Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Jul 5, 2008

Esmie Tseng Killed her mom — how can we prevent it?

Filed under: Parenting 101 — admin @ 6:58 am

Yes, Esmie Tseng, a 16-year-old American-born Chinese stabbed her 55-year-old mom to death with a knife. Shocking but true. That was in 2005. Years of conflicts between two generations and two cultures, represented by a parent from China and her American-born child, consummated in the tragic death of one party and imprisonment of another.  Who says parent-child conflicts are trivial matter?  It’s the matter of life and death!  

Esmie did not receive as long a punishment as my daughter said she should, “She should stay in prison for at least 16 years for the length of the time her mom had cared for her.” What an interesting logic, harsh yet not without reason. I told her, “The murder itself is a punishment enough. Like the never-washed-away blood stain on Lady Macbeth’s hands, the murder will haunt and torture her like a nightmare for the rest of her life.”

While we were shocked over the tragedy, we were also thrown into deep thought, questing for an explanation and hoping for an prevention. The mom, like most of us wishing her daughter to be outstanding in school performance,  had gone to the extreme, to the point of totally burning the bridge with her life gone in the air. Among many explanations, I would think failure to manage conflicts and to adjust your expectations accordingly are the number one culprits.  

Otherwise, the not-so-young mom should have learned Chinese martial arts and worn a knife-proof jacket in her battle with a teenage rebel.  A heavy lesson for all: surrender if you don’t have either brain or muscle power.

The killing was also carried on BBC news,

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