply unhappy. The result was that I spent my remaining years in highschool being deeply depressed. It is a wonder that I didn’t go mad. Eventually I realized I didn’t _have_ to do what he said and made my own choices. But when you are growing up being afraid of being physically beaten for the smallest of reasons it is not so easy to understand that you can make your own choices.

It isn’t really just about the financial side of things as someone has commented above. It is really about whether parents see their children as real people. Even today my father continues to try to control my life, resorting to cheap emotional blackmail if he doesn’t get his way. And he is convinced that he is doing it because he loves me, but he doesn’t. How could he love me when he never bothered to find out who I was?

Sometimes I feel guilty that I don’t love him. It took a long time for me to admit that to myself. After all, he did raise me. I suppose I am grateful for that. But gratitude is not the same as love.

I think in some cultures parents are simply too disconnected from their children. Perhaps most cultures were like that in the past, but some of them changed. It is just that Western culture has changed much faster than Asian cultures.

generic viagra pillson 07.26.09 at 4:27 pm

First of all, let’s make something clear.

If 9 out of 10 Asian-American students in America are jealous of their Caucasian friends, hate their parents, and/or achieve relatively high grades against or mostly against their own will, it’s not a racist assumption, not a “stereotype” -

It’s a widespread issue.

Let’s think historical context. The very foundation upon which the Chinese family operates is Confucianism. It has been rooted deeply into the Chinese heritage beginning all the way back when the old man was still walking. And Confucianism states really only one thing – respect your elders. Filial piety. Thus comes the beloved “Spanking is caring, scolding is loving” yak.

And let’s face it; after Mao came along and rolled over little babies with tanks, life wasn’t easy for the Chinese. Life became very competitive with the soaring population and limited resources.

I am a first-generation Asian-American, and my parents were born in the 60s – a time of intense rationing, arbitrary imprisonment/execution, and submission to the Red Guards carrying clubs and rifles. Their hope? To escape the regime and work their way to Candyland. Which happens to be in America.

And so I came along. Now, I am more than fortunate to be in the 10% of Asian-Americans who have parents that let me go out for dinner with a possey and come back at 1 in the morning.

But unfortunately, for my friends and peers, that’s not always the case. There are those Asian couples who came to the US carrying those beliefs, principles, and ways of life with them across the thousands of miles and miles of ocean.

They’re down and depressed, upset with their life, their appearance, and worse yet, they’re jealous of me and their Caucasian peers. It sickens me.

I have a Japanese friend in college, a very prestigious one at that. I won’t mention the name for her own sake, but she is indicative of prime Asian success – sky-high GPA, advanced music studies, had incredible intern offers overseas in the marketing field. Sweet girl she was, seemed good-natured. She did, however, lack friends and endured over ten years of academic pressure from her parents.

Until one day, details not specified, she missed a chance for job by failing a test just marginally.

That night she popped sleeping pills.

A lot of sleeping pills.

Her liver (or was it kidney) failed and she was on the brink of death until she got lucky and found a donor for a transplant.

She lived. Not long after her recovery did her angry mother burst into the hospital and slap her across the cheek using the exact words in English, “You dishonor our family.” Not a tear, not a whimp, not a motherly sob. Just fury and violence. 

Of course, the father didn’t show up because he was so embarassed.

Sure, maybe her story remains an outlier of society, something that rarely occurs. But think about all the little, stereotypical details of her story that made what happened happen. Or consider why it happened. Did she overreact to a job rejection? Or was she not able to handle the stress of having FAILED, not able to handle the “dishonor” she plastered on her family name?

More importantly is the point that that the traditional Asian values simply do not work in American society. Americans will not tolerate slapping a suicidal child on their would-have-been deathbed, and they will not tolerate forcing children into a black hole of isolation lacking that social side of life that could just one day save your soul. I, Me, Myself, the first-generation Asian-American will not tolerate that. I have Asian-American family friends that I knew when I was 6 or 7 whom my parents no longer associate with because the way in which they raise their children disgusts them.

Individuals mature through their morals and sociability, society matures through its culture and traditions. And by forcing their children to submit to their overbearing regime they are passing on everything that they escaped from, the biggest of hypocrites, rationing not grains, but fun, love, and sociability. Hours and hours of strenuous work on the collectives have become hours and hours of flipping through “The Princeton Review – Cracking the SAT”. They are using immature culture and traditions to limit the moral and social maturation of their own children. They are blinded by the glamour of a brand-name university, blinded by its false promise of eternal happiness and success, not even bothering to see the price tag of years of mental health and happiness.

It’s not impossible to be Asian-American, earn high grades, play competition-level piano, violin, and guitar, be a computer geek, AND maintain a level of sociability not inferior to those all around you. I can do it, my friends can do it, and so can anyone else. So long as you are self motivated and want to do well because you can, love music and the arts, love technology and gadgetry, and still love being able to have fun all at once, etc etc, you will be successful.

I am utterly ashamed of having to write this about my own race. Yet it is undoubtedly a plague which cannot be ignored any longer.

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It’s interesting all of your comments about Asian upbringings. I remember getting into an argument with my mom with what I wanted to do with my life. Both my sisters went to MIT so it’s a lot to ask from me not because I wasn’t smart but it was more I wanted to balance my life with fun and responsibility. I was different than my sisters were as I liked to explore and often more adventurous. I wanted to study anything other than boring engineering, doctor, lawyer, etc. Funny thing is I ended up with web programming which is still pretty nerdy but I did it on my terms on what I thought was fun but had high potential for work. I think after a while, my mom trusted me that I could make smart decisions without the traditional Chinese decisions and lets me do my thing. I’ve been supporting myself since I was 17 so my mom trust that I know what I’m doing.

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could you please tell me is the author of this article i would like to reference it in my essay thank you

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I am very pleased with the written content of this article, it just basically summed up everything I had to go through and my other Asian friends as well. It is all very true and this article was written well.

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i’ve lived my whole life in India and trust me the situation in many places is the same. only over the past few years it has become somewhat better, people do let their children take up journalism and arts without wanting to kill them for it. with the slew of reality shows now, parents even rally behind kids who get into the field of dance and music.

Personally i feel the whole attitude of Asian parents is of exploiting their kids. You will wonder how, when they pay for them well into their 20′s. but to get what they want out of them – that psychological boost , that pride of being able to announce and boast to their relatives and to the whole world that my son/ daughter is studying in Harvard / Princeton. …

i think we kids are no better.. if you look at the average profile on facebook.. everybody who’s in one of the ivy leagues, especially if from an Asian background, makes it a point to boast about it.

What is the need? what is the need to tell the whole world you’re at Harvard…? Or is the point of being there lost if you dont tell it? What is the use of knowing someone has a chemical engineering degree from MIT for someone who is not in that profession or field, for someone not hiring or applying ? it’s just for boasting, for showing off. Nearly everything we envy actually serves no other purpose than being something we can show off – from HOnda civics, to a condo, to a great looking husband or wife, or over achieving kids.

THis mentality of showing off and valuing possessions and pieces of printed paper and names of degrees and the institutions which bestowed them, this method that Asians, and people in general use of assessing a person’s worth is what is fundamentally wrong.

If parents understood or even wondered or were willing ot believe that their child can be a perfectly sharp and bright kid, a capable kid with the potential of success in whatever field he loved and was passionate about, if parents ever honestly BELIEVED that then none of this would happen..

THe whole story is this – parents dont believe their children can make it in something they choose out of their own will, and drive, parents wont trust kids to make that choice, parents dont give their children those tools of SELF BELIEF…. and neither to they even pretend to have any belief otherwise in their kids.. so there begins and ends the tragedy…

on the other hand there are many instances where a parent’s drive and determination to make their kid succeed has worked wonders – Tiger wood’s or Andre Agassi’s or Venus/ Serena Williams’ or Michael Jackson’s Dads for example -… or Michael Phelps’ mom – but here too they DID care to actually find out where their child’s natural talent lay… and not just push them into being a banker or lawyer… so parents can do harm, but also be the driving force behind a boy or girl wonder !!! 1

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Being ABC, I’ve always known about this stereotype about Asian families, and although I have never experienced this first hand nor have had any close friends been in some of the extreme circumstances that others have, I do understand the prevalence of the issue.

I’m very thankful to have grown up in a family that never pushed or pressured me into doing something I didn’t want to do. I never had a curfew, and would usually watch TV for hours on end, but every morning, no matter how late I went to bed, I was always on time for school.

When other kids, not just Asian kids, were hiding their lives from their parents, I freely talked about what party I was going to, or that I just had a sip of the nastiest beer on Earth.

Perhaps it was a symptom of not ever being pressured, that I only pressured myself. My senior year of HS, I took 8 classes (0 period, 6 regular, and a 7th), 5 of those were AP courses. I passed 4 (even though I’m Asian, I suck royally in Math and Science, hence didn’t pass Calculus AP, honestly, I didn’t even try. I opened the packet and pretty much slept for 2 hours). I graduated with a 4.28 GPA.

I graduated College in 3 years, with a double major in Film Studies and Art History, any other Asian parent would’ve had a hernia by now. I made Dean’s Honor 6 times, and graduated with a 3.95 GPA.

But 5 years later, and still going strong, I freaking love making movies. My name is attached to big budget Hollywood blockbusters, and some amazing TV spots. I couldn’t be happier, and neither could my family.

Sometimes you just luck out with the family you get. I sure did.

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Ugh, I am totally feeling this post. I’m ABC, now a doctor because my parents told me to. Being a doctor isn’t bad, but certainly not “a calling” for me. My parents are still frustrating me. Even though I’ve done everything they ever wanted me to do to please them, they know nothing about me and don’t want to learn either. They just like to brag to people that they have so much money that they paid for all my school, all my bro’s school, talk about how great I’m doing now that I’m a doctor, only to turn around and accuse me being lazy when the crowd has gone home. Also they slam my school and tell me that I’m not very smart.

I feel that it’s unfair because I’m exactly what they made me to be.

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The problem with most first generation Asian parents is that they want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to live in America with their kids but they want their kids to have Asian values none of the American ones.

My parents forced me into a major that I hated and did not do well in (low GPA, didn’t like the classes, etc). I know they forced me because they “wanted the best for me” but I didn’t get to major in what I was good at/interested in and my degree is virtually useless due to oversupply. Now thanks to the budget cuts the CSUs aren’t taking any students who want to come back for second degrees. So I don’t even have a second chance until the budget gets fixed (if ever).

Life is too short to waste your life away on a job that you’re miserable in just so your parents can brag about it. It’s ironic that the blue-collar jobs that they scorn are in high demand.

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