Your Journey Towards Freedom Begins Today
After you’ve turned 18, you can start living your life on your own terms as long as you take responsibility for your own actions, right? For some young adults, this freedom does not exist due to being trapped, either financially and/or psychologically, into a life path determined by their parents. These individuals usually have their college tuition paid for but have little/no say in major decisions in their life including where they attend college, what field they study, what sort of work they find after college, and even whom they marry. For a small minority of young adults in this situation, the parents use psychological or even physical threats to force them into following the decisions they’ve already made for them. But for the vast majority, the very notion of a path different from what their parents have preached and planned well before their 18th birthday never managed to cross their minds.
Although the title of this site is “Troubleshooting Asian Parents”, these principles do not apply exclusively to Asian families. (Every time I mention “Asian Parents” I’m referring to about authoritarian parents who continue to dictate their children’s lives well into adulthood even though this stereotype isn’t 100% representative of all Asian Parents, nor is it only exclusively found among Asians.) Being Chinese American myself, I’ve witnessed countless fellow peers raised the way I’ve described in the previous paragraph. And when we confide with our Western friends in the many dilemmas imposed on us by our families well into adulthood, we’re frequently met with statements like “you’re age X and you still listen to your parents?” or “you’re already an adult, just do whatever you want with your life regardless of your parents’ wishes.” Although we can theoretically just get up and go do whatever we want one day, it’s not as simple as that.
Before I start, I’ll let you know what Troubleshooting Asian Parents is NOT about:
- Revenge or blackmail against your parents.
- Dating advice, getting your parents to approve of your relationships (usually with someone from another ethnic group), getting out of arranged marriages, etc.
- Completely abandoning your traditional values and culture in favor of Western values.
- Quitting school and becoming a bum for the rest of your life just because you can.
- Becoming financially independent from your parents and then cutting them off just because you can.
- Whether Western parenting is (or isn’t) superior to Asian parenting.
- Dealing with the issues of those under 18.
- List of quotes and empty sayings meant to make you feel better instead of taking action.
- Waiting passively for the life you want to magically appear and/or for your parents to magically accept the life you want to live one day.
The advice on my site isn’t guaranteed to work or pertain to your situation. Nor has it all been tested. Also, I’m not a counselor or any related professional. Just take it as advice I would have given to my 18 year old self. Good luck and enjoy!