SINGAPORE: Despite excelling in academics and his profession, a young man was disheartened to find that his parents criticised him over trivial matters.

Seeking to understand their behaviour, he turned to r/askSingapore and asked, “Why do some parents always find fault with you no matter what you do?”

In his post, he explained: “I believe that I fit into what an ‘ideal’ child should be. Good grades, good school, no vices, tall, above average starting pay. But somehow, even achieving all these, I still get faulted for the most randomess things.”

“Basically, they focus on anything I can’t do, even though actually being able to do those things don’t matter (pretty much at all).”

Sharing some of the criticism he received, the son mentioned that his parents chastised him for his lack of proficiency in Chinese and that he didn’t present himself well, which had little relevance in the industry he worked in (tech).

Moreover, despite having a better salary and work-life balance than doctors, his parents compared him unfavourably to his cousins who pursued a medical career, insisting that he should have followed the same path.

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Additionally, his parents would nag him about minor things like not knowing how to use the TV properly and his unconventional diet, which included healthier options like avocado, seaweed, and flaxseed—foods not commonly consumed in traditional Chinese households.

He added: “[They would] shout random commands like go bathe, pack your room (gets damn annoying as I’m alr quite old); Pre-emptively nags at me (I haven’t done anything wrong, and they could predict that I might do something wrong and almost ‘scold’ me).”

“Anyways which do you relate to and what other faults do they find with you?”

“When you try to be their perfect child, they will continue grilling you because it’s never enough”

In the comments section, Singaporean Redditors shared that in many Asian families, parents maintain a tight grip on their children even when they are adults, most likely because that is how their own parents treated them.

According to some, this parenting style is ingrained in the culture and passed down from one generation to the next. They also made an interesting point about how some parents perceive strictness and criticism as expressions of love.

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They believe that being tough and pointing out flaws motivates their children to constantly strive for improvement.

One Redditor added, “Our Asian parents (and teachers) never validate us because they think it’s better to point out what’s wrong but it gets to a point where they can’t say anything positive.”

While another commented, “I guess it’s our culture. There’s always something to pick on. I’m 36 and they are still picking on me. Blaming my miscarriage on drinking cold water (which I didn’t during the time I was pregnant).

Picking on my wedding location not having bites before lunch citing ‘low class’ when the wedding location is quite high end. Picking on my wedding favour designs. Every single thing.”

Meanwhile, a few Redditors gave the son advice on how to handle his parents’ behaviour.

For instance, when his parents compare him to his cousins, he could argue that he’s doing well compared to most people his age and share how their unnecessary remarks affect him.

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He could also choose not to engage in such discussions and instead excuse himself by going to his room or stepping out.

One Redditor added, “When you try to be their perfect child, they will continue grilling you because it’s never enough, you’ll never be the perfect child they envision you to be.

When you stop trying, that’s when they’ll stop trying, and then that’s when they’ll stop grilling you.”

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