By: Ronald Tran

What causes a Mien parent to make their household be so strict it might be because of their memories. The memories of shooting, killing and running in fear simply can make a person traumatized,  feeling that life is survival of the fittest, never ceasing to stop to relax.

“I fought for America in the Secret war against the Vietnam,” says San Chao. “The American’s troops basically left us to die when they pulled out of Vietnam. Once the Americans left I was scared of what the Vietnam’s solders could do, so I took my family to seek refuge in Laos. The lucky ones got to go America and find refuge there; my family was several of them.”

“I know it could be tough at home for my children,” says Chao. “It is only for the best that I put them through such hard work.  My family had to survive before we left. Day after day, we were scavenging for food.  It felt wrong, I believe in life we should be thriving not trying to survive day after day. However, like they say, America is the land of opportunities. I believe each individual child I have has the ability and potential to be so successful.”

“I put my kids through hell because I don’t want them to become the average American,” says Chao. I don’t want my kids wasting their time on the coach, or the computer.  The time that can be saved from not watching T.V. could be turn into time learning an instrument. Each child I have had lessons for different instruments. The computer isn’t generally bad; however the internet you can do so much, stream movies and socialize which can glue my kids to the screen.”

Chao’s child responded that he respects his dad.

“In the beginning I always wanted to rebel,” says oldest child Long Chao, who is now 19. “I didn’t have the normal childhood, playing in the park, shopping, or going to the movies. My schedule was revolved around learning. Every single day of the week there was something that my dad set for me. On Mondays I would learn the piano; Tuesdays practice my cursive; Wednesdays read literature; Thursdays get tutor on math; Fridays I would have piano lessons again.”

“However, now I am well ahead of my peers. Since I am 19 my dad respects me as adult. He knows, and I know that he taught me better. Currently, I  live on my own since I am a college student at UC Davis. If it wasn’t for my dad I wouldn’t have accomplished the things I have done, play instruments that are now my passion or be able to get academics to get into UC Davis. I know for a fact that it all due to my dad that I am who I am.”

I guess the saying goes, “Parents show tough love.”