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The issue with tiger parenting

Reviewing+for+an+AP+Calculus+exam%2C+junior+Nayeon+Ryu+graphs+equations+on+her+calculator.+Ryu+believes+that+%22tiger+parenting%22+forces+students+to+put+scores+before+mental+health.+%22Most+nights+I%27m+getting+a+maximum+of+four+hours+of+sleep%2C+even+less+if+I+have+multiple+tests+the+next+day%2C%22+Ryu+said.+%22My+parents+are+really+pushing+me+to+get+into+a+good+college%2C+and+sometimes+that+means+prioritizing+my+grades+instead+of+my+health+or+sleep.%22
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The issue with tiger parenting

Reviewing for an AP Calculus exam, junior Nayeon Ryu graphs equations on her calculator. Ryu believes that

Reviewing for an AP Calculus exam, junior Nayeon Ryu graphs equations on her calculator. Ryu believes that "tiger parenting" forces students to put scores before mental health. "Most nights I'm getting a maximum of four hours of sleep, even less if I have multiple tests the next day," Ryu said. "My parents are really pushing me to get into a good college, and sometimes that means prioritizing my grades instead of my health or sleep."

Carly Anderson

Reviewing for an AP Calculus exam, junior Nayeon Ryu graphs equations on her calculator. Ryu believes that "tiger parenting" forces students to put scores before mental health. "Most nights I'm getting a maximum of four hours of sleep, even less if I have multiple tests the next day," Ryu said. "My parents are really pushing me to get into a good college, and sometimes that means prioritizing my grades instead of my health or sleep."

Carly Anderson

Carly Anderson

Reviewing for an AP Calculus exam, junior Nayeon Ryu graphs equations on her calculator. Ryu believes that "tiger parenting" forces students to put scores before mental health. "Most nights I'm getting a maximum of four hours of sleep, even less if I have multiple tests the next day," Ryu said. "My parents are really pushing me to get into a good college, and sometimes that means prioritizing my grades instead of my health or sleep."

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Everyone loves Chinese food right? Orange chicken, Mongolian beef and sesame chicken are all great. These delicious foods demonstrate the pinnacle of culture mixing—yet not everything Asian mixes well with everything American, especially how Asians are generally more strict regarding their child’s academics.

This idea is known as “tiger parenting” and it isn’t only in my family. I wish it was so that my experience was not so widespread. However, tiger parenting is common among Asian families.

“My parents always compare me to kids that got higher grades and higher scores than me,” senior Sishir Yarlagadda said. “They make me feel like I need to do better and do more. They want their kids to have this mentality [of always doing more]. They emphasize the numbers too much. They only care about the results and not about the process.”

Asian parents instill an idea of success based on numeric values and they won’t stop drilling this into you until you are best. Tiger parents want to be the “best family” and they think they can only exemplify this ideal by being the best academically. The issue with this is that they will always find someone better to bring up because of their conversations with other parents.

The results don’t tell the story. What tells the story is the process behind the results. Even in social media today, all you see are the successes. People undermine what the person did to get there and reach that level of success.”

— junior Charlize Chu

From my personal experience, none of the parents mention anything other than scores, STEM competitions and leadership roles. Even if those kids excel academically, maybe what they are most proud of is their singing, or maybe their drawing or maybe their athletics— all of which are not academics. If they really wanted to demonstrate whose family is dominant, they should emphasize the immense support they give towards their child’s passions, not their academic results.

Sure, your scores can set you up for success, with a ticket to a higher and better education—but how much do these scores mean when you look off someone’s paper, copy someone’s homework, and find the same tests online? Everyone is disregarding the process. People automatically assume that the kid is a genius or naturally gifted at taking standardized tests, when in reality, they spent countless hours drilling tests after tests and scrutinizing every mistake made. Meeting a true “genius” is a rare occasion. In fact, most of them are just hard workers.

“Standardized tests and GPAs do not determine if you will succeed in life,” junior Charlize Chiu said. “The results don’t tell the story. What tells the story is the process behind the results. Even in social media today, all you see are the successes. People undermine what the person did to get there and reach that level of success. No one looked at their training, hard work and late nights. The most important thing relating to success is hard work, not the results that show your success.”

You can be the smartest person in the world and maybe even the strongest person in the world but if your mind is unhealthy, nothing will happen. Being drained and burnt out is the terrible and parents pushing their kids to do things they don’t want to accelerates this burn out.”

— junior Nayeon Ryu

The abundant opportunities America provides are overwhelming, and parents want their kids to seize every opportunity since they never had the chance to when they were young. We have easier access to food, education and social circles, which is why I think this rigidity stems from. However, no matter how hard we may try, no one can do everything.

“Parents understand that school and grades are essential but so is mental health. They should make this just as important as academics,” junior Nayeon Ryu said. “You can be the smartest person in the world and maybe even the strongest person in the world but if your mind is unhealthy, nothing will happen. Being drained and burnt out is the terrible and parents pushing their kids to do things they don’t want to accelerates this burn out.”

They push us for our sake, but ultimately for us to be healthy we need to learn to push ourselves for our own sake. Instead of them continuing to push us, maybe we need to let them know that they need to do things for their sake as well, not solely focus on us and living vicariously through our achievements. Let us make our own decisions and respect them. Most of all, let us choose our own path, follow our own idea of success and support us along the way.

“Of course, pushing us helps to reach our potential but give us a break. Let us do stuff we want to once in a while without being pestered,” Ryu said. “Parents want their kids to do everything but we just can’t. We need to balance our lives out and choose to do what we want or else we will be unstable. Tiger parents need to understand that success will not happen if they continue to force us to do things we aren’t interested in. I think the most successful kids are the ones that receive immense support for what they are passionate for. Find out what we like and help us, because school isn’t everything.”

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Andrew Li, STAFF WRITER

Grade:  12

Years on Staff:  2

If you were a fictional character, who would you be?  Your mom.

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Carly Anderson, COPY EDITOR

Grade:  11

Years on Staff:  3

If you were a fictional character, who would you be?  Oscar the Grouch

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