Jeremy Lin and the Tiger Mom

According to a recent NY Times article: “All the Asian-American guys want to be Jeremy Lin…And all the Asian-American girls want to marry him.”  But I recently saw this article titled  “Will Lin-sanity tame Tiger Moms?” and found myself thinking, I want to be like Jeremy’s mom.

In the midst of the Lin-sanity hype, I wonder what Jeremy’s mother thinks?  Did she ever expect that one day her son would have so much influence over the Asian American community?  I think she probably did just what the typical Asian  immigrant parent does: push her son to work his hardest to reach a goal, make him believe that practice makes perfect, and make sure that he has the right resources to attain his goals through academics and extracurriculars.

I am somewhat disturbed by the string of postings that I’ve recently noticed on friends’ Facebook walls half-joking/blaming Jeremy Lin for raising the bar for Asian stereotypes.  Maybe I am just being naive or maybe I am just biased by my own personal experience…but I am a self-proclaimed Tiger Mom and I do indeed expect these things from my kids in the future.   I want my kids to grow up believing that they can accomplish anything if they focus and work hard. Doesn’t every parent feel this way? And if I don’t believe in my children, then who will?

I hope to be this kind of mother to my children, to set high expectations and to demand excellence (Nevermind the fact that one of my babies isn’t even old enough to sit up on his own yet, and the other one is so little that she can’t even see herself in the bathroom sink mirror when she stands on a stepstool).  Instead of lamenting that Jeremy Lin has just set the bar too high for everyone else, or Tiger Moms everywhere can now feel vindicated, I am just happy to know that my children are growing up in a generation where an Asian American can be a doctor, or a journalist, or an NBA star regardless of the slantiness of their eyes or their accent/lack of accent.  And like Jeremy’s mom, I want to make sure that as my children grow up, they better know to put academics first:

Shirley Lin maintained a presence in school, pushing him to achieve excellence in each subject, each marking period. Diepenbrock recalls her calling his office line many afternoons.  “Peter, Peter, Jeremy has an A- in this class, if it is not an A by next week, I am taking him off basketball,” she said. (Read the original article here)

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