Conditioning My Child to be Irresponsible

If I was good at one thing, it’s being a mom.

Or so I thought. #anxietyattackabouttohappen

Let me just say, my boy is pretty freakin amazing. He’s talented, intelligent, respectful, funny, sweet… but cannot follow through anything to save his life!

Holy crap… where did I go wrong?

He earns straight A’s without fail, helps me out with household chores, treats me with love and respect… but OMG if I didn’t remind him to take care of his responsibilities outside of getting his schoolwork finished, NOTHING will ever get done.


We had a ba-ga-zillion talks about this… he needs to be responsible… he’s no longer 5… he has to be accountable… take initiative for crying out loud!

After weeks of crying my eyeballs out for breaking my only child who’s dream was to become a heart surgeon (but cannot bring himself to research med schools and scholarships unless I nag him like a crazy person), I finally realized what I’ve done.

This revelation came after J and I had (several) long discussions about whether or not he truly wants to become a cardiothoracic surgeon… or if he wants to explore a different career.

He insisted that he’s very passionate about this. His goal is to become a successful heart surgeon. Period. And I believe him.

Then why doesn’t he have the get-up-and-freakin-go attitude to organize the information and deadlines needed to apply for medical school?!!! I mean, from what I’ve seen, med school students are SAVAGE! They go after their dreams like it was oxygen.

So was it cold feet? Was he overwhelmed?

NO and NO.

It was ME. And I’m not over-functioning or being codependent at all about this conclusion.

Here’s what happened…

Joshua’s wanted to become a doctor since he was about 3. So, I made certain he knew that his education will play a GIGANTUOUS role in his life… gotta blow your report cards out of the water so you can get into a good medical school (it’s competitive as all heck) and train to become the best doctor you can be.

So he focused on school, and I took care of everything else. That’s how we did things and everything went smoothly and successfully for a long, long time…

Until high school/junior college (he’s in a dual degree program where he will graduate from high school and earn an Associates at the same time).

Due to the dual degree program, J will begin college as a Junior. Then med school.

Only 2 years before medical school.

Oh, shih tzu.

That means he needs a timeline of when he’s gotta get everything done in order to apply for med school: MCAT deadlines, how to properly study for it, school tours, learning how to write his personal statements, required volunteer and clinical experiences, etc. etc.

But none of those things were getting done.

My bad…

The reason why I say it was because of something I did, was because it was something I did.

I totally over-functioned so he had the time and brain-space to really focus on school. And the rule is, when one over-functions, the other UNDER-functions.

I stunted my wonderful child from taking initiative for things outside of getting As. He was conditioned to focus on his grades… and everything will fall into place.

And they did – for a long time!

I swear, he didn’t even realize I was taking care of everything behind the scenes. He totally believed, “If I get good grades, everything will work out.” Because that’s how his mom raised him.

Here, I didn’t think anything of it because he’s always so loving and helpful… so it was a pretty alarming awakening.

So we had another chat. I explained to him that it wasn’t that he was lazy or unmotivated… he’s been raised to only be responsible for getting good grades. He totally understood and was very receptive to what I was explaining to him.

The solution…

He created an avatar for what a premed/med student looked like. Their behavior, mindset, and all the responsibilities that comes with preparing to become a doctor.

Because he’s not accustomed to taking initiative beyond his grades, he will begin training as a responsible premed by playing the “role” of a responsible premed. Doing this will give him the opportunity to “shadow” someone (his avatar) preparing for med school.

Will it work? I’m fairly confident it will. Because it has to.

Starting tomorrow, Joshua will live through his days as a premed student who has his sh*t together.

Wish him luck, please.


mommy confessions, parenting

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