Asian American Parenting Features

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Asian American culture is dissimilar from Western culture. Many of the families come to the United States to improve their life, especially for their children. Asian immigrant parents are portrayed as strict and controlling in the media. They can create an impression of having a lack of empathy for their kids. These cultural factors can impact the mental health of children. Many immigrant parents either come from poverty, fleeing wars, or sacrificed everything from their home country including their houses, jobs, and families. Aside from providing resources and everyday needs for their children, parents having higher expectations and requirements. Many Asian American adolescents and adults communicate that they do not feel their parents provide enough emotion or affection.

Asian immigrant families face a great deal of adversity adapting and affording to live in the states. When arriving, Parents have to adjust instantly to the American culture and commonly have to pursue low wage jobs in unfamiliar fields. Language barrier generally decrease opportunities and the adaptation process is significantly tougher and longer for parents to grow accustomed to. In an interview a father states his concerns about his child’s education: 'It is very hard for me being the only one in the family who works. I am a fisherman. I make enough money for us to live, but I worry all the time. My wife, her English is not good, and she cannot work. So, I want my daughter to go to school so that she and her future family will not have these problems. My daughter is good, so she will do what I say and her life will be better than ours” (Zhou & Bankston III, 2002, p.139).

Obedience has become a crucial aspect in everyday Asian parenting. This father may sound controlling by saying she will do everything she’s told on the other hand, his reasoning behind it is to supply everything for his daughter, to have a rewarding and hopeful future. He wants his daughter to be capable of supporting her future family. Her father doesn’t want her to struggle similar to her parents. Therefore, authoritarian parenting is used more commonly in the Asian community.

For western society, many parents frequently use authoritative parenting. This type of parenting method is regularly used for better and successful relationships. It consists of parent’s being extra encouraging, and compassionate to their child. Whereas authoritarian parenting is unquestionably contrasting to authoritative parenting. One’s parent is more probable to convey less assistance, less general support, and more reinforcement of orderliness. Asian cultures tend to use authoritarian style parenting substantially more than others. The western society portrays authoritarian demeanor as detrimental to the child’s psychological health, however to the Asian society, authority is absolutely mandatory. It is used to shelter and protect their children nevertheless this will cause emotional distress and development issues further down the line. Most parents have the right intentions but then again the considerable amount of control frequently make children feel give the impression of being trapped. In an article, Vietnamese participants stated: “Vietnamese adolescents perceived their parents as too protective and controlling, rarely allowing them to assert their independence. One adolescent said, “My parents are so protective. They never give any power for me to do anything on my own” (VFG). The adolescents believe that parents have to learn to let go of their children and allow them to experience what is right and wrong in life, and learn to take responsibility for their own actions”(Xiong & Detzner, 2004-05, p. 8).

Considerable amounts of parents arrange regulations for their child. The child is anticipated to listen without questioning and to obey, comparable to a one-way conservation. These adolescents feel as if their parents have an excessive amount of control over them, therefore they can’t experience or enjoy life. Instead, they’re in hopes that their parents should be more involved emotionally and sympathetic. Individuals view their parents very unfavourably.

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Parent’s authoritarian methods give their children thriving education however, they additionally repressed their emotions and expect their children to do as well. If a child wants to address concerns they take it as if you’re disagreeing and talking back. In a interview study most of the participants voiced numerous negative accounts over positive about their relations with their parents, one of the participants expressed: 'The great divide between immigrant parents who emphasize instrumental forms of love and children who carve open displays of affection was evident in the following conversion, which occurred between Dat and his father… Dat recalled, “I tried saying ‘I love you’ one time and he looked at me and said, ‘Are you American now? You think this is The Brady Bunch? You don’t love me. You love me when you can support me”’. These different cultural definitions of love contributed to respondent’s constructions of immigrant parents as unloving and cold” (Pyke, 2004, p. 247). Dat was around eight years old, he would dream about sitting down with his father and communicating about their feelings although his dad would always shut him down when he tried. This affected his development and he felt like he could never express feelings or show affection to his father about anything. He would watch American family TV shows and hang out with his American friends and questioned why his father could not be like that.

Mental health can be influenced by the authoritarian parenting style. Children may feel depressed and have lower self-esteem than parents who provided an authoritative parenting style but more research needed to explore possibilities. One’s mental state is affected by relationships with their parents.

In a research study about Vietnamese American teenagers it indicates: 'Accordingly, the results indicate that adolescents who experience this type of parenting style do generally report higher levels of depression and lower levels of self- esteem. The logistic analyses with parenting style as the dependent variable also found that adolescents who report higher depression or lower self-esteem tended to perceive their parents’ parenting style as authoritarian… These dynamics can cause tension in the family, create a strained parent– child relationship, and adversely affect the mental health of adolescents as well as their parents” (Nguyen, 2008, pg. 344).

The findings indicate the authoritarian method does affect depression and may cause lower self-esteem. Vietnamese American adolescents face hardships in adapting to Western values/parenting and their parent’s traditional values/parenting. This may cause a difficult relationship with their parents and mental health will start declining substantially.

Families should be provided with support groups, education forms their ethnic community center, church, temple, or schools. It may benefit their relationship. Research by Nguyen (2008) the following study suggests that the challenge that affects Asian families are overcoming the language and cultural barriers that may affect their relationships with each other: “Because the core challenge lies in the families’ ability to overcome cultural and language barriers, it would be helpful for practitioners to link their services through these cultural media to lessen mental health stigma and, most importantly, to increase the family’s willingness to share and allow access to intimate family issues and to participate in treatment.. With support from bicultural, bilingual social workers, Vietnamese parents might be willing to talk about their issues while they are waiting for the children to complete their language or religious classes” (Nguyen, 2008, pg. 344). For a mental illness to decrease this study suggest to go to support groups or classes. Families must be willing to talk about their issues with another individual. Bilingual social workers must know cultural differences in parenting styles and support Asian parents to talk about their problems to others. If they do not have the resources or go out to seek help it will affect one’s psychological state.

Asian immigrant parents, generally want the best for their children. However, do not portray it successfully. They are perceived as uncaring and demanding but in reality, they just want the best for you but express it in their way. However, don’t know that it might affect their child’s mental health negatively. Their child can despise their parents for not showing enough affection and love. Parents and their kids should comprehend and accept that western and traditional culture/values is different and should reach out for additional help if they feel their mental health is declining. Both parties must be willing to communicate with each other instead of repressing emotions.

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Asian American Parenting Features. (2022, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/asian-american-parenting-features/
“Asian American Parenting Features.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/asian-american-parenting-features/
Asian American Parenting Features. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/asian-american-parenting-features/> [Accessed 15 Apr. 2024].
Asian American Parenting Features [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 01 [cited 2024 Apr 15]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/asian-american-parenting-features/
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