My article on the mistakes an Asian parent makes was well-received and popular. I felt compelled to release a counterpart article on the benefits of having an Asian parent because some readers reacted negatively and felt that Asian parents offered only problems and hardships.
In reality, there are many benefits to having an Asian parent. I urge people to see the good, not just the bad because it provides a more realistic world view, keeps you happy, reminds you to count your blessings, and pushes you to make the most of your advantages rather than wallow in misery.
So, here are the top benefits of being raised by Asian parents.
1. A Strong Focus on Academics
I remember one time (before the Internet and Wikipedia), a man knocked on my parent’s door and tried to sell them encyclopedias. Before long, they were inside sitting at a table chatting about it. I saw these large, thick dark blue books.
As I eavesdropped on them, I overheard the guy mention the price. It was in the thousands.
Surely, my parents, as smart as they were (who were not making that much money) would not fall for this.
They ended up buying it.
And I never read more than a couple pages. It’s been over ten years.
I heard the guy talk about a child’s education and how important this was. They were playing into an area that Asian parents are willing to spend ANYTHING on to help their child. Believe me. My parents will skimp and save on everything. But if it’s for my education: SAT prep, a $1000 graphing calculator, tuition… they somehow got the cash.
Is this a good strategy? Was the encyclopedia a useless product not worth buying? Maybe. Perhaps they could have spent more efficiently on something I would have actually enjoyed and learned from. Perhaps that money could have been put to better use.
How you position the reason you should buy a product and the importance of it matters. The guy could have just talked about the features of the encyclopedia or how many pages it had, but he noticed how much my parents cared about their child’s education and future so he went there.
Asian parents really care about their children’s performance in school. And usually, it works out well. Most Asian immigrant parents have children that do better than them financially. I know many peers who are in medical school, law school, or they’re engineers. That places them in a high echelon of status, respect, and skill among most workers in the USA. That’s no small thing. I understand that not every Asian can achieve these careers, but our culture has still helped many of us do well financially.
2. They Teach Us To Live Good, Healthy Lives
I don’t smoke, drink, or do drugs. In fact, most Asian Americans are taught to focus on school and avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and other activities that can lead to crippling addictions later down the line. I’m proud to say that most of us are likely not going to end up homeless, involved in crime, in jail, or addicted to cocaine. One good stereotype we have is that we usually don’t get into much trouble with police.
Just like with my other article, these are generalities, so of course, there are exceptions. Asians are diverse, so you will find some who have smoked weed or gotten into trouble.
3. They Teach Us Discipline
One of the key traits for success is willpower, having the ability to do what you need to do even if you don’t want to. Discipline helps us exercise, work harder, work longer, persevere, and practice longer. It can be applied to anything from exercise to doing your taxes to eating a good diet to good grooming to improving your career. Many people don’t have it because they’re lazy.
But we’re taught from a young age. Most Asian Americans are brought up to do plenty of extracurricular activities on top of a rigorous schoolwork load. We’re told to practice violin, piano, tennis, or the SAT’s. That hones our willpower from an early age far beyond the average American. While they’re out playing, we’re working. It’s not always enjoyable, but it can pay off in the long run.
Rather than focus on the negative (“we had to do all this crap while others got to play”), we should celebrate the positive as well. Ignoring the positive is doing ourselves a disservice.
One common meme and saying on the Internet is, “There is always an Asian who can do it better than you.” That’s because a lot of the creative content features an Asian who has an uncanny mastery over a skill. (My current favorite is Shin Lim, a top magician and two-time champion of America’s Got Talent). They’ve learned to devote themselves to their craft until they created something awe-inspiring. And I’m sure their parents had some impact.
The vast majority of humans are dealt mixed cards in life, just like Poker. Almost no one gets the perfect hand where everything we’re born into is fantastic. By doing a proper, realistic analysis of our strengths and weaknesses, we can feel better about ourselves and live our best life. We can figure out what to double down on and showcase to others, while shoring up our weaknesses.
I’m proud to be Asian, and other Asians should be more proud about than resentful.
Unfortunately, some Asian American children still mope around about how horrible it is to have Asian parents. That negative mindset isn’t going to change anything for the better! Reading about how successful people stayed positive and made the most of their situation really helps. I recommend studying Nelson Mandela and Bruce Lee or reading the book Hillbilly Elegy.
Are there any benefits I missed? I challenge you to leave a comment, and I’ll add the good ones to this article.