So, You're a Child of Immigrants Too

Here's the thing. When you're a child born from immigrant parents, there is a certain way to go about the normal topics of conversations, like relationships and education. For one, you know you can't waste their and your time because of all the things they have already sacrificed to create a better life for you and your whole family, but then what can you talk about? As one of those children, I feel as though I have a duty to all you immigrants spawns about how to survive when your family's culture and the culture you were born into are so different in terms of education.

I'm sure we can all agree that schooling is not a joke. We may think that our parents are too obsessed with our grades and academic achievements, but if you really think about it, your parents moving to the U.S. from a country across the ocean alone, meant there was probably a good reason for it. Whether it be because of violence or poor education, they knew they didn't want to start a family in that circumstance, so your parents being involved in your schooling is not something that should stress you out the way that you allow it to. Parents want their kids to be set up in life while they can still live to see it, but I really do think we (the children) over obsess about what we think they will say about everything.

Black Teacher

Here's the thing, if your parents are on the extreme of disowning you (for real) when it comes to the little things like education or a relationship, then you need to sit down with them and voice your concerns. It will be awkward and it may not go well the first conversation around (maybe not even the fifth) but I promise you, your parents were people before they were your parents. They know about things you have never heard about and have lived through things you never will. I say all of that through my own experience. After having gone through many mental health struggles during my middle school phase of life, I finally realized I had been trying to play the role my parents wanted me to and that I wasn't living for myself, I was living for them. Recognizing that changed my life because then I started to ask more questions and truly became the most annoying child in the family (I'm the eldest of three). 

I didn't realize it then, but today my parents frequently tell me I taught them about what was important. They cared about all the things they thought they were supposed to as parents and neglected to see past the fact that I was their child and not another human being with her own ideas. In me making fusses about the things I didn't care about or want to be a part of, I sort of got my life back. Our parents usually view us only as their children, so when they argue they say things like, "Don't forget, I am your mom, and you are my child, so you have to ____," thinking that that is going to change our mentality.

You need to find yourself to the point where no one is going to take your life and make it theirs. It won't kill you or anyone else to be true to yourself, and as children of a new generation, if you are going to thrive, you are going to have to do the things that are uncomfortable and may seem problematic sometimes. Question your parents (respectfully), make them watch documentaries you find relevant, allow them to see into this culture they may not know anything about. Let your parents be a part of your life, I'm not saying tell them everything (wouldn't want them to have a stroke) but let them know about the things that matter to you. Let them see their child for who you really are, not who they have made you up to be.