6 Family Expectations of Immigrant Parents[Immigrant Teenlife]

Beautiful Americans
America is Beatiful!

If you’re a product of immigrant families living in a Western country, then this probably is for you.

My parents are from South Sudan, which is a landlocked country in eastern Africa with many different religions, cultures, and values.

But, as soon as you leave that country when you thought you were so different, you then realize you’re not as different as you thought you were. . .

Now, some immigrants might be different, but I know for sure that most sons and daughters of immigrants will be like:


So true!
See, I told y’all.



Let’s Get It.


1. You can’t have a sleepover at a friend’s house

Man, I wish!

This one is really funny and sucks at the same time.

I remember when I was in 3rd grade, and here’s how my conversation with my parents would go like:

Me: Can I go to a sleepover party?

Parent(Mom/Dad): No, what sleepover?(broken English)

Me: My best friend is hosting a sleepover party and I want to go to it, so please. . .

Parent: Is he related to us?

Me: No, he’s not.

Parent: Okay, then you’re not going.

Me: Please, please?

Parent: Oh okay, you want a backhand slap?

Me: No, I’m sorry.

And then I would leave because I felt so embarrassed I asked that question.

But for other people, the parents would be like:

Yeah Sure!

I use to think I was the only one who couldn’t go to sleepovers.

But , when I talked with my cousin on that situation, she agreed and said her parents do the same, exact thing, which is crazy.

So, if any of you guys totally agree, leave it out in the comments below.

2. SCHOOL is Most Important

adolescent adult beauty blur
So much pressure, right?

School is good, but our immigrant parents tend to overdo it.

Like for example, during weekends instead of parents encouraging us to relax, they tell us to study.

I know right, who does that?

I would only ask that question in my mind, because if I said that out loud, they would come and whip my behind .

Or sometimes, they ramble on about how we’re so¬†lucky¬†to live in a country like the United States,¬† U.K, etc, and they say that they weren’t really able to get that opportunity back home.


calico cat on gray concrete stair
Yeah Yeah. Make me go to sleep.

I understand that they want their children to be better off than¬†they were, but it is kind of hard to study all the time.¬† I mean,¬† they’re just children.

And that’s because children and teens like to have fun, not be in constant study mode like some places.

library university books students
By far, the biggest library I’ve ever seen.

The good part is , some of us conform to it , while the rest just go wild all day.

3. Engineer or Doctor are their IDEAL Jobs  for you


adult care cure doctor
Dat a nice watch!

Ever since when we’re in preschool, teachers¬†always¬†ask,

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I don’t know why,¬† but¬†I freaking hate that question.

I think it’s because they expect a¬†“good”¬†answer like a surgeon, cardiologist, engineer, or something like that.

But, if I said blogger, 9 out of 10 times they would bust out laughing.

And that’s silly.

I remember when I was a little kid, and my parents would be like:

“Geary, an engineer or a medical doctor are good jobs for you.”

Since I was small,  I would be like:

“Okay, sure.”

As I got older, my parents would constantly tell me that an engineer or a doctor are my 2 main¬†“career choices”¬† when I get out of high school.

And, it would piss me off.

Oh, and if you have a relative who has a job like that, they would constantly try to compare you with them.

I know, it’s annoying!

Like for example, my parents act like that’s my only chance of being successful, which makes my mind just¬†freak out¬†with anger.

Which is why I absolutely love this quote:

“When someone tells you it can’t be done, it’s more of a reflection of their limitations, not yours.”

I mean, that is so true! 

My parents came¬† from a country that has suffered a lot. I understand that maybe it can help my family members back home and make them happy,¬†but I don’t really think it can make me happy, which is what really matters.

So many people these days¬† are working at jobs they hate just because of people’s opinions, which is dumb.

If you’re¬† not an immigrant , and need understanding, watch Lilly Singh or some Clifford Owusu.(they are both pretty funny!)


man holding black laptop bag
Those are some good pants man,

Parents these days regard sagging as bad , and I totally understand.

But, immigrants be like this when they see one of their children sagging:

Calm down now, they can fix it.

There was a time long, long ago when I tried it out like an idiot in front of my parents. I remember as soon as my mom saw me, she chased me through the whole house.

And that was¬†by far,¬†the fastest I’ve ever seen my mother run.

As soon as I stopped, we had almost a 2 hour talk on how sagging is bad, and I had to promise to never do it again.

That almost traumatized me.

5. Don’t you EVER start an argument

man and woman wearing brown leather jackets
It’s sometimes okay to argue, just not with your immigrant parents.

For any of you so-called “baddies”¬†out there, don’t argue with your parents.

Simple, right?

Nope, wrong, I even have trouble with this.

But, that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable just because I struggle with it.

Apparently, I overhear a lot of things because a couple years ago  I overheard a conversation like this :

Person #1:¬† I don’t like it when my mother makes me mad.

Person #2: Why?

Person #1: Because I scream, yell , and punch through the wall.

Person #2: Oh, okay.

I don’t know about you guys, but to me that’s scary!

black wooden door frame
Wow! Not that scary!

If you have immigrant parents , the conversation most likely would have been more like this:

Person #1:¬† I don’t like it when my mother makes me mad.

Person #2: Why?

Person #1: Because if I try to argue, she will just give me a hard backhand slap.

Person #2: Dang, bro.

Person #1:¬† It’s all good, I just try not to make her mad again, and I just hold in my anger.

Person #2: Oh, okay.

See! They would never expect their children to argue with them.

I remember when I heard that I was like:

My mind: OMG, he treats his parents with so much disrespect. . .(shaking head)

Just because I said that , doesn’t mean I haven’t felt like that.

Let me explain:

When I was younger, me and my mom would go at it all the time. It was crazy. My younger siblings would just watch and freak out every time it happened.

And you know the worst part:

After I’m done bickering with her , I would realize that I would get into¬†so much trouble right after.

If I still remember the pain of being embarrassed in front of my siblings, you all should know:

It must have been painful.

And it definitely was, but without that, I probably would have been a demanding, undisciplined child and teenager, which is not really appealing to people.

Bananas peeling
Haha. Appealing.

So my advice to children of immigrants: don’t argue with your parents.

6. Always use your right hand when you’re eating

A girl eating watermelon
Watermelon is sooo good. . .

I’m left- handed, so I’ve had¬†plenty¬†of experience with this one:

Matter of fact, it still happens sometimes. . .

Like for example,¬† I remember a couple months ago when my mother¬† literally stopped in her tracks and stare at my hand I’m eating with like this:

A man with an angry stare.
Exactly like that!

My mother then told me how I was using my left hand while eating, and it made me feel like a fool.

Especially if you’re from Africa or Asia, don’t you¬†ever¬†eat with your left-hand.

I think it’s because they think the left hand is dirty, so we can’t really eat with that hand.

And due to the fact that only 10% of the human population is left-handed,

I kind of understand.

But, I disagree. I do agree that everyone is different and should use their uniqueness in many ways. My way of standing out was that I was left-handed, and I sometimes ate with my left-hand.

But, listen to your parents or else:

A woman backhanding her child for being stubborn.


Who’s excited for. . homework time?

girl drawing on brown wooden table
I wish my schoolwork was like that.

If you know anyone that is different from you in any way, go ahead and talk to them.

 Have a long 2 hour conversation, or get a cup of coffee.

No, I’m just playing. You can do that if you want to.

Talk to them about how your and their cultures are alike or different in any way.

Because no matter what culture, religion, or race. . .

We are alike in many, many ways,

but we’re¬† also different in many, many ways.

And don’t forget about mentioning how amazing my blog is.

And that I have tips on making money from it too!

Leave comments below on how the conversations were like. . .

It is due when you submit a comment!


agree agreement ankreuzen arrangement
That All is Everything is the best in the world. Me too!

I live in a country where being different is what makes life great. And the fact that we have people from all over the world living in it is astounding.

It makes me grateful for seeing many different skin tones, religions, and cultures!

So my point is:

Embrace yourself, and your family.

Everbody is not the same, even if they’re identical twins.

photography of women wearing strip shirt
That has to be the same person.

Although us  humans share over 99% of DNA with one another, we are still different.

But, all humans are driven by one thing: emotion

Emotion affects music, culture, religion, and even media.

And that’s what makes us truly different from each other.

Because different cultures might have different emotions or attitudes towards a particular subject .

That’s probably¬† why we have that extra 1% as our own DNA not anyone else’s.

Accept our distinctions between one another, and that will make our world a better place.


Hope you take this to heart.


Geary Erua

P.S:  Are you bored this summer? Click this and your perspective on summer will forever be changed.




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