"Everything said here is completely true... I feel like I got mind read
about my childhood "
"I think that a mix between the two sides of the argument is necessary for
a balanced and healthy society. In one way, the schools here in America
are too weak, and a lot of kids think that school isn't important and
parents really need to push kids to get A's and B's. BUT, what would
happen if everyone followed this 'asian philosophy' what would happen? The
country would lose its creativity, and school would be ultra-competitive
like the way it is in China. Kids would have to work harder and harder to
compete with their peers, and the depression in the country would rise
dramatically. As a white student who has received mostly 'A's, in a
private school, throughout my life, with some amount of push from my
parents, I can look at this unbiased and say that school should be
emphasized and children should know that it is their role to be a student,
and they should be pushed to their potential, but it cannot come at the
cost of their enjoyment of life. Kids need to go out and pla!
y soccer or chess or the violin or tennis or something that isn't
academic that they love, and that the parent doesn't force them to do. My
vote: the happy medium "
"Something my dad always told me:
School is not just learning. It's a numbers game.
He wanted me to study hard. I did, and I feel no resentment whatsoever.
His definition of 'study hard' was 2 or so hours a night, including
homework. I had plenty of time to have fun, I just needed to effectively
plan my time.
"Im asian and I enjoy this!!!!
"This article is hilarious. I live and attend college in the highest Asian
populated neighborhood in the US. Asian students complain all the time
about their overbearing parents for one. Two, many lie to their parents
about what they do in their spare time. A HUGE majority of Asians love
doing ALL the things Americans love doing, including playing video games,
watching TV or going to the movies, eating junk food, hanging out etc.
Three, there is also a HUGE epidemic of Asian students who cheat in
college BECAUSE of their parents, at least that is what they say. Finally,
forcing children to be good test takers is a disservice to ALL students.
For example, being able to recognize the first president and the date he
became president DOES NOT entail the student knows anything about the
circumstances beyond superficial surface knowledge aka trivia.. How and
Why are much more important than merely knowing the who and where. Also
the US is successful due to CREATIVE INNOVATION not m!
erely reiterating back facts or already solved problems. Getting a 760 on
a SAT does not equate to talent, ambition, creativity, or depth of
"This was an offensive article. Why should parents who actually care about
their children, rather than simply their grades, be marginalized because
their children aren't overachievers? How can you be impressed by a
student's performance if you know it is just their parents living their
repressed dreams through them? You can't. Its infinitely more impressive
if someone succeeds because school is actually their passion compared to
someone who is simply forced to do it until they are a hollow empty and
bitter person who never got a chance to pursue their own dreams. Nobody
cares even a bit about GPA or mark in highschool once you are working. The
difference is that, in North America or Europe anyway, people who got to
pursue their own interests are interesting, engaging and more socially
capable people than robots who did nothing except school.
"I'm not sure about this. I think it mainly has to do with the fact that
the populations have risen. Take China for instance; there will be at
least a hundred people lining up for one job. In that case their parents
really have to push them to stand out intellectually. Japan probably has
the same situation, but as I'm Chinese and not Japanese I'm not very sure.
Having said that, I was adopted and live with a Western family. My parents
haven't pushed me to excel, but I manage to keep decent grades. I can't
help but wish that they would have really pressured me though. Decent
grades will get you passes, but something greater would be more
So, to conclude, a person's work ethic has a lot to do with their
intellectual success. Although, certainly, as stated above, the Chinese
competition for a career pushes them to be smart. If a Chinese person
really didn't want to learn they would probably take in less information
than those who do. Their parental pressure at the same time would stop
them from failing, and thus hide their lack of desire of learn.
"Ok. This is definitely a stereotype. Asians are considered to be
"smarter" because our parents strive to push us to our limits so we can
have a great future. Trust me, you asians out there: You will thank your
parents for pushing you. They want you to be the very best, so you can
actually obtain a job. -.- You just gotta push yourselves. Most asians do
not waste their time on time-wasting things either, they will find the
time to do this later. Anyways, asian parents have their own curriculum
and have a daily schedule for teaching their children. Nice article, by
the way. :) "
"This is not true, I am an 13 year old asian high school sophomore who has
abusive parents who could not care less about my education and i have a
4.0 GPA. I think we should stop being racial separatists and instead look
at other factors that affect intelligence/success such as the different
approaches to learning and education.
"Very informative article.I'm Asian and last year I had horrible grades on
my report card and this year I made huge improvement on it without doing
anything about it!I don't know why but I'm probably just lucky.
"I am Filipino and yes I respect and obey my elders even now that I am 30
years old. I studied hard because I see my parents struggling to provide
the best school to secure a good future for me. In our family your choices
were the following occupations: accountant, engineer, doctor, nurse, or
start your own business. I already knew that I would grow up to be an
accountant and start my own business because I was brought up to have that
mentality. I never stopped studying after college I took my masters
degree, got a degree in education, learned a new language and even took
vocational courses. I am thankful to my parents for bringing me up this
way and this is how i will raise my children as well.
"I think that the media is trying very hard to ignore inherent differences
in iq. East Asians have an average iq of 106 while whites have an average
iq of 95-100. No point trying to ignore it. This is poor journalism. The
issue of higher iq should at least be mentioned.
"I am Asian and am currently in college. My parents were strict, but
somehow I wish they were more so because then I would have been a better
student. Someone said that genes have something to do with smarts- I
agree. But my parents both were never educated, and thus I was the first
to go to college. I am making descent grades in my opinion, but I am still
striving to be better all the time. I just wish they would REALLY push me
though... Like my friend (she is asian too) and her parents call her every
single morning about her grades and asks her what she is going to do for
the day, thus her grades are all A's of course. So, yeah, parents if you
are reading this, if your kid is not doing as well as you wish, know that
you are a part of the reason. Push them (they will thank you one day!).
And I can't emphasize important that is. One of my high school friends
told me personally that he WISHED his parents would have pushed him more
(like check up on his homework and grades at l!
east weekly and talked to him about it). He said his grades would have
been so much better had his mom even made him take harder classes or did
any of that stuff cause, as he was looking into college, he said that he
probably couldn't get in... And he is a 'skater' kind of guy too, so just
saying- push your kid, they will thank you, and once they are successful
you'd have someone to brag about. ;) "
"1. Like a lot of people that care about social status, the sense of
Elitism that an Ivy League education can offer is very important in order
"to be successful" in American society and other societies.
2. Poor people know that only through education can they move up the
3. Though this article quotes "Asians have higher incomes than Whites"
this is really a stupid quote. Income is earned and temporary. Wealth in
America is owned by Whites. There is no sense of achievement here only
reporting of the working class and not the rich.
4. Asians will sacrifice anything for their Child's education. If you
looked at how competitive Asia's economy is, you would understand.
5. Self esteem issues among Asian Americans- understand history:
a. Chinese people have kill themselves and exploited each other since the
beginning of its civilization. You can't even trust your own people.
b. Asians are the most bullied race in American Schools, look at
c. Asians are perceived as the biggest threat to American society.
"Chinese Immigration Act in the 1800s, Japanese Concentration Camps, 1980s
race crimes from auto workers, LA Riots 1990s against Koreans. A lot of
people in this country don't want you to be successful. Glass ceilings
and unfair wages, ex: USC's Asian Scientists.
d. With any society, they need scapegoats. Hitler needed the Jews.
America needs Asians as scapegoats, b/c we are the 4% of the population.
e. For your self esteem, look to God. Everyone is sinner. Words come
from the heart of Man not from the Outside. Don't rely on the world but
on the Lord.
"yes! get good grades the emotional, social, and low self-esteem problems
that a good amount of asians suffer... no thanks! Asians are pretty
emotionally maladjusted from my experience and it has to do with all this.
When you don't think you're loved if you don't get a "A" ALL THE TIME,
there's a problem. I've had enough asians friends that I've been a support
crutch for that I'm pretty convinced that parents scar their kids for
life. Sometimes confidence and a healthy sense of self-worth are much more
important than a grade.
"Clearly parents of successful Asian students are strict and consistent
without doing damage. My mother's refrain was "You're either a doctor or a
ditch digger" or its variants. But she was inconsistent, my father, a
well-known scientist as not a terribly present fixture in our house, and
we were under other stresses consequent to our status as ( )'s in a small
southern town. Results: my brother went on to Princeton, then MIT, because
a well-known mathematician then died essentially of anorexia at 35. My
brother is essentially on welfare and a cornucopia of meds, in our
hometown. After years of depression, whose history would be a bore to
describe here, I've salvaged a life as a professional journalist, jazz
musician, and more or less stable person in New York. I'd say the moral
here, such as it is, is that parents should wield the scalpel of censure
"Another possible reason why so much focus is put into education is because
of the difference in career opportunities in Asia and America. In Asia,
having a successful career is relatively based in education and without
that education it is unlikely that one will be successful in life.
However, in America, careers can be built on foundations other than
education. There are more opportunities, like being an artist, musician,
athlete, et cetera. In contrast, in Asia, particularly Southeast Asia,
music, art and athletics are not really booming as they are in America or
other parts of Asia, hence a lot of importance is placed on education
because it is one of the few paths to success there. I speak from personal
experience, living in Southeast Asia myself.
"Somebody has said it correctly down in comments. Asian parents are nosy
(I'm asian indian). They are willing to put down a lot of (fun)things in
life to get the child to succeed. Respect for teachers is EXTREMELY
important. Even if you disagree with the teacher/parent the tone and
choice of words make the big difference. The child cannot /will not be
allowed to make random choices (like many americans) and the consequences
of "screwing up" life are described in no uncertain words. Most asians at
home do not try to be a lovable parent. They just are the parent with the
best interests of the kid in mind. If some cases if parents drive the kid
to extreme pressure then it is the parent's fault. The intention is always
to help the kid realize his/her potential and choose friends wisely.
"As an asian american who was raised with similar high academic
expectations, I am aware of the higher suicide rates of young asian
americans and the higher depression rates in asian american women. Do you
have any suggestions on how to avoid any negative consequences that may
arise from higher expections?
"You're an idiot if you think the entire asian race is genetically more
gifted intellectually. More simply put, the asian children that do grow up
do have much better genetic markers for intelligence. This is because most
asian immigrants tend to be the cream of the crop from their countries
(Doctors, professors, engineers...). So they are inheriting better genes
for future academic success but I don't think you can attribute this to
all asians as it is unfair to the other races that comprise this country.
btw. I'm asian too...."
"I disagree completely that it's just the 'culture' of Asian parenting and
nothing to do with genetics. I'm pretty much the laziest student in my
courses (sigh, Asian-American upbringing), but I am at the top in terms of
content comprehension. To suggest that genetics has nothing to do with it
is somewhat erroneous, and perhaps a concession to others who may feel
that not having some sort of 'Asian gene' (or Jewish if we discuss that
ethnicity) puts them at a disadvantage. I liken it to the undeniable fact
that Africans are more physically gifted than others; are we to assume
that the 'culture' of Africans is the reason they excel at nearly every
physical sport invented? No, there is a genetic undertone to these
advantages that different people have compared to others. To suggest that
the 'culture' is the only reason for these attributes completely
disregards the fact that the different elasticities of the world had to
deal with different environments and thus had to evolve certain, different
characteristics in order to survive their respective environments.
"I have three teenagers. We are a family that values education and will
use this article to make a check list for children and myself. "
"Well done. Clear, to the point. Attitude and follow through, consistency
are crucial. Makes me want to read more. What about the fact that top
institutions' admissions want more than great grades?"
"I live in Los Altos (next door to Stanford U.) and I asked my girls'
mandarin teacher what she thought about the difference between the way she
was raised in China and the way we non-asian 'westerners' raise our kids-
and her response was that she told me about a friend of hers was so pushed
by his mother to get into Stanford, that the day he got his acceptance
letter, he taped it to his shirt and hanged himself in the bathroom- as
his whole life he was driven to get into Stanford and once he did, he felt
he had accomplished his life's purpose, and he then wanted to do what he
wanted to do... which was kill himself.
Why aren't we properly defining what 'success' really means?
Signed, the no-way, no-Hua Mom"
"Very true -- so many distractions among non-Asian students, too much
freedom to and too much benefit and extra-curricular activities these
children focused more on than education itself."
"Asian students are taught respect for teachers. It is a cultural
attribute. In the U.S., teachers are often paid lower salaries than
uneducated positions and funding cuts are always to education. No wonder
why the U.S. is falling. Our kids keep falling further and further
behind. We deserve what we get the way we treat education in this
country. Soon we will be a 3rd world country and will watch other nations
rise if we are not careful."
"I wonder where all this 'self-esteem' business originated? Could it
possibly be from educators who constantly remind us that a child's
self-esteem is the most important element in education? The evidence is
pretty clear that this philosophy has damaged many children, and as adults
they are paying the price for thinking everything they do is wonderful.
Now educators have reversed themselves and are now trying to convince us
that parents are, of course, to blame and that we must now use common
sense and use less praise for children's behavior.
Educators want it both ways. When things go wrong, parents and children
are to blame. Where is their own sense of responsibility? Stop treating
parents like imbeciles and incompetents. Stop advising them how to be
parents. You, as educators, are doing a poor job of teaching children what
they need to know in the 'real world' outside of school. Give parents
credit where credit is due and get out of the parenting business."
"The vast majority of LEGAL immigrants have the same attitude as Asian
parents do regarding their children in respecting their elders and
especially teachers to get a good education. They insist on their children
doing well because their children have the opportunity that they never
had. The children work hard because they do not want to disappoint their
"Every day when I got home from school, my mom would have me show her what
I was assigned to do, then sit with me until I finished it. She would ask
me when exams were, so she could write them down on her calendar, then she
would remind me in advance so I could study. She'd ask me to teach her
(best I could) about the things I'd learned.
In short -- she was very involved and interested in my academics. And it
shows. I think the key lesson from this article is that if you want your
kids to succeed in school, you need to get yourself involved in what
they're doing. Don't let things just 'get away'. If you see trouble, deal
with it pro-actively, etc. Be nosy!
I think Asian parents are culturally pre-disposed to do this."
"This is great information! I think that the views and habits descrbed here
are similar to those practiced by lots of families whose kids are
successful at school. It shows cultural practices that can be adopted by
other cultures, which is why I like the content posted here. Thanks for
sharing, now I'm going to buy the book!"
"I find this quite controversial. It seems to imply that Caucasians arn't
as smart as Asians, which isn't necessarily the case. Many Asian students
only succeed in core subjects such as English, Maths and Science, but in
the real world Caucasions will generally do better because they are more
well rounded, and have experience in all aspects in life. Just because
you're good academically doesn't mean that you will succeed, you have to
have social skills and many other things. For example, students in Finland
get the best results in the world and they go to school for the least
number of hours per week. Getting A+ in every subject is impossible, my
parents are strict and they tell me to try my best but they don't push me,
and in fact I got better than many Asian students on my report. It is
unrealistic of what these parents want from their children, if they could
just have some freedom, and their lives didn't revolve around tuition then
maybe they would get better marks without!
having to be forced."
"Now I am a caucasian student, and I have the highest average in my class,
however I do notice that in other classes the Asian students tend to
incorporate more work into essays, projects, studying for tests, etc. than
most of the white students do. As a white student, I am shocked at times
on how little students of the caucasian variety care about school. Most of
them are into social activites of some sort. I have lots of Asian friends
who have the same GPA (or average if you prefer) as me. They have success
when it comes to academics because of the way they are raised. I have
parents who are just as strict as Asian parents when it comes to grades.
That is the the reason for their high grades. I consider myself fortunate
for having parents like them because otherwise, where would I be in the
"I would like to say yes Asian and Indians are successful students, but all
of them aren't honest students. I know a few Asian and Indian students who
take more than 18 credit classes and they will have their brother or
sister or family members help them with their work. Or better yet if its a
family of 5 all 5 will take up the same major in college and they will
pass on their work (Essays,Homework,former tests, or group projects) to
their brother or sister who is taking the class after them. That's another
way for their success. I say tell the truth and not sugar coat it. Sure
Asian and Indians are successful but they have also found 'loopholes' for
being successful from the help of others."
"I'm an Asian student too, and let me tell you, we are not born to be
smart. The only reason I'm at the top of the class is because of my
parents, and I owe my life and future to them. It always astounded me how
little white students cared about school. Even through middle school, they
would ask me, 'Why are you working so hard? It's only middle school!' The
thing is, if you don't build that attitude about being serious about
education, it's only going to get harder in high school in college. Always
excelling in school, just like my parents wanted me to do, prepared me for
when it really mattered. Of course, my parents were amazing in the fact
that when I became a teenager, they respected my boundaries and stopped
pushing me as hard, stopped making sure I got 4.0s. And still, I continued
to get straight A's and work hard at school. The best thing they did for
me was to ingrain that attitude of needing academic success into me while
allowing me to become independent. "
"yes lets not forget they are ALL veru diciplined stay out of trouble work
very hard as do their parents don't act like zoo animals in class the
Asian teachers demand respect they also don't whine when they don't get
their way they just work harder they also attend classes over the summer
months while their parent are working yes these kids have a lot of presure
to proform and suceed and they all do don't be jealous copy what they do
and you too will be at the top of the class with them.their parents don't
go up to the schools to complain at every moment.I will live and go to
school with asians any day before I go to school with the rest in america."
"I'm currently a Freshman at Brown University. In a way, this article is of
no surprise to me. I was brought up with education as the number one
priority. However, my asian parents are different then most. As I got
older, they became more lenient and trusted that I would make the right
choices and learn from wrong ones. They still expected the usual straight
A's and stuff, but encouraged independent thinking and personality. By
high school I could do anything I want, go out and have fun whenever as
long as I kept my grades up. As for respecting authority figures, I did,
unless I disagreed with them. My test scores weren't even that high for
college but I guess they must have seen something unique about me.
As some have mentioned, there is a negative aspect to strict asian
upbringing. Take my cousins in China for example. They lack personality
and independent thinking. Most of them are Very dependent on their parents
and unwilling to take risks. Plus, the suicide rates in Asia are tragic.
However, I can understand why parents in asia continue with their strict
upbringing. It's not just the culture itself, but how the societies work
over there. If you're not at the top of your class and you don't get into
the top school, your life could be over and you'd be permanently stuck in
a lowly job (a shame to the family). Over there, everything is a
There are pros and cons. Asia is way too strict on academics, America is
way too lenient: combine those two and the students will be a force to be
"you either pay in the front end or pay at the back end. college cost or
jail cost is the same. children naturally inquisitive learn easily and
retain learning. by 18 years of age, the ability to learn diminishes, not
as cost effective. so teach your children when they come running to you at
the sound of your steps coming to the door. not when they are late
teenager absorbed with romance and want to walk on the other side of the
street when they see you. you know how it is, remember when you where a
teenager and think you know it all? so teach them when their questions
never seem to end, love them when they cling and hold you tight. by
eighteen there is little more to do. "
"Hello,my name is Robyn King I am a 24-year-old female living in Los
Angeles,California The United States Of America and yes I think that all
koreans/asians have to be smart and always get straight A+'s and straight
A's all through and school and college.All 100 percent of them both males
and females all over the world get straight A+'s and straight A's all
through and college and it is their culture to get that.They all have 300
IQs and higher,are beyond very smart and have the very top rate of their
education out of the rest of the races of people and have a 0%
unemployment rate.They have an extremely very high excellent education
rate,their parents want them to be 100 percent perfect in everything that
they do and are 100 percent perfect in everything that they do.They have a
100 percent success rate and a 100 percent literacy rate for both males
and females all over the world.I really always do hope and pray that they
really always continue getting straight A+'s and strai!
ght A's all through school and college because it has always been their
culture to get straight A+'s and straight A's in everything all through
their lives from generations after generations and are not never ever
allowed to get anything less an A+ and an A.They are only allowed to bring
home 4.0 GPA report cards."
"As a teacher how would you use both Eastern and Western philosophies?
I want to give the best education to the children in my class and even
though these children do not have the upbringing of the Asian family I
think there is a way I would still be able to bring this philosophy into
my classroom. Any suggestions?"
"As an Asian student, I think this article holds very true. No person is
just born sucessful. Without my family's effort to raise me correctly, I
would never have achieved what I have. Definitly the culture I grew up
with atleast influenced my success somewhat."
"The very traits and characteristics of the families of successful Asian
children are the same traits for families of any culture or race that
place a high value on family and education. I think if one looks to the
Jewish population, one would find very similar results. As the authors
state, the key isn't being Asian at all. The key is the active role of
parents in the well rounded education of their children as well as
placement of education and family as top priorities."
this is a bad idea if the child's not into it. my asian parents have
pushed me towards suicide more times then I can count. the only reason i
refrained from taking my life is my love for my parents, after all, i know
they love me, but their inability for understanding and empathy is
heart-breaking. what is the trade-off for academic success? if coerced,
i would imagine the child will lack personality, sense of wonder, and the
will to play. "
"I strongly agree with the authors. Asian people represent 4 percent of the population but they have made our economy stronger by giving high taxes. It is also true that more Asian Americans over the age of 25 have bachelor's degrees and advanced degrees followed by Caucasians. Black people receives a higher education followed by Hispanic and Native Americans. (More info can be found in college textbooks; sociology,nursing fundamental cultural aspect, Psychology)These textbooks also examine poverty level in each racial/ethnic group. Don't just look at the number of population, look at the ratio (proportion)."
"Excellent article. We teach a class in our denominational setting titled, 'Ministering to Hurting Children.' I would like to use this article in that class. Thank you very much for the insightful message. I would like to know if the view of Asian parents and students are changed after having been in this country for generations and if the same values persist among students who are of an Asian parent and an American parent?"
"As an Asian American High School attendee... Yes, most of this does apply to me. My parents are a mix of American and Asian. They are very strict about school, but they also want me to do what I like and make my own choices. :0)"
"This is a very enlightening arcticle, which sends a positive message on how both Asian and non-Asian students can adapt and adopt positive behavior.
I'd like to note, however, as a student in the school system in which many schools' populations are close to 50% Asian, there is a phenomenon of a different way of making the top of the class.
Granted, academic dishonesty (giving answers to tests to another student, cheating on in-class quizzes, using books surrepticiously during tests, plagarizing etc.)is not solely specific to the Asian population, because there are others who do it. But, it is endemic in many top schools among the Asian population(i.e UC Berkeley, Duke). It would be interesting to explore if this there is a facet of the culture that perpetuates this (cultures that prize independence and self-sufficiency compared to cultures that prize communal values.)
"This article shows the 'good' view on why Asian students in general tend to be smart. But, because of those two lessons you are taught when you are young are implanted in your brain so well, Asian childrens in general are less likely to be confident in a arguement and grow up to hate the education system. 'or their parents'... Maybe you should write the negative and aftermath of theses, 'how do asians become top of their school'...
Answer: abusive parenting 'mentally and sometimes physically stressing on education' If you don't succeed then you're a fucking loser whose a disgrace upon the family and should just die. That's how asians tend to be smarter..."
"I'm 25 and looking at my past I've never been a good student. As you'll see my grammar isn't good. I've always wonder why some kids do better than others and why Asian kids have done very well? It's really very simple, Asian parents are very strict. It's no hidden serect or Asian philosophy. Greatness is the result of strenuous hard work. America culture is very liberal compare to Asian nations. Places like China,Korea,Japan...education is very demanding. America stresses freedom even for children. When live in a soceity that stresses happiness as a matter of success than accomplishment. Every person in America has been asked when they were young,'What do you want to be when you grow up? This implies that you have the freedom to be what makes you happy. This isn't the case with Asian kids. Your accomplisments and contribution to your family status are more important than your personal happiness. The pressure on Asian children to noting to do with the myth that Asians vaule e!
ducation more than non-Asians. It becomes an issue of social status and views of success. "
"My husband and I are caucasian, but we have raised our children similar to the asian parents described in this article.
Our oldest daughter is graduating high school at 16 and will begin her college education in biomedical engineering. She was accepted into a program that has the student attend college for 3 yrs. then enter med school (w/out mcat) for 4.
A few yrs ago a neighbor told me that I should let my daughter be a 'kid.' Well, her 'kid' was recently expelled from school for narcotics posession and is living in a rehabilitation center.
I don't think that my husband and I are too demanding. We simply expect our children to assume the roles and responsibilities of students. We do not expect them to work outside of our home or run to various after school activities. They have enough just trying to do well in school. "
"'More Asian Americans over the age of 25 have bachelor's degrees and advanced degrees than any other race or ethnic group.' False.