A couple days ago, in class,we looked at a sample essay prompt in preparation for the upcoming AP exam. In the short passage included in the prompt, a man named Lord Chesterfield writes a letter to his son to provide him with a bit of advice. In his letter, Chesterfield basically asserts his authority over his son, and insinuates that he demands obedience, although he does so in a very indirect and confusing way.
At first, this essay prompt really stood out to me because it is strikingly familiar, but I didn’t know why. I had never heard of Lord Chesterfield. I still don’t know who Lord Chesterfield is. However, after a moment, I realized that the parental authority exuding from the letter practically reflected the way my parents are.
The Asian parent stereotype may seem overrated, but it is honestly quite relevant in my household. My parents truly are the embodiment of the “Asian parents” stereotype. They like to have superiority; they like to discipline and exert control. Like Lord Chesterfield, they want their children to obey and expect a lot from them.
Not that I don’t approve of Lord Chesterfield’s and my own parents’ ways. In the end, all parents simply want what is best for their children. What I found most interesting about all of this was that Lord Chesterfield’s letter was written in 1746. My parents and I are living in 2014. Yet, they have similarities in their values when it comes to parenting and children. This just goes to show that parents will be parents. Similar mindset remain, regardless of differences in time periods as well as ethnicity.