Why Are Asian Parents Giant Jerks?


This is not to say that I’m not proud of my Asian Ethnicity (Filipino), food, culture, and history. In fact, I am a very proud Asian American and wouldn’t have it any other way! I’m writing this article because I want to merely emphasize that Asian Parents are predominantly assholes.

Ever since I could hear my father’s voice, all I heard was his nagging and aggressive criticism that I should be a lawyer:

“Lawyer’s have the best lives in America”

“If you want to be secure, you should be a lawyer!”

“You love to write. Lawyers love to write. BE A LAWYER!”

  • No matter if I got straight As in high school.
  • No matter if I got into the #1 Public University in America.
  • No matter if I paid my way through college.
  • No matter if I got a decent job right after I graduated.
  • No matter if I built enough monetary security to pursue other dreams on the side.

Regardless of the state of my happiness, I would still get criticized and nagged how I’m not one step closer to becoming a lawyer. There was no “Good Job!” Merely, “When are you applying to law school?!?”

Side Note: I’ve realized that if you’re an Asian who wants to pursue creative careers (e.g., writing) – you have to wait UNTIL you have a secure career in something else. It’s the Asian way.

Here’s the kicker of it all, my father isn’t even a lawyer. In fact, he DROPPED OUT of law school. He was an entrepreneurial businessman who dabbled in his small businesses. The recollection I had was he really enjoyed his career, and yet, there he was forcing me to become a lawyer.

And, as I grew up, I realized I wasn’t the only one dealing with this Asian Parent soul-crushing nonsense. I’ve observed and commiserated with thousands of other peers dealing with the same circumstances from their Asian Parents.

I would’ve probably have had to deal with this reminder that I’ve amounted to nothing for eternity, but thankfully I only see my father once every five years (divorce) so his incessant hypocritical rants of me failing him as a son because I’m not a big time lawyer – well, is lost in the shadows of who cares.

But not everyone is as lucky.

Asian Parents may think they’re saying to their children to – “Be a doctor!” “Be a lawyer!” “Be an engineer!” “Be a _____!” When in actuality, I feel they’re screaming, “Be something I FAILED AT. Be something I WISH I WAS. Be something I AM NOT!”

Yes, The proverbial need to live vicariously through their kids’ lives and their wishful successes rings true in Asian Parents.

Listen, if I want to be a doctor or a lawyer or whatever – let me CHOOSE to be one. I’ll probably have more interest in the field and be a happier person in the long run.

It’s disappointing because, in these situations, Asian Parents are telling their children to be something that they themselves have no idea what it takes to achieve. Therefore, many of these Asian Parents are pinning themselves as hypocrites and just plain ignoramuses to how the world works. It’s really sad.

To make matters worse, Asian Parents love to compare you to your cousins and siblings. So, instead of showing an example that a family unit is based on love, they instead make it seem that a family unit is built on monetary and/or academic civil war.

To fix this, Asian Parents need to realize that:

  1. It’s not an easy path to become a doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc.,
  2. Straight A+’s is not the easiest thing to do.
  3. A B+ should NOT be room for grounds in punishment.
  4. That just because your Cousin Michelle chose a life of crime instead of pursuing a career as a doctor, doesn’t mean that you will become a criminal.
  5. Need to know that threatening to disown you because you’re pursuing a career path that they don’t agree with is not only emotional blackmail, but also its emotional manipulation.

I think this is why a lot of Asian Americans latch onto their grandparents and are really close with their siblings. For example, it is through my grandparents that I learned about the beauties of my culture, understood what love in my language feels like, and felt joy for my accomplishments. And, it is through my siblings that I was able to define family support, family hugs, family understanding, and family love.

Basically, I’ve learned what it means to be a proud Asian American through my grandparents and siblings.

Counter Arguments & Ending Notes

I want to say that the argument that Asian Parents act like assholes because they just want the best for their kids is a copout. As I’ve said before, my grandparents and siblings have shown me that my ethnic background has a lot of love and support to give, so I know my Asian culture can care about each other without being contemptible. So why are so many Asian Parents assholes?

I’m not saying that Asian Parents should go to the extreme and let their child do whatever the hell they want: every child still needs guidance and some discipline in their journey. I’m saying Asian Parents need to understand that a parent can be motivating without being judgmental and despicable.

Another argument is though Asian Parents may not provide support through their words, that they instead show support in their actions. Yes, we should never take for granted the sacrifices/actions our Asian Parents have taken to make sure we live the way we do (in America). However, LISTENING to your child (other than yourself), supporting and trusting the decisions they take is an action within itself that shows love and care in even bigger ways.

Asian Parents should know that being compassionate, supportive, and actually listening to their kids – will not hurt their kids’ chances of being successful. In fact, it’ll only help them get where they need to be – faster.

Dear Asian Parents – wouldn’t you want your kid to be happy and successful in a career path they chose? Learn to trust your kids, be proud of them, and stop being an emotional traumatic hypocritical asshole.

What do you think? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Keep up with Jonathan on Twitter and gaurano.com

More From Thought Catalog