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Truth About Asian American Mothers
(Updated Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 04:58:51 PM)

noble, selfless woman who swallows hardship and drinks tears to put away every tasty morsel for her beloved offspring. She is the omnipresent nurturing bosom, a bottomless well of encouragement and sympathy, the tirelessly cooking and cleaning hands.
     The dark side only comes to light when an offspring betrays the filial impiety to defy her will on any life decision. The saint transforms into an implacable fury tormenting her offspring with bitter nagging, violent tantrums, spectacular public outbursts, followed by a bone-chilling show of indifference.
     So say some.
     In fairness, mothers of all stripes have been accused of saddling kids with the hopes and regrets spilling over from their own lives. For example, Jewish mothers too have been depicted as loving tyrants bent on controlling their offspring's choice of schools, careers and mates. But no example of maternal domination seems to match the Asian mother for the intensity of her will to own her children's lives. [continued below]

     But how much of such traditional notions of Asian motherhood has survived the transpacific crossing? Have Asian American mothers evolved away from the prevailing stereotypes of Asian mothers -- for better and worse?

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[This page is closed to new input. --Ed.]
"Yeah, I agree that Asian parents who don't understand the American culture love to hit their kids. I don't know much about Chinese or Japanese mothers...but Korean parents love to use the switch."

You know, my paternal grandmother, growing up in the deep South (Mississippi) in the 1920s use to get the switch when she was misbehaving. Now, she and her six siblings weren't abused-- nor do I justify abuse-- but this is the first time I've heard of the switch being used by people other than African-Americans of the rural deep South of the past.

(Given that you know part of my ancestry from the post above, yes, I am part Black. I am also part white, Native American-- Cherokee and Choctaw-- and am half-Japanese, courtesry my mother.)

Anyway, I've heard of people getting spanked (I was one of them growing up-- again, only when I misbehaved: e.g., writing with crayons on the wall) and getting the belt, but the switch was something I always thought of as being limited (exclusively?) to African-Americans.
The American
   Thursday, April 03, 2003 at 17:19:56 (PST)    []
Wow, these horror stories are just frightening. I must have, like, the best Korean parents in the world!

Not one real 'beating', just a couple of spankings as a little tot was all that I've had to endure. I used to be a bit angry at them for various little mistakes they made raising me (which seem inconsequential in retrospect), but now I can see that they've passed with flying colors, when compared to some of the deadbeats that I'm reading about here. I should give them a call this weekend to tell them I love them.
one Korean fella
   Wednesday, April 02, 2003 at 04:55:38 (PST)    []
electronics and manufactured items careers require brain specialization that overlaps with artists and politicians.

Plenty of people fit into both categories.

The main difference is that engineering is technical and requires quantifiable ("hard") skills and math.

Other than that I agree with the post.
   Wednesday, April 02, 2003 at 00:29:36 (PST)    []
"Getting beat with a wire hanger, getting pulled around the house by my hair, listening while my parents call me names you'd never's all love"

Sorry but that is really f***ed up. Abuse is not love. Abuse is abuse and it against the law in the US. Since you were abused as a child you will probably end up in abusive relationships throughout your life; studies confirm this. People that immigrate to the US from countries that allow child abuse need to realize that it is not okay to beat your child, and the police should enforce these laws more strictly.
abuse is wrong people
   Tuesday, April 01, 2003 at 08:42:03 (PST)    []
I think all abusive asian mothers, AND fathers, should seriously go to hell. I hope their offspring puts them in old age homes where they are abused exactly the way kids were abused. Who told them to have sex without a condom/birth control? What's the use of coming to a country with freedom of speech and disobeying child abuse laws? Tell them if their way of discipline is so great, go back to whatever starving fobby country they came from. Yes children should be good, but you can't beat them into submission if they don't get straight A's, they're human beings, not robots. There are not enough social workers in school that address this issue. Parents who push their kids into being super obedient, only the best lawyer or doctor, are perpetuating the p*ssy "yes sir, no sir, me so solly sir" stereotype. Thanks to them, asian kids probably get bullied and beat up more in school. The inability to challenge and question authority, or stand up for yourself is so detrimental. Generations of robots who have one track minds do not make very good politicians or artists. Think about it, what have asians contributed to modern society lately besdies electronics and other manufactured products? Unless this harmful tradition of submission is broken, stereotypical images of asians won't change, and all those corrupt totalitarian goverments in asia will never change. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating cultural imperialism, but human rights apply to everyone of all ethnicities.
   Monday, March 31, 2003 at 18:09:58 (PST)    []
Getting beat with a wire hanger, getting pulled around the house by my hair, listening while my parents call me names you'd never's all love. I'm not saying they're right in doing that, but I see where they're coming from. They want me to be the best that I can be; all conscientious parents want the best for their children. So most of the time, I tell myself to suck it up and take it. After all, pain is temporary; if I heed their orders and become successful in the future, that pride lasts forever. Yea, I'd talk back when I couldn't take it anymore, but that usually only gets me into deeper s***. I'm in college now - I'm an adult myself, and I'd like to think that I'm maturing in my perspectives. So, kids, just keep in mind: what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
   Thursday, February 13, 2003 at 23:06:59 (PST)    []
Growing up, I was beaten by my mom only twice. In fact, babysitters and aunt beat me more than my mom did. Now that I live near the ghetto, I feel pity for the black and hispanic kids who are often abused by their parents, either verbally or physically. Most of the kids turn out disrespectful, angry and short-sighted. I don't understand how abused Asian kids would just submit while the Hispanics and black kids usually fight back. Perhaps, abusive+submissive would only produce successful and effective result. but heck, i don't condone any parental abuse! being impatient and angry over kids' don't-know-better-actions are wrong and insensitive!
   Tuesday, February 11, 2003 at 15:20:38 (PST)    []
If you are complaining about your mom beating your ass to strangers over the internet, then she probably needs to beat your ass some more because family issues should stay inside the family. Only a bad son would whine about getting disciplined at home. You don't even have it that bad. You're a disgrace to your family. Go back to the dungeon. No friends for you until you're 28. Socializing is a distraction to your studies, and since you're supposed to be a doctor, you will be studying for awhile. So in the mean time, go lock up yourself somewhere in a cave and study some thick ass books or practice the piano until your fingers get sore or something. If you bitch one word about your mom again, I'm going to have her whip your whiny ass some more.

Kids today ... they are so spoiled and need that spanking because they just don't know what's better for them. You'd thank me in 20 years.... unless if you were one of those stupid kids that stuided all day but still couldn't do well in school. If that was the case, then you still deserve to get your ass whooped for being a dumb ass and letting you family down. No excuses. :)
<< red >>
   Thursday, January 30, 2003 at 16:09:07 (PST)    []
man you guys are really making this into a race thing. abusive parents exist in every ethnic, social, economic class there is. there are stories of wealthy well educated parents who beat their kids. look quit making this a race issue. the problem is YOUR INDIVIDUAL problem not everyone's. although admittedly i have a lot of resentment towards my own Asian parents I've seen good Asian families before.
   Thursday, January 30, 2003 at 13:24:30 (PST)    []
My parents never beat me. Shrugz
   Thursday, January 30, 2003 at 12:17:30 (PST)    []
Philip continued....

And the tale continues as my unbelievable mom bitches nonstop about her unworthy "massage chair" as she beats the god damn chinese out of me. She puts me in the "dungeon". Thats what all my friends call it. Dungeon referrs to her room in which I am forced to go to everyday afterschool and do SATs nonstop. Then she won't let me even have friends. Friends are vital in life and she won't let me be social or anything to gain them. Even though I do have friends... I've broken her rules many times because they're completely insane. She cruelly punishes me because of her ill rules. I feel that asian parents are really messed up and I hope that the kids who are reading this understand that when their parents get pissed... wear more clothes. It hurts less, trust me. My mom uses the coat hanger, and my back has broken many coat hangars. My mother will soon realize that life isn't about doing work nonstop and whipping your son into a slave, but its about not whipping the living s*** out of me and instead letting me be social and normal and fit into the society I live in today.
Philip    Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 19:38:01 (PST)    []
I know Philip (LordReaper69) and his mother is the sweetest thing on the planet. I've met her she is extremely nice. She even invited me to go on a cruise with them...for free! She has the biggest heart and she is my favorite chinese ever. Philip's mom does not abuse, I think it's all in his little head.

   Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 19:36:45 (PST)    []
If your mom is beating your ass, you probably deserved it. There's nothing you can do but whine over the internet. Nobody cares.
<< red >>
   Monday, January 27, 2003 at 08:23:53 (PST)    []
Izzie in limbo,
no, you cannot be giving her a heart attack because YOU cause her problems.
she is in fact giving herself a heart attack because of her own illogical and hallucinating behavior.
Clara Leigh
   Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 22:30:35 (PST)    []
Yeah, I agree that Asian parents who don't understand the American culture love to hit their kids. I don't know much about Chinese or Japanese mothers...but Korean parents love to use the switch.

There was an incident in California where a Korean father beat his son up. The son pressed charges against his father (damn..he had the balls to do that). However, when the dad and son arrived in Korea....he beat the s--t out of him and other people didn't care.

However, not all Asian parents are mean. My mother helps me a lot and don't have relations typical of other Asian parents.
Thank God!!!!
   Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 18:19:04 (PST)    []
My mom is a ruthless bitch who is heartless in all ways. She always puts me down when I need emotional support. She says that I am, and I quote "waste of flesh." She makes all my descisions and stupidly assumes everything not even letting me state my side. I'm a completely obedient child and she's not happy with it. Then she can go f*** her self cause she needs to accept the fact I'm not the brightest of the brightest, I'm just one of the brightest. Even though I'm only 15, I know what the hell is going on around me. She doesn't have to make alllllllllllll of my descisions. Shes god damn abusive about everything, she yells and bitches about every little thing. I don't do drugs, I don't steal, I obey everything that is moral, so WTF is she unhappy with... She's had me depressed for so many years. She molds me into this stupid little asian boy with no idea of any culture or anything that people actually are interested in. Abusive chinese parents are goin' to hell!
Philip    Saturday, January 25, 2003 at 20:13:18 (PST)    []
If you really want to give your parents a heartattack, just have sex in the living room with your significant other.

Once they pass away in front of your eyes, you'll be free.
AC Dropout
   Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 10:57:16 (PST)    []
To Izzie in Limbo,

No your mother won't have a real heart attack or go to a mental hospital. Heart attacks no matter how stressed out you get, don't happen to healthy people until their senior years(60+) unless they have been diagnosed as having heart or high blood pressure problems.

Mental illnesses contrary to the sterotypes are physical illness of the brain and unless you have a family history of it, it's unlikely that your mother can "will" herself to get it. Besides if she's ever been in a real mental hospital or exposed to people with real mental illnesses, she won't consider the idea so lightly.

So to answer your question, yes your mother is exaggerating. But hopefully she also doesnt have the habit of faking "illnesses" when she doesnt get her way. In that case she would need a psycholgist, not a mental hospital, but I doubt she would like what the psycholgist has to hear about her control issues.
yo    Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 07:53:25 (PST)    []
I have the same mother. When I told her that I had a boyfriend, she went berserk!!! She doesn't even want me to have a boyfriend. She's now controlling every aspect of my life, like making sure when I come home from school. She's saying that I might give her a heart attack someday and that she might have to go to a mental hospital because of all the problems I give her. Could that really happen? Or is she just exaggerating?
Izzie in Limbo    Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 17:04:09 (PST)    []
Just a comment on my Asian mother, and probably all of them - she has got to be the biggest BITCH sent from hell. Every aspect of her life was spent monitoring my every actions, controlling my life choices such as my education, carreer and partners. She attempted to mold me into the shy, reserved, dutiful wife by constantly trying to stamp out every bit of independence I had, constantly reminding me that girls should be "seen and not heard". To top it off, did I forget to mention Asian mothers are abusive? I hope to God all of you raised by Asian parents have the money to pay for your shrink bills
   Wednesday, January 01, 2003 at 20:14:14 (PST)    []
Paul Choi,

in general you are right.

There's just one exception: if kids trash the own family. Some Japanese teenagers knock out their own parents. Naturally parents had better defend themselves before the situation becomes worse. And there's never an excuse for taking drugs and stealing.
   Saturday, December 21, 2002 at 01:40:29 (PST)    []