Asian parents

Blair Waldorf

Aug 15, 2006
I don't want to offend anyone with this post, but I just thought of this while reading a post in the money forum on bragging. Ironically, I have to brag a bit to set this up. I'm a second-generation Korean kid and I go to a good school, did well on my SATs, blah blah blah. My parents are very proud of me and they aren't very quiet about my accomplishments, to be fair. But I find that other Koreans are NOT happy for me or any other kid who does better than their kid in any capacity. When I got into Stanford, for instance, my dad's best friend for decades was seriously pissed! I hear other stories of other moms my mom knows who say things like "Oh, EVERYONE gets a 1600/2400 these days" or "Everyone gets into Harvard" and stuff like that. A friend of mine, also Asian, said her friend's mom whose daughter didn't get into Stanford implied to her that she only got in because her parents worked there. Not only did my friend also get into MIT but her parents don't even work at Stanford! I feel that whenever one of my friends or someone I know does well or has something good happen to them I feel happy for him/her and am a bit baffled by how competitive some Asians can be.
Once again, sorry to stereotype, but I do find this particularly true of the Asians I know! I'm sure there are Asian parents on here who are NOT like this at all. Anyway, though, anyone have similar experiences?
my parents don't brag so much (although they will mention something worth mentioning), but sometimes, i never hear the end of my cousins accomplishments from 2 very specific aunts & uncles.
to answer you questions... yes, i have had similar experience.
asian people are very competitive.... and yes... asian parents brag and brag about their kids to no end.... it is very annoying to hear it ....
It is so true, Asians are very competitive. I had this HK friend at uni. Everytime I see her, her first question would be "How Much did you get for Economics?"..blahblahbalh....Hate it and hate her too.
i'm chinese, and fortunately my parent's is not like that :P
i'm a 2nd chilld so they sometimes worried more about my elder sister or younger brother which keep me safe from expectations, i also happen to be very indivual adn independent since i was 12 yrs old. i go everywhere alone unattended, i go hiking, camping, field trips and everything. they have been very supported with whatever decisions i made as long as i put my thought on it. they're fine with my decision quitting office works because i want to work more independently and creatively more free.
Well, I'm not Asian but my family still has some of those attitudes. One of my uncles rags on my brother and his choices and my mom thinks it is because he is jealous that both he and I are more successful than his own kids.

Part of it is competition and also jealousy.
Yes, I know exactly how you feel! I was on the other end of the stick, though. My sister and I were good students in high school, (3.5 gpa) but we were considered "dumb" by standards compared to my mother's friend's kids! We are all Chinese and I remember being in high school and feeling so dumb this one time when my mom's friend's had their two son's tutor me and my sister for our SATs. They had both gotten perfect scores and were talking down on us because we didn't understand the math. Now, after both my sister and I have graduated from college, we are doing much better than the other kids. My sister is in law school and I am in graduate school for counseling, and will be applying to doctoral school's for clinical psychology soon. Now it's my mother's turn to brag, haha. One of her close friends even made a comment about how my sister and I were "bad" students in high school, but after college, we turned out to be the best since all of them ended up with a C average in university and none of them went on to grad school afterwards. I think it's common to brag about children's successes because it highlights the parent's parenting skills. It's not always the correct thing to do, but it's hard not to take your children's success personally.
I don't think it's limited to asian parents. What parent wouldn't be proud of their child being successful? I'm certain any parent would happily boast of their child's achievements.... I think that Asian parents in general expect their child to do very well and be more disciplined, and perhaps have higher expectations than other parents... I know my parents never expected less than an A from me and were upset if I got a B+.
Oh yeah, my aunties and uncles tortured me with stories of my older cousins' accomplishments. But everyone in the family played favourites too - I was always just 'average' - so I felt a lot of pressure to have a checklist of successes that just weren't me. I think the intention behind such competitiveness was to motivate the younger kids in the family - but to me, negative reinforcement doesn't work as well as positive.
I was talking more about being angry about other people's accomplishments. I feel that a lot of Asian parents are absurdly jealous of other kids! I guess the same could be said about non-Asians, but this is what I've noticed.
I thought am the only one :confused1:
I'm asian and my parents often brag, so do my uncles and aunties. Worse still, my parents started to comparing cos my relatives bragging so much.

My mom will said something like this (when i was 13 or so), "you see...your auntie's daughter is so feminine, she always wearing a nice dresses...why are you wearing pants (jeans) all the time??"
Then my dad will say something like this,.."uncle xx's daugther got into Berkeley no problem, but you cant even pass maths?, which university you think you can get into?"

Fast forward to yr 2000 onwards, those comparing havent stop actually :yucky:
When I graduated, then my parents will say, " uncle xx's daughter is now manager, how about you? when are you gonna get promoted?"

When I have a good job, they will say "So....auntie yy's daughter is getting married, when is your turn? You will be so old when your kids grow up (if you leave it too late)".

And because I dont see my parents and relatives often, everytime I go back, the first thing they said is "OMG, have you gain weight? look at cousin zz, she's so skinny!"
Usually I answer them with, "oh am fine thank you:P "

I never be good enough I guess :sad:
i noticed it's very common in MANY asian families... they are just very competitive. my parents aren't so much like that, though... they just want us all to finish college and get be financially secure. But I do know many asian parents that talk about their kids' accomplishments and see who's doing better and whatnot. it's silly to me, but I don't really pay attention to it anymore
nerphanie, what you said is very true in the asian culture. Fortunately in US, the problem diminshes significantly starting with the second generation.

Asian parents do not realize the unnecessary pressure they put on their children by bragging and comparing, and make themselves very unhappy at the same time. More importantly, they fail to realize the followings:

Statistics show that after college, students from competitve universities do not far better than those from regular universities. In addition, generally (of course there are some exceptions),
1. Most A students end up being professors, scientists, doctors, and lawyers.
2. Most B students end up being CEO's and executives (basically everyone's boss)
3. Most C students end up being in sales, public relations, and politics (we know one ended up being our president).

It is difficult to say any one of the above jobs is any better than the rest. Therefore, as long as we children pass our school subjects and complete our college degrees, we'll all do fine and become happy.
Okay the parental pressure is pretty bad but I'm convinced this is untrue:wtf::
1. Most A students end up being professors, scientists, doctors, and lawyers.
2. Most B students end up being CEO's and executives (basically everyone's boss)
3. Most C students end up being in sales, public relations, and politics (we know one ended up being our president).

If most A, B, C students have these good jobs, then only people who fail mostly end up with crappy jobs?