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Living with My Asian Tiger Parents (a rant)

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Avatar for krysterrific
Written by   4
2 months ago

Disclaimer (again), I did my research on this and all the credits, and most ideas and knowledge I gained and you’re about to read is all thanks to American Psychological Association. I have also been wanting to write a unique article that may open up everyone’s mind on what may some Asian parents look like when everyone stereotypically thinks that they are “tiger parents”. If you’ll get offended by my use of words, you’re free to leave the article away.

This is just basically a rant article because I suck at being the first daughter of the family and I am such a disappointment.

If you’re Asian, or maybe you’ve been watching too much American stand-up comedians originally coming from Asia or might have read about Amy Chua’s “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”, you are probably familiar of the term Asian kids calling their parents “Tiger Parents”. Why so? Keep on reading.

First off, what is Tiger Parenting?

This term was never been around until Amy Chua’s (2011) book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, where she stated that certain strict policies like not allowing her kids watch TV or play computer games, have sleepovers or play dates or even getting a grade lower than A, were the reason why her kids have been successful academically and in their music studies. She even argued that this parenting is common in Asian families. I mean – she’s never wrong on that. My parents are somewhere on that spectrum of parenting.

While my father’s bloodline has been partly (just a little bit) coming from a certain Spanish family, my mother (for I know) have a Chinese blood on her (that’s probably far from the original bloodline of any Chinese family) but Chinese traits and looks, she has it all. They both are Filipinos, of course.

I hate to admit it but they are kind of coming out like some tiger parents to us, their children. I mean, I’m not hating on them just because they are extra strict and pushes us to be successful according to the terms and conditions of their household and as long as you are still living under the same roof. I understand they are looking after us and making sure we are going to have a bright future ahead, and keeping us safe from danger and trouble all the time. It’s just, they kind of sets me, for example, as the first daughter of the family, into a few pressuring moments where I can’t say no, can’t do anything about something, and can’t do anything I want to do (even with caution).

They kind of expect first-time obedience and excellence from us and with a child who never talks back. Talking back, which can also mean patiently stating how you feel about the problem/issue or what your side is all about, means disrespecting them already. No questions ask, “You are so disrespectful. We didn’t raised you to talk back on us” That’s it. You’re on the wrong, already.

My parents are strict and emotionally unsupportive but I cannot totally say they are 100% tiger parents. That is what I would describe them. Here’s why.

First, they are busy with their professions, they are even busier when being asked by our relatives especially on financial support, which can definitely lead to a lesser support on us, their children. That sucks, you know. Thinking about it, makes me frustrated. They keep on asking my parents for support and we end up empty-handed and eventually gives off all of the finances that is supposed to be for my tuition in nursing school. I can’t talk more. It’s saddening but it’s okay. They’re family, anyway. I can’t do anything about it.

Second, they would and will never tell me the reason why I cannot go to any of my friend’s sleepover. No reasons at all. Just “No, you can’t.” and arguing about it can definitely lead to war, I’m telling you (unless if all of my friends fetch me and personally tells my parents what the rules of the sleepovers are but that rarely happens).

Third, they are not warm, nor sweet AT ALL. No. Never. That’s the least thing they’d probably show on their children. They don’t show affection at all. They are never been there when I had so many breakdowns starting from being a college student. They never saw how much I have struggled academically just to give them a satisfying grade of A. They think “Nursing” is easy and that I will pass it just fine. No, I almost fail a subject if not because of my friends’ encouragements. My parents can never.

Fourth, they never ask if I was ever been okay. They never do and they never will. Even if I would drown myself, studying and sitting all day and night on my room, no one will never check on me, nor ask me if I ever had lunch or any water. One time, my older brother and I got into a trouble with some strangers in town and my forehead was bleeding so bad, coming to the health center to be treated before going straight home. No one even asked where I got it or how badly I went through when the pain kept me up all night. That is so tough of me.

Fifth, no boyfriend before college graduation. Well, that didn’t really applied on me. I’m the troublemaker and the stubborn one among my siblings. I always get in trouble and I never really regret disobeying them for a couple of times now. I’m contented with the person I am with right now and I guess I made the right decision even if I know straight from their looks that they are worried that I can never make it ‘till college graduation.

Why do they said so? Because they listen to other people’s opinion more than their daughter’s side. They look at other people’s status and unfortunate events in life (like ending up being pregnant while in college and now lives poorly), and would relate it to what THEY THINK would happen to me in the future. That’s just ridiculous. You’re not supposed to say that on your kid. That is down-right disrespectful, offending and frustrating when your kid just plainly wants to be happy while continuing to study appropriately (with the course she never really chose for herself, you did). They are supposed to guide their kids carefully and listen to their side instead of ranting about what they think would happen to them. That’s sad.

Sixth, they really think I’m mentally stable (when all I do is to break down and get anxiety attacks every midnight). They just plainly think I’m nocturnal. I’m up all night and sleeps a lot during the day. I didn’t know they’ve been seeing me as an owl now. That’s unfortunate. I don’t expect myself to write more about it as it makes me tear up, thinking about the feeling of emptiness. They will never understand.

It would require so much complex understanding for you to even comprehend what I mean, unless you sympathize with what I feel. They don’t see it through me, or even us, their children, the fear and anxiousness inside our eyes. Why? Most strict parents raises depressive children, and that’s ME... unfortunately. Raising children like that can definitely lead them into being more productive, motivated and responsible adults in the future. That’s proven and tested (at least for my own experience and how I was brought up), but the downside of it means that the child can or will most probably struggle in new settings that may lead to anxiety, poor social skills or even depression. Being tiger parents is not as effective as it was claimed to be.

Amusing isn’t it? I find my whole life funny. I don’t even know what I’m doing right now. I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to exist. Happiness is such an overrated term. It can never be achieved when you can’t even find it inside your own home. Is it even worth being called a home when you don’t feel “at home” at all?

That’s just it.

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