I winced because I'm the parent in this story, warning my kids that they need pragmatic goals that are realistic for people of our background. It's made me realize it's exactly what my immigrant dad said to me--he feared I'd never make it as a reporter in the U.S. with my Asian face (although there are a ridiculous number of Asian American women in broadcast journalism 30 years later).

I haven't warned my kids against writing, but I had steered them away from acting/singing/dancing. Asian Americans still struggle in those fields. Perhaps it's because I fear them turning out like other relatives (e.g., the 43 year old still getting money from parents because of a failed attempt to be an actress).

Neither kid has identified passions yet, but I've told them that some things are great to pursue as hobbies. I have told them I'm not going to give them money every month or have them live with me so they can pursue acting/singing/dancing full-time. But if every Asian American parent is like me, we will have even fewer break into the entertainment industry.


9X Top Writer. Proud grad of CA public schools. Committed to justice & leadership development. Wife & mom of 2 girls & 2 big dogs. Love to eat almost everything

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store