A = Average; B = Bad; C = Catastrophe; D = Disowned; F = Forever Forgotten.
Many Asian parents, especially well-educated immigrants, set sky-high expectations for their children. And while that drive to achieve has put Asian students as a group at the top of the class, it’s also forcing some uncomfortable conversations within the Asian community about the damage those demands may cause.
At Mission in the Fremont Unified School District, where 75 percent of the student body is Asian, a majority of students think their parents’ expectations are too high, according to a survey conducted a year ago. More alarming, half of the 1,175 kids answering the survey showed signs of depression or burnout.
And matching national estimates, the survey showed that 80 percent have cheated on homework and 70 percent have cheated on tests.
With juniors and seniors typically taking three or four advanced-placement or honors courses, students simply don’t have time to complete all the work, they said, and use online literature shortcuts like SparkNotes.
In the 25-to-34 age group, Asian-Americans have the highest proportion of suicides as a cause of death — 16.8 percent — of any racial group, according to Eliza Noh, assistant professor of Asian-American studies at California State University-Fullerton, who has researched suicide. The alarming numbers are often related to high family and social expectations, she said.
Asian-American students internalize those expectations, she said. “If they don’t fulfill it, they feel there’s something wrong with them.”
Ivy Wu, a Fremont Unified trustee and Mission parent, understands family expectations: “It’s the kind of pressure I was trying to escape,” said the immigrant from Taiwan. “It’s not that parents are evil and want their kids to suffer. They want for their kids more than they have for themselves.”
The question parents should ask themselves is, “What are you doing for the good of the child, and what are you doing for your own good?”
Source: High grades, high stress for Asian-American students in Bay Area (Mercury News) via Japundit