Everything Wrong With Immigrant Parents

United States of America social security and green card with US flag on the background. Immigration concept. Closeup with shallow depth of field.

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United States of America social security and green card with US flag on the background. Immigration concept. Closeup with shallow depth of field.

Tina Ngo, Shark Story Editor and Publicist

The stigma behind immigration is that they are looking to steal jobs from the people who were born there and that’s truly not the case. They are all looking for a way out and have to immigrate to a different country for better opportunities. But in this process, they have children afterward and these children hold the burden and weight of being a child of immigrant parents. Yes, they did provide for their children and tried everything in their power to make sure that they don’t have to go through what they did, but within this process, these children are dealing with trauma, cultural knowledge, and so much more that is never really talked about. 

Although growing up in America with immigrant parents is a cliche and everyone knows about it, no one ever talks about anything different than having a hard time finding your true identity. It’s also about the countless nights you’re up at night translating for your parents because they don’t know English or all the times you have spent dealing with hidden mental health issues that your family isn’t aware of just because it would be too big of a burden to express. These are all the hidden truths about children with immigrant parents. 

Although they want nothing better than for their children to succeed and follow their dreams, their execution more than most times doesn’t meet their intention. It’s a generational and cultural gap, having to meet two requirements instead of one. It is frustrating, emotionally, and mentally draining. Many children nowadays know that this is normal and they are not alone, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t hard on them. Having to grow up and find out your emotional trauma and mental health issues aren’t normal is so hard because now you know that not everyone has that and can understand you and what you’re going through. 

Kids who grew up in the United States sometimes seem to care about themselves and don’t have to think about the issues their parents are going through, whether or not they are getting proper translation when they go out, it’s all these little things that accumulate causing stress amongst other things. 

As a child of immigrant parents, these years have been stressful. I not only have to consider my own schedule and my own needs but also have to deal with my parent’s schedule and their paperwork deadlines and be the ultimate translator for everything. It is really hard finding a balance between the two, my personal life, as well as my parent’s life. It has been something that I have had to overcome and gradually grow up with. This is something that the majority of children with immigrant parents go through, it’s common knowledge that others aren’t able to understand. 

There is so much hidden stress that immigrant children hide away for their parent’s sake. Their parents have high expectations of them and want them to succeed, but then that causes them to burn out faster and ultimately go into a field that was not meant for them.

woman in black long sleeve shirt covering her face with her hands

Even though immigrant parents are not the root of all their mental health, emotional, and damaging issues, it still plays a major role. These lifelong stressors can stay with these people for the rest of their lives and can even end with them resenting their own parents. It is something that immigrant children of the first generation have to deal with on a day-to-day basis that not many can understand.