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Woman asks if she's wrong for telling daughter to 'give up on her dreams.' Updated!

Woman asks if she's wrong for telling daughter to 'give up on her dreams.' Updated!


In a post on Reddit a mother wanted to be honest with her daughter...maybe a bit too honest. Here's her story.

Basically, I am a doctor who graduated from one of the top med schools in the country. Because of this, I know what it takes to make it as a doctor. My eldest daughter is also on a medical track: she goes to a top 20 school and is excelling. She is a junior, and will probably get into one of the best med schools next year.

My youngest daughter is not like us. For my eldest daughter and I, math and science come more naturally. It’s not something we need to work hard at. My youngest daughter, however, really struggles with these topics. In college, she has to study for her STEM classes for hours and hours just to get the average grade at a school that’s not very difficult.

My daughter, to her credit, is a VERY hard worker and I admire that. However, that hard work could be placed to a field that she can really excel in instead of being a doctor; she will always struggle in med school, but she can take her talents elsewhere and become an amazing law or business major.

The drama is that she called me yesterday and told me she had trouble getting accepted with an internship, and asked if she could work with me this summer. I basically told her she should reconsider the medical professions because she spends all day studying and she is barely average, and I don’t think she can succeed as a doctor.

BUT I reassured her that it’s okay and she can find something else to shine in. On the phone she was really quiet, and I ended the phone call with “I love you”. After this, I have my eldest daughter, ex-husband, mother, and siblings spamming me and telling me to apologize. Youngest won’t even pick up the phone.

I understand that her feelings may have been hurt and while that’s valid, I think tough love will help her in the future. For example, it may have hurt her feelings when she was younger because I wouldn’t let her eat cookies for dinner, but as a parent you need to protect your children, even when it hurts them in the short term.

Tl;dr: Told daughter she won’t succeed as a doctor, now everyone is mad. AITA?

The comments were mixed:


Not stating my judgment one way or another, but a person who finishes last in medical school will likely have a VERY tough time finding residency.


You know what you call the person who finishes last in their med school class? A doctor.


YTA. Sounds like you're holding her against a standard set by yourself and the golden child. As a struggling student who is the younger brother of a prodigy, this kind of stuff really sucks for her.


Doctor here. Unfortunately, being good in STEM is how you get a good MCAT score which unfortunately is a big factor in getting into a top medical school.


NAH: med school is tough, the job is even worse. You need to have certain personality traits and a certain level of intelligence to excel at it. Maybe she just doesn't have what it takes (and I don't mean that she is in any way worse than your other child or you).


I apologized profusely, and told her that I didn’t realize the damage I was about to do when I made my comments, and promised that I would support her in her journey in any way possible. I asked her if there was anything I could help her with to make this journey less difficult, and told her I’d her find an internship opportunity with one of my colleagues.

The conversation was pretty heavy on both sides; the two of us couldn’t stop crying. But it seemed like after my apology, we were in a better place. Despite still having reservations as her ability as a doctor, I was going to try to support her.

Well, the semester ended and grades come in any day now. Last night, she sat me down, practically in tears. She told me that she wanted to prepare me, but she was going to get an F in a class. I was literally dumbfounded.

She told me she was caught cheating on a test. She basically blamed me; she said after our conversation, there was too much pressure on her, so she caved and sneaked a whole sheet of notes into her test. That F, combined with an academic integrity violation, basically ensured that med school won’t be an option anymore.

When I found out, I was less angry and more extremely distraught. I apologized for putting so much pressure on her, but told her that being a doctor sincerely isn’t worth losing her integrity. She told me that a part of her realized I had a point during our first conversation; she likely would not get into med school with her current grades.

So she tried even harder to achieve her goals: studying longer hours, using supplemental books, doing endless practice problems. But when she kept getting below the mean on her orgo practice tests, she tried it with notes and got above the mean. She thought it would be a fool proof plan.

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