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You know you are an Asian American Parent when…

ByFrances Kai-Hwa Wang
Acting Editor of Asian American Village Online

1 You buy your first 100 pound sack of rice!

2 You join Costco (or get an extra card off your mom's membership) and buy only in bulk.

3 You send your kids to language school or Buddhist Sunday School or after-school math classes (which you hated as a kid). You also start their piano and violin lessons before kindergarten. When you complain to your parents that the kids won't practice nicely, they just laugh.

4 Even though you know your mom will criticize your home for being dirty (“Throw everything away!”), your kids for being rotten (“My kids never cried”), and you for looking so messy (“I'm going to call Oprah to give you a makeover”), you look forward for her visits because you know she will cook and clean and take care of you and all the kids in that Superwoman Asian Mom Sort of Way that you're not sure you will ever master.

5 You find yourself scolding your child in words you would never say in English, but in your family's language, it sounds normal, even affectionate: “rotten egg,” “smelly monster,” “silly melon,” “little farty ghost/demon,” and much worse. You also decide you're probably old enough to finally learn some real bad words (or words for private body parts) that your parents never taught you.

6 Lunar New Year, New Year, Divali, Christmas, other holidays and birthdays are not fun anymore because you are now the one who has to do all the cooking and prepare all the gifts and red envelopes. You try telling the kids, “Since we're Buddhist now, we don't have to celebrate Christmas anymore,” or “When we were growing up, we never had birthday parties. It's not our culture. So you don't need to have one either.”

7 When talking to other people's kids, you instinctively refer to yourself as “Auntie” or “Uncle,” and cringe when non-Asian kids call you by your name, your first name. 8 Even though you hated hand-me-downs, home-made clothes, and fake designer labels from Asia when you were a kid, now as a parent you think they are the only way to go! Free clothes! Cheap clothes! Save money!

9 When your cousin has a third baby, you are irresistibly pulled to want a third or fourth child—part of that hyper-competitive, overachiever complex that used to be a good thing when we were trying to get into college, but now just leads to more babies.

10 You and your APA friends joke about how wonderful it would be if your kids got married when they grow up so that you can be in-laws who like each other and actually get along (You hated it when your parents joked about that…and your kids are only 3 years old!)

11 Late at night, in the middle of winter, tired of surfing the Net for parenting tips, you apply for business school (or law school or grad school or a new job in California) and then panic when you actually get accepted! Ahhh! Now what to do?!!

12 The ultimate sign: Your child brings home a math exam and you exclaim, “What? ONLY 106 percent?!!!”

Reprinted by Permission of the author from Asian American Village Online. and the Multicultural Villages are the leading online source for diversity recruitment, career development information, and cultural/community content for underrepresented U.S. minorities.
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