How Jennifer Pan’s tragic family story sheds light on the effect of tiger parenting

这是一个当年震惊全多伦多的故事。一个痛恨自己亲生父母的女儿雇凶谋杀父母的故事。而在父母的眼中, 他们的女儿詹妮弗-潘是个完美无缺的好学生。在父母的期望和压力下,詹妮弗营造了她生活表面的一面,但最终在谎言下破裂。
It was a story that definitely shocked people throughout the city, how a daughter could devise a plan to have both her parents killed out of hatred. Jennifer Pan was the perfect student, in the eyes of her parents. The expectations and pressure of her parents created her façade of a life, eventually cracking under the lie.
詹妮弗的父母是加拿大许多移民成功故事中的一个。除了两个孩子外, 他们几乎两手空空来到加拿大。他们希望自己的孩子们在加拿大会步他们的后尘, 勤劳致富。詹妮弗是一个大有前途的子孩。上小学时, 她在钢琴和花样滑冰方面表现出众,而且把目标放在2010年的温哥华冬季奥运会上。她是父母眼中的宠儿。
Her parents were your typical classic examples of the Canadian immigrant success story. Having two kids and coming to the country with basically nothing, they expected their kids to work just as hard as they had did when establishing their lives in Canada. Jennifer was a promised child, she excelled in elementary school along with piano and figure skating, having sights on Vancouver 2010, she was the ideal child to her parents.
珍妮弗的学习成绩在高中开始走下坡路,没有大学接收她。为了不让父母失望,她谎称自己每天去大学上课, 而事实是她连高中都没毕业。谎言最终被识破, 她开始崩溃。现在,每个人都知道詹妮弗故事的悲惨的结局,她企图谋杀她的父母, 并造成自己的母亲被杀身亡。
As Jennifer’s grades began to drop in high school, losing her university acceptances, the façade came to light when she didn’t want to disappoint her parents, claiming she was attending school when in fact she was not even a high school graduate. Eventually the lies consumed her and began to crumble. Everyone who knows Jennifer’s story knows the tragic end, the attempted murder of her father and the death of her mother.
Her story brings to light the effects of tiger/helicopter parenting, the toll it takes on the children, and the common appearance of this parenting in Chinese immigrants. I had friends growing up who were under the same amount of pressure that Jennifer had. They weren’t allowed to go out, they studied all day, when they didn’t have the best grades, they would cry out of fear on what their parents would say.
Her story uncovered the aspects of how damaging such a parenting style affects kids. One of my friends was helicoptered until graduation. As a promising child like Jennifer when she was young, she was burdened with so many expectations. From the outside, she looked like the perfect girl. She had high grades, amazing extra curricular activities, and was just a social butterfly. However, just like Jennifer, it was a mask hiding the actual hardships and pressure she faced from her parents.
Like Jennfier, My friend suffered high anxiety and stress, sleepless nights and constant exhaustion. Although she was the top of our class, she opened up to me and told me she was never happy. I remember she received a 93 on a test that the class average was a mere 65. We all expected her to be happy, when instead she was in tears. Comforting her, all she would tell me was “what am I going to tell my parents?”.
What hurt was seeing her struggle, despite receiving numerous awards, it was never for herself, but for her parents. Eventually, she cracked under the pressure. After getting into her top choice of school, she had OSAP and scholarships pay for everything fully. She cut her parents out of her life and moved away, and hasn’t had contact with them ever since. Like Jennifer, she resents her parents, not to the point of wanting them dead, but she told me that she doesn’t want anything to do with her parents again. After two years, she still hasn’t seen her parents since.
The hope of Jennifer’s story is for parents to realize this parenting style is wrong. My mother, when I was young, was definitely harder on me than my dad ever was. Granted, she wasn’t as bad to the extent of my friend’s parents and Jennifer’s, but not being the smartest child in elementary and middle school, I was very scared of my results and her disappointment in me.
Whether it was Jennifer’s story that opened her eyes, or just a change in parenting in general, my mother stopped putting pressure and stress on me and my brother to do well in school. Because both my brother and I had freedom to do as we please, we set our own standards and goals, exceeding them, and both ending up in top business schools and high averages.
If anything, reading Jennifer’s tragic story, despite wanting to murder both her parents, I felt sorrow for her. She grew up with no freedom, her life was lived as a puppet for her parents ideals. Creating lies upon lies, it’s no wonder she was mentally sick and collapsed under all the pressure.
The saddest part? There are numerous kids who are living with the same pressure Jennifer had. We understand that our parents just want the best for us, and to live a successful life, but tiger parenting destroys relationships, confidence, and your child’s individual personality. Seeing your child succeed is fantastic, but was it worth the mental scars you left behind?

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