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Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Asian-American kids feel career pressure
It's hard to see anything wrong with wanting your child to become a doctor or software engineer. After all, these professions are prestigious and high-paying. They also happen to be the kinds of jobs favored by many Asian-American parents.

But according to some Asian-American students we met recently at Stanford University, their parents can put too much emphasis on job security over personal fulfillment. They told us this can be very stressful for those want to do something else with their lives.

One student said she's been told by a friend's parent that "you shouldn't choose a career path because you love it; you choose a career and learn to like it."

We also interviewed a highly trained engineer in San Francisco, Sandip Roy, who grew up in India. His parents expected him to become an engineer and he did just that, eventually earning a six-figure salary in Silicon Valley.

But Roy wasn't personally fulfilled and desperately wanted to do something else. His biggest fear: disappointing his family.

Roy eventually came up with the courage to make a job switch and began working as a journalist. He does freelance writing and hosts a call-in program on public radio. And his family has learned to accept it.

While disappointing your parents can be tough on a child, I couldn't help but think as I reported this story that "Asian-American career pressure" is not the worst problem children could have.

-- By Dan Simon, CNN Correspondent

Editor's note: When leaving a comment, please don't forget to add your name, city/town and state.
Posted By CNN: 11:14 AM ET
I agree that "career pressure" is not the worst problem a child could have; however the pressure of parents "expecting" their kid to be a doctor or lawyer because that's what "they"- the parents- want, could cause mental stress and disorders. Remember in "Dead Poets' Society" when the student committs suicide because he wants to be an actor, but his dad has told him he "has to be a doctor"?
Posted By DH - Lake Barrington, IL : 11:25 AM ET
I know someone whose parents said "we will pay for law school for you, but anything else, you're on you're own...". She went happily on her way to work in a more "artsy" field; doesn't make as much money as a lawyer, but she's very happy, and the parents eventually saw that it was right to let their daughter follow her heart.
Posted By Lenni - Lowell, IN : 11:29 AM ET
This story reminds me of the story cnn did on arranged marriages. Why in some cultures don't parents trust their children to make their own life decisions? When you turn 18 or 19, you usually know what your calling is. Even if you change careers later, why are some parents so desperate for their children for succeed that it's the "parents' way or the highway"?
Posted By xtina - chicago IL : 12:05 PM ET
As a first generation Chinese here in America, I was lucky that I did not experience that type of pressure from my parents. I was actually encouraged to become a teacher because of all the vacations. My brother was encouraged to become an engineer since he had exceptional math skills and he loved math. Neither of us did what our parents wanted and they accepted that. Their only goal was for us to graduate from a university and get a good job. Earning a six-figure salary was not a priority for them nor I.

I have cousins growing up in their family where that wasn't the case -especially for the men. My female cousins were expected to marry a wealthy male who usually turned out to be engineers - again I lucked out with my parents for not having that expectation upon me because most of my cousins are miserable.

Asian-American career pressure can actually be tough on kids and their parents because in the Chinese community, if you're not rich, you're looked down upon. What your child does for a living, type of house they live in and the kind of car they drive is the difference between being accepted in the community or not. Even though my family is not fully accepted within our extended family, it doesn't matter because we're happy!
Posted By M. Wong, Huntington Beach, CA : 12:18 PM ET
We should be careful not to fall into typical stereotypes. I come from a very close and extended Asian family, three girls, and we have all been free to make our own decisions regarding careers, and marriage. We all went to university and none of us were forced into an “arranged marriage”, we were introduced to people but things were left at that and we decided if we wanted to take things further.
Many Asian parents stress the importance of a college education and a good career, because they did not have the opportunity themselves and only want better for their children. A good education gives one options in life and a freedom to choose various paths. There is nothing wrong with encouraging and taking an interest in the lives of your children.
To paint the majority of Asian children as oppressed by family pressures is just wrong
Posted By Reena, Phoenix AZ : 12:24 PM ET
Hi Dan,
It's important to many parents that children receive a college or vocational education. I remember seeing a funny, poignant film,
I think called "A Great Wall." It's about a Chinese-American family visiting their Chinese relatives on the mainland.The American relatives were glad to have many choices of colleges. Their Chinese cousins fretted over years of preparation for few to no choices, too few competitive spots and designated career paths.A Chinese friend once told me this is an accurate, caring portrayal.
Posted By Carol B., Frederick, MD : 12:27 PM ET
My environment, growing up in urban India was mostly competitive, and then the practicality of "money solves atleast 1 problem, that of money"! The pressure was not from parents alone - the school system, society and peers emphasize that personal success is measured by well paying jobs with growth prospects, nothing else counts much. Maybe to move away from that mind set is harder for us when we raise children, even in a different environment? My parents believe that my career choices are my decision and I hope I can value and follow thru as a parent myself now.
Posted By Shalini, Denver CO : 12:30 PM ET
(I tried to post earlier, but forgot to include my hometown)

My daughter attends advanced classes at a school that is 43% Asian, 42% Causcasian and 15% everyone else. In the advanced classes it is 90-95% Asian. She is sometimes the only non-Asian in the class. The Asian American kids really have a uniquely pervasive burden to achieve.

We encourage our daughter to avoid classes or activities that are too intense, but her Asian American friends do not have this option. They are forced to take classes they do not enjoy, and get through them with nothing but hard work. Many are punished if they do not get A's, and a few may actually be hit. It's depressing to watch.

LindaL Torrance, Calif.
Posted By LindaL : 12:31 PM ET
"Asian-American career pressure is not the worst problem children could have" is a limited perspective. If you research and talk to Asians both in America and in other Asian countries, you will see that career pressure is huge, and it starts from infancy. Testing and getting into the right schools in order to get the best jobs lends itself to incredible emotional stress for young Asians, and in a very high number of instances, leads to teen and young adult suicide in many Asian cultures.
Posted By Kelley from Los Angeles : 12:32 PM ET
I found your last statement very ignorant. Career pressure may not be the worst problem you can have, but for an Asian-American child, it could be something that affects him or her their entire lives. Eastern culture can vary greatly with western culture-- honoring your family, considering their wishes, and making them proud of you play a big part in your life, even if you live across the world from your ancestors.

I am not saying that people shouldn't follow their own path and do what they want with their lives. I come from a long line of Filipino doctors but will not become one myself here in America, where I was born.

However, I do believe that there will always be a part of me that will consider my family's history, culture, and hopes in the things that I do every day.

I am lucky. My family understands and are supportive of everything I do. But to a lot of Asian-American children, the pressure can be greater than anything they can bare. And without the support of their family, what else do they have? No hope-- and that CAN be the worst problem you could have.
Posted By Lynn, Chicago, IL : 12:33 PM ET
I certainly think it's important to understand the intent of many of the Asian parents we're looking at here. My parents came from a poor upbringing, and grew up in an environment where the deeper questions of meaning and purpose in life were superceded by the basic need to survive. The issue of whether or not you're passionate about your job, or even if you like it, is moot when you can't even put food on the table and pay for your children's diapers.

I'm not trying to justify the pressures they put on their children - I just think we need to examine this from a broader perspective. I experienced similar pressures growing up, but I think that as my parents acclimitized themselves better to Western culture, and as I became more mature, that we grew to understand each other much better.

That said, I do not agree with parents that pressure their children just to have "face" - to look good in front of their peers.
Posted By N. Ng - Toronto, ON : 12:50 PM ET
The statement that career pressure is definitely not the worst problem you can have is correct- if you're middle class and american. Wouldn't you prefer that pressure to physical, mental or sexual abuse, malnutrition, political oppression, etc.? Which is the case for many people in asian countries that don't become successful engineers and doctors- they live at a very low (inhumane) standard of living.

The overbearing parents are, rightly, solving for their children's well-being and health, and this is their way of doing it. The mindset shift that they should make upon coming to the land of opportunity (and one that my parents made only 20 yrs after immigrating)is that well-being and health in America can be provided by a job or business in almost any field. And in fact, the great fortunes are made from people not in the engineer/doctor field, but from entrepreneurship- often in the very same countries where they came from!

I have lukewarm feelings about the high pressure; being the best you can be is a good thing, and I do enjoy seeing my framed ivy league diploma hanging on my wall and watching my stock and real estate portfolio blossom. But I'm more thrilled about having the new perspective that "failure" in America only means a chance at trying something new!
Posted By Ken, San Diego, CA : 12:59 PM ET
I certainly agree that "Asian-American career pressure" is not the worst problem children could have.

To the contrary, I feel the worst problem facing both parents and children today around the world is being able to achieve an education while staying safe within educational facilities.

It is a great tragedy that children today can't go to school and feel secure, safe, and protected. In the Maritimes during the last two weeks there were several bomb scares and evacuations of schools carried out as a result. No explosives were found on any of the sites.

I hope the culprits that inact these copy cat crimes are caught and spend years in either jeuvenile detention centers or prison. Something has to be done to ensure our childrens' safety in educational institutions.

What child can focus on a career while under the threat that any minute they could face a bomb threat or an emotionally unsound individual toting firearms with the purpose of annihilating their lives and innocence.
Posted By Tricia Charlottetown PEI Canada : 1:02 PM ET
Hi Dan,
It is far too tempting for parents to want to choose their child's career, thinking they want what is best for their child. I believe that parents should be guiding and molding children into what is in their heart, to follow their passion.
I am not so much concerned with what a person does for a living as to know what they ache for in their heart.
Sometimes the two are the same. That is when you have found your bliss!
Posted By Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX : 1:03 PM ET
I am a first generation Chinese - American and I have been lucky that while my parents have always strongly emphasized education they always let me make my own decisions. When I was accepted into a very competitive high school they actually encouraged me not to attend for fear I would succumb to the pressure. However I did not listen and while I was in high school trying to take every AP class I could I realized that the drive to succeed was my own and not my parents.

I think that "Asian-American career pressure" is looked upon negatively in American society because there is a strong emphasis on the individual here. However in Chinese culture, emphasis is placed on the family. If one individual acts out it will reflect negatively on the family. If children don't suceed in school then others may assume that the parents are at fault. No one would want to bring shame or disrespect to the family. This pressure to maintain a certain image may also fall on the children who are in school and threfore must do well in school.

Because of my strength in chemistry/physics and in math I decided to pursue a chemical engineering degree in college. It just happens to be one of the respected professions but I know that if I had chosen another path, my family would have stood 100% behind me.
Posted By KC from Brooklyn,NY : 1:04 PM ET
As an American of Asian ancestry, I can say that my parent's expectation of my career choice was rather secondary to my grandparents' expectations of the race of the woman they wanted me to marry. It's a bit funny for me to see my eldest cousins marry within our same race, then my second eldest cousins marry Asians of different ethnicity, and finally, my youngest cousins marry Caucasians....
Posted By Jeff in PA : 1:15 PM ET
I am an Asian American who experienced family pressures. It is very real and from my personal experience, can be very damaging psychologically and emotionally. As I start a family of my own, I am very cognizant of my own perceptions of raising a child. I certainly do not want our child to go through the pressures that I experienced. I missed a huge part of my childhood because of my parents and have recently come to terms as an adult to go through the healing process. I certainly would never want a child to have to experience this. Nurture a child's personal interests. To do otherwise is just plain selfish.
Posted By Chris, Chicago, IL : 1:15 PM ET
Betty Ann said, "Follow Your Bliss"

I can see all sides to this debate. It's great to see parents engaged in their kids' success. Parental involvement from cradle to college age is healthy and important for development and happiness.

But there's also the "Follow your Bliss" factor. Seems to me it's a fine line, then between allowing your kids to find and follow their own bliss, and having to bite your tongue if you, as a parent, don't agree with what that bliss is!
Posted By Steve- Peoria, Ill. : 1:16 PM ET
I think that regardless of your ethnic or racial background, career pressure can take a major toll on any child's life. It could be a life changing experience that can completely effect the development of an individual, and in some cases does lead to drastic health disorders. I believe it affects Asian-American children more so because of their "culture's" high value on education and family. I put this word in quotations because there are so many facets to Asian American culture and unfortunately due to mass media and articles like this one, people assume that this stereotype of the Asian-American parent is in fact reality.
Another point that I wanted to make is that the writer based his conclusions after his conversation with Stanford students and a "highly trained engineer." These individuals clearly had enough intelligence/diligence to make it to their respected institution/profession so I understand why their parents had high hopes for their children. I'm curious if the Asian-American students at local state schools (yes, they're not only at Ivy's) have the same amount of pressure. Something to think about.
Posted By Gabriela, NY, NY : 1:21 PM ET
Hi Dan,
In the end all of us have to follow our own dreams. Traditions die hard, but I think they should be challenge. It's not selfish or shameful to live out our lives comfortable in our OWN choices. Take Care

P.S. Just a quick note out to the ac360 blog. Yesterday May 15th at 4:11pm someone in 360 blog land used my name to send in their comment. I was hurt at first, that someone would confiscate my name for a free ride, but I'm not without humor and will laugh off this breach, this time. Please let's keep the Ac360 Blog professional and honest. Sign your own name to your own comment. Thank you, Take Care to all.
Posted By Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 1:26 PM ET
As an Asian-American, I can relate to Mr. Roy's story. I was also pressured (not just by family, but my culture in general) to choose a career that is prestigious and high-paying. In college, I wanted to major in psychology and have a career counseling people who are depressed, suicidal, and help in any way I can to sort out their problems. But I was told that this isn't a good idea because it would take years of schooling (you not only have to have a Bachelor's Degree, but you also have to get your Master's and PhD) before I can reap the benefits of studying psychology. So I was also pressured to graduate with a lucrative degree in the shortest time possible. I ended up majoring in business and am very successful in my career. I actually enjoy the challenges and intellectual stimulation my job provides me. It also provided financial security and stability. However, 15 years of working long hours, health problems and depression due to constant stress, deadlines, and demands of the job have finally caught up with me. I have since told my employer that I'm cutting back on my hours and that I can't do it all. I'm also thinking about going back to school to study psychology, which I believe is my true calling in life. I'm sure it's a demanding field too, but I believe that if you do something that you really enjoy and gives you personal fulfillment, somehow the hours don't seem quite as long, you look forward to getting up in the morning, and you feel happier and healthier. It's really no surprise that people switch careers two or three times in their life. I envy those who find their true calling in their 20's and actually live and enjoy it. Me, I found it when I was 16, but because I was pressured to do something that wasn't my real passion, my true calling won't materialize until I'm well in my 40's or 50's.

Thanks, Dan, for bringing this issue to light. I look forward to the show tonight.

Posted By Lilibeth, Edmonds, WA : 1:32 PM ET
Jerome, Kansas City, KS

Like it or not sometimes stereotypes can accurately depict the overarching values of a culture. At least this culture encourages its people to be something! My mother told me I could drop out of high school if I wanted just as long as I got a job. Seeing where this type of mentality led her I went to college. I am a civil engineer who thanks the Lord every day that I chose to push myself and not to settle. It is much worse not to encourage your kids to be anything than it is to encourage them to be something specific. The young people in some cultures think the only way to make it is to be rapper or a professional athlete….tragic.
Posted By Jerome : 1:35 PM ET
There is a huge difference between pressure and Guidance. Luckily my parents provided basic guidance on doing well in school and graduating from College. The rest was up to me based on what I enjoyed and had a passion for. I can tell you from my experience, those that were pressured missed out on a lot while growing up. They missed out on various school events, missed out on knowing other people, cultures, arts and being more well rounded. I pride my self, as an Asian-American parent, to provide my 18 yr. old daughter with guidance and offering the world of opportunities for her to choose from and enjoy life.
Posted By RM, Westchester, NY : 1:44 PM ET
What about happiness? Are they concerned about their Childs Happiness. I understand that all parents want their child to be successful, and earning a good living can do that, but are they looking at the happiness that they will have in doing this certain career choice.
Posted By sherry, cleveland,oh : 1:47 PM ET
Mr. Simon,

I agree with you that "Asian-American career pressure is not the worst problem children could have." And this is an issue that I have mixed feelings about. I don't believe that anyone Asian, American, Israeli or any other nationality should be forced to study or go into any field of work that they don't want to. However, I do have to commend the fact that the parents of these individuals want their children to have an education. I think that throughout the United States parents are not promoting or encouraging their children to pursue higher education. I know that within my county several individuals who have not had any pressure but on them by their parents to get the college degree or even to finish up high school, in some cases, are unmotivated and unable to hold a job. I think that in any culture, while a parent should not force their child to study law or medicine or any other line of study that the child does not want to study, parents need to promote the importance and necessity of education.
Posted By Jessica, Bourbonnais Illinois : 1:51 PM ET
I am what some might call a 1.5 generation Asian-American: born elsewhere but grew up in the States and am basically as American as apple pie. Though I cannot speak for everyone, I can say that my parents have a trump card that I'll never beat. Not to make light of a terrible period in human history, but whenever I would complain about school or life in general, they'd always remind me of this: "Did you go through the Cultural Revolution? I don't think so."

My parents are more or less in the middle range of conservative Asian families. So while their pressure on me to succeed surpassed those of my American friends, I was still allowed to make my decisions and choose my own path in life. I agree with one of the comments on this blog that often times much of the "pressure" we feel is brought upon by ourselves. It is hard to to forget how much those who came before us suffered and sacrificed. It colours our daily lives and the choices that we make.

In the end, I believe that those of us who straddle two cultures are stuck with a burden that is not entirely due to external forces, be it parents or family, but rather a personal weight we have carried since birth. We are priveliged and bedeviled all at once by our heritage.

Ancestory and tradition are not just words to some of us, they are a way of life. I am reminded of a line from Amistad regarding ancestors that says "For at this time I am the whole reason they have existed at all." Those of us who come from cultures that think in millenia and not just centuries have been tasked with juggling an American MTV culture with the legacy that we were given as a birthright. Whereas I will still complain about the daily struggles of finding a good manicurist or not being able to get a reservation at a restaurant, but deep down I know that my life is grand especially considering where I could be now.

This is all thanks to my parents. So in return, I often wonder if it really is too much to ask that I make them happy and fulfill their wishes.
Posted By S.M., Washington, D.C. : 1:52 PM ET
Gasp! Another American pundit chimes in on the crushing struggle of Asian-Americans to avoid the sucking black hole of medicine, engineering, and law.

Has it ever occurred to any of these bush league child psychologists that maybe we actually did pick things that we wanted? Do you honestly think that most people get through advanced degree programs because someone else wanted them to?

Is there pressure to be successful? Yes. It's called good parenting. Your typical "American" parent could stand to take a few notes from immigrant parents of all nations who stress that education gives you the freedom to select a life you want later. Anyone of any race who gets railroaded into something they didn't want speaks to a weakness of that individual, not of the parents.

What's that smell? Oh, yeah. Responsibility.

We take our successes -- and failures -- as a group. That's not weakness. It's family.

Isn't it ironic that popular opinion so often is convinced that we're so gifted in every facet of life except self-determination?
Posted By Jason Nolasco, Austin, TX : 2:12 PM ET
I have been pondering and rereading the blog and I have made a 360 change re my opinion. The interviews were done at Stanford. Do you know how hard it is to get into Stanford? It is one of the most prestigious private universities in the country. It is called the Harvard of the West, or Harvard is the Stanford of the East, depending on your viewpoint. I say this with no ties to the place (we are a UC family). These kids have been under pressure--pressure to excel in school and get a good education. Check any AP class in any high school in this country where there are Asian American students, and you will find every other ethnicity outnumbered in these competative, high achieving classes. However, I agree with the other comments that trying to force someone into a field they are not interested in or fitted for, is not healthy. Being happy with yourself and what you do is the best good mental health pill we can take. Gosh, if we could find a way to positively pressure every student to excel in school and get a great education all the time finding their "bliss," what a difference it would make. I think I did that for my kids. I hope I did.
Posted By Charlotte D., Stockton CA : 2:29 PM ET
I agree that "Asian-American career pressure" is not the worst problem a child could have; look around you in the world. There is a lot of children that wanted to go to school just to get an education but do not have the opportunity to. People do not have food, etc.....

I came from Hong Kong when I was 11 years old, my parents wanted their children to get a better education and better life. I remember my mother told me once, "We want you to have the opportunities that we don't have. Do what you want with it for yourself. It does not benefit us, it only benefit you and your next generation."
There is always some pressure or another to do better. Everyone faced "Career Pressure" at least once in his or her lifetime. Some parents know what is best for their children some don't. But I think I am almost 100% sure that most parents want the best for their children. A lot of time it might show as pressure for the children but it is not. Because some people are more mature than other, they know exactly what they wanted and some don't.

How many of you can be 100% sure you could have done better or make better decision than what your parents wanted for you? We don't know for sure and no one could. If you are not happy what you are doing try something else if you could. If not, try make the best out of it, our parents did. Do you think they like their "career choice"? Most of them make the best out of it for the family.
Posted By SC, NJ : 2:36 PM ET
There needs to be a balance between strong parental support of achievement with parental acceptance and moral support should the child fail.

There is something to be learned through failure also, and with strong parental guidance after a failure, a child can be set on the correct path for that individual child.

It doesn't have to be all or none. It does require parental guidance and participation all along the way.
Posted By Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 3:14 PM ET
I agree with SM in Washington. As a 1.5 generation Asian American it's hard to balance between two cultures and try to respect and honor both. Although some parents might be a driving force for some children to pursue certain careers, it ultimately comes down to what you think you need to do because after all you're the one who will be stuck with the job in the long run.
Posted By Evy, Des Moines, IA : 4:31 PM ET
The high pressure put onto Asian American kids stems from the traditional expectation of Asian children growing up to take care of their elderly parents. I think it's safe to say that in most traditional Asia culture the most successful child is expected to feed, care for, and house their old parents. Most Asian American parents still cling to this tradition, although their children would probably disagree. When parent's retirement lifestyle is at stake, naturally, parents will find that having their kids become a doctor, computer engineer, or lawyer is in their best financial interest. I mean, you can forgot the Cadillac or retirement in Florida if the kid is an English teacher or an artist. As these Asian Americans with this traditional way of thinking die off, the problem of too much pressure will die with them. The new generation of Asian Americans will learn to invest in 401k and let their children choose the path of life.
Posted By Snake, Houston, Texas : 4:36 PM ET
Pressure on children to choose a certain profession is not confined to just Asian Americans. It appears to be a problem for many high school children these days. As the parent of a graduating high school teenager, I struggle daily with what type of advice to give her in her search for a career/livelihood/etc. Fortunately , she is fairly independent and does not need much advice. My next child is not as independent though and I dread the next 4 years as she goes through high school.

I have always told them that whatever you do, do what makes you happy and be the best at it because there is always room at the top for those who excel. With so many professional jobs,including computer engineerinig, being offshored, I am now finding that I am still telling them that but that I am also telling them to look for careers that will stay here; or to add languages to their college studies, etc. As a parent its HARD to know what to tell them when the job market ground is constantly shifting below your feet like quicksand.

I have never cared what my children picked to be as long as it was legal and it made them happy. That said, when a child needs advice, its difficult to separate your feelings of what is a "great" job from what might be in your child's best interest. Following your bliss sometimes does not put food on the table nor does it help with other family situations that may come up in later years; sometimes your bliss has to be a hobby for a while.

I do not envy young people these days but they are young, and resilent and just need to rely on their own instincts and interests. Generally, parents, when they see that their child is happy, will be happy for them no matter what the choice of career.
Posted By Annie Kate, Birmingham AL : 5:38 PM ET
I can associate with what Roy is going through, but I advice him to follow his dream. When his parents get to see his success, they will eventually come around.

Asian children, especially those born to first generation Asian immigrants in the US, find themselves conflicted between values of their own Asian culture and the American culture. Obeying your parents will and traditional respect for elders are the main traits of Asian culture.
Posted By Ratna, New York, NY : 7:09 PM ET
I don't know which is worse, succumbing to heavy pressure from your family and culture to achieve a lot and being either unhappy or suicidal, or not having any support from your family and culture and seeing very few people of your race not achieve much and succumb to a lower standard of living and potential violence.
Posted By Joseph N. (San Francisco, CA) : 11:56 PM ET
As an Asian American who has had these expectations put upon me, I have struggled with the balance necessary to make career decisions and what motivational factors of parents may be involved. Some have mentioned financial security, which is a definite desire of parents for their children. Often times however, it may be the concern for "how one looks" to the Asian community and society in general. To have a child who is a Doctor or Lawyer supposedly says, "I am a success as a parent." Has the child's bent, desires, natural interests and capabilities been considered into the equation? If not, I believe it is stepping over the healthy boundaries of parenting.
Another motivation could be that the parent may be living vicariously through a child because the child has opportunities that the parent did not have. That is another breech in healthy parenting, no matter what ethnicity.
I agree with those who have said there is a balance. Yes, there's a balance in making sure your child knows without a doubt that they are loved and valued, no matter how they perform, and at the same time lovingly encouraging them to be all they can be without manipulation and control and to model the value of education. This is definitely a major challenge in parenting today in the US.
Posted By Linda, Boone, NC ( Originally from CA) : 10:51 AM ET
In my opinion as a Chinese (besides the fact that this isn’t an issue that can be so easily explained or come to a conclusion, due to our traditions and many facets of Asian culture), the question that Asian parents have to ask themselves is the intention behind their action and their passionate interest of their children’s career paths.
Is it really for the sake of their children to have a better life or is it for their own personal glory?
Education is important no doubt about it and when there’s an opportunity, do make the most of it. I had to give it up to help out in my family’s predicament and it’s not easy. Most of the time, it’s better to have some sort of stepping stone than none at all.
And normally when parents genuinely want the best for their sons and daughters they will eventually come to understand and accept the choices their children make.
But when the intention is clouded by the parents own personal ambition, then the situation could turn ugly.
In Asia, family is very important. We’re brought up to respect our elders and any objections aren’t viewed fondly, and if required, to make necessary sacrifices for the family may it be career choices or the lack of, amongst other things.
Posted By LaiPeng Foong, Penang, Malaysia : 11:44 AM ET
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• 07/23/2006 - 07/30/2006
• 07/30/2006 - 08/06/2006
• 08/06/2006 - 08/13/2006
• 08/13/2006 - 08/20/2006
• 08/20/2006 - 08/27/2006
• 08/27/2006 - 09/03/2006
• 09/03/2006 - 09/10/2006
• 09/10/2006 - 09/17/2006
• 09/17/2006 - 09/24/2006
• 09/24/2006 - 10/01/2006
• 10/01/2006 - 10/08/2006
• 10/08/2006 - 10/15/2006
• 10/15/2006 - 10/22/2006
• 10/22/2006 - 10/29/2006
• 10/29/2006 - 11/05/2006
• 11/05/2006 - 11/12/2006
• 11/12/2006 - 11/19/2006
• 11/19/2006 - 11/26/2006
• 11/26/2006 - 12/03/2006
• 12/03/2006 - 12/10/2006
• 12/10/2006 - 12/17/2006
• 12/17/2006 - 12/24/2006
• 12/24/2006 - 12/31/2006
• 12/31/2006 - 01/07/2007
• 01/07/2007 - 01/14/2007
• 01/14/2007 - 01/21/2007
• 01/21/2007 - 01/28/2007
• 01/28/2007 - 02/04/2007
• 02/04/2007 - 02/11/2007
• 02/11/2007 - 02/18/2007
• 02/18/2007 - 02/25/2007
• 02/25/2007 - 03/04/2007
• 03/04/2007 - 03/11/2007
• 03/11/2007 - 03/18/2007
• 03/18/2007 - 03/25/2007
• 03/25/2007 - 04/01/2007
• 04/01/2007 - 04/08/2007
• 04/08/2007 - 04/15/2007
• 04/15/2007 - 04/22/2007
• 04/22/2007 - 04/29/2007
• 04/29/2007 - 05/06/2007
• 05/06/2007 - 05/13/2007
• 05/13/2007 - 05/20/2007

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