Stereotypes: Parenting Edition

Stereotypes: Parenting Edition

Racial parenting stereotypes and why you shouldn't listen to them.
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Everyone has their own childhood memories of how their family went through life. Family vacations, jokes, and, of course, rules. But with every parent there is a different way to set out these rule and every household has their own set of similarly different rules. Each racial and ethnic group has their stereotypes, some well-known and others not as much. I’m here to shed light on the truth about them.

1. White parents do not discipline their children a.k.a., the “ignorance is bliss” parent.

A common stereotype in a Caucasian home is that kids can walk into the house and resume their roles as “Kings and Queens” of the house, while their dutiful parents slave away doing all the housework and earning the money just for their brats, I mean kids, to spend. It is well known that white parents are the “cool” parents, and just want their children to approve of them. This often leads to allowing children to refer to their parents by their first names, allowing their kids to leave and return to the house whenever they please, no real household responsibilities, and a common thread of rampant disrespect. They also expect you to be the “perfect” family so that all the neighbors are jealous. That means decent grades, no fighting at school, and playing on some kind of sport teams. Football or lacrosse anyone?

2. Black parents don’t take crap, a.k.a. the “sergeant” parent.

Everyone who is anyone knows that a black parent can and will beat their children black and blue for even a small amount of disrespect! Every black kid is dealt with in a military-like manner that often results in hoodlum kids in the street and stand up kids at home. No black child would be stupid enough to act up in a store while their mother was shopping, not unless they didn’t want to sit for a week. It’s always “yes ma’am” and “no sir” when you see them. If they ever catch you leading your double life, the common suggestion is to run. But if you run from a fight at school, you better believe you have just brought dishonor upon your whole family. And usually you only have one parent, your mother.

3. Asian parents settle for nothing less than greatness, a.k.a. the “headmaster” parent.

From the womb, every Asian kid is prepared for achieving high levels of educational greatness. That means no going outside, only study, study, and when their children are tired, make them study some more. Asian parents train and expect their kids to master several instruments, perfect their native tongue, and achieve academic greatness, so that they can go off to become doctors or engineers, whatever looks the best and provides the most amount of comfort for their kid’s future life. Asian parents do not believe in the word “fun.” They don’t even know what the word means! Everything, and I mean everything, goes into make their children become successful. As the saying goes, “Sin is what you get when you take the As out of Asian.”

4. African parents have two stereotypes, a.k.a. the “double-edged sword” parent.

Having African parents gives only two real paths in life: Either you become an illiterate scam artist with voodoo in your blood, or you get four choices of a possible profession. African parents are often seen as the mix between an Asian parent and a black parent because they are usually immigrants who want the best possible futures for their kids, but are not afraid to law down the ground rules. On the flip side, African parents are also often seen as parents from the “wild” so many of their methods are primitive and of course everyone has received or at least heard of an African prince requesting money. With Africans, you can never really win. You’re either a scammer or a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or a disgrace to your family.

5. Indian parents are super conservative, a.k.a. the “dress code” parents.

The most important thing for an Indian parent is to get you hitched of to some wealthy family. That means you most look like a respectable member of your family. The only person allowed to see your skin besides you is your future husband, who you may not meet until you are walking down the aisle on your wedding day. As long as you can bring money and honor back to your family, you will be a success. Now go make sure you have brushed up on your etiquette training.

As the first born and daughter of Nigerian immigrants, I can speak from experience about stereotypes. I have to say that a lot of the stereotypes associated with African parents is grossly exaggerated. It’s true my parents wanted the best for me and I didn’t party much, but what loving parent doesn’t want their child to succeed and prosper? I can assure you that I’m not a voodoo princess waiting to scam upon your precious money, but I do want to become a doctor, not because my parents forced me to, but because I have a passion for it. I once asked my parents what they wanted me to pursue for the rest of my life and they said, “Whatever makes you happy.”

So before you go on and make assumptions about the way your friends were raised, take a step back and remember that no matter what kind of family home you come from, your parents want the best for. So don’t forget to thank them for all the hard work they do for you!

Cover Image Credit: Red Letter Christians

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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My Mom Is My Biggest Weakness In The Best Way Possible

Although my mom is still my parent, she's also a friend.

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My parents are everything to me. They raised me to be independent, strong, smart, and hard working. They made sure to keep me in line, to ensure that I would be respectful and responsible. They raised me to be prepared for the world before I graduated high school. For everything they've done, I'm very grateful.

Focusing on my mom more specifically, she is my weakness. By that I mean, I can go to her with anything and I know she's willing to listen, to be open, and she won't impart judgment.

My mom always knows how to calm me down, but she is the one person who can also make me cry harder. I don't mean this in a bad way. It's just that whenever I've had a tough day or my anxiety has been heightened by some ordeal, I know that if I see my mom or if I even call her over the phone, the waterworks come flooding. I don't know what it is about my mom that makes me feel so emotional, so vulnerable. Each time I go to her, it's almost as if I'm a kid again, crawling into her mother's arms, seeking a nurturing soul to tell me that everything will be okay.

Sometimes I even avoid calling my mom when I'm in a rut because I refuse to cry or feel weak. For instance, if I had a problem, I'd avoid talking to her about it. If a week goes by, I'll update her on my problems, and begin crying about it (even though I was already over it beforehand). My mom can bring out anything from me. She laughs when I tell her this because she knows that no matter how old her baby girl gets, she'll always need her mama.

I think as I've gotten older, I've realized how much more my parents mean to me. As a kid, I always felt like they were against me. I felt as if they didn't want me to do anything and didn't want me to grow. As an adult, I realize it's the exact opposite. My parents have always wanted what's best for me, and because I've grown to understand this, I feel so much closer to them.

I feel as though now, although my mom is still my parent, she's also a friend. She's someone I can go to when I feel down, someone I can go to for a good laugh. She's so much better than me in so many ways. She's outgoing, loud, obnoxious, smart, and is always seeing the good in situations. When I talk about my mom to other people, they're always so interested in meeting with her or talking with her. When they finally get the chance to, they're instantly drawn to her character. They're drawn to her laughter. I kid you not, my mom can light up a room in seconds. She is always the life of the party. It sometimes makes me jealous when people find out how amazing my mother is because I swear they'd rather be friends with her than me.

What people don't see is her struggles. They don't see the pain she goes through with her ongoing injury. They don't see that not only does it take a physical toll, but also an emotional toll. She hides it really well because that's what parents are "supposed to do." My mom is the strongest person I know and to see the two contrasts of her is astonishing. To think that someone so full of life can also battle personal struggles, it's hard to see, especially because she's my mom and all I want is the best for her. One part of my mom struggles while the other part of her is so vibrant, so full of life, so sassy.

I don't know how she's put up with all of the hardships in her life. I've never seen someone work so hard and refuse to fail. She refuses to be taken advantage of. I've never seen someone as amazing as my mother. She can do anything.

I think my mom looks down on herself sometimes. I think, like any woman, she sees imperfections. What I don't think she sees, that I wish she would, is the tenacity she has. I want her to see herself the way I do: beautiful, strong, courageous, sassy, outgoing. I could go on and on about how much my mom inspires me and how she's made me appreciate her in more ways than one.

Mom, thank you for all that you do and all that you are. I hope you know how much Rachel, Vanessa and I all love you. I hope you know that no matter what struggles we go through, you are our rock. You hold the fort down and you're always there to make sure we're good, even when you aren't yourself. Thank you for always thinking of us, for believing in us, and for never turning your back. I love you more than you know.

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