Dear Blake,

I’m a medical student. I don’t have kids or a family of my own yet, but I’d like it to happen one day. When I have kids of my own, I intend to push them to be the very best in whatever they want to do. I will ingrain in them “tough love” and demand excellence from them.

My classmates, friends and I grew up similarly. We did well enough in high school to get into a good college and have successful lives after that. My friends and I did all the same things in college we did in high school. We joined clubs, volunteered, took leadership roles, earned good grades and got good recommendation letters in order to outcompete our peers and get where we wanted to go.

When I have kids, I want them to emulate what I did, achieve the same way academically and succeed. Am I wrong? I know it will be challenging to raise kids to outcompete their peers for things they want to do or are passionate about. I know I won’t have complete control over them because they are human beings and not robots. Maybe I won’t have kids at all. I’m not sure yet. Any thoughts?

Signed, Joan
From West Seneca, New York

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Dear Joan,

It’s good that you have pursued excellence. But if you have enough children, statistically speaking, you’ll more than likely create at leasing one worthless loser. Here are some other potential problems. If your kids regularly out compete their peers, they might be labeled as an egomaniacs and understandably get beat up on a daily basis. Or, one of your kids may not be interested in going to college or getting a job, and they may just as happy staying at home all day, and pawning your property to help pay for some of the latest video games. Or this might happen. One of your kids may embrace excellence more intensely than you did, graduate from college at the top of their class, surpass you financially, and then look down on you on what a failure you are, and how embarrassed they are that you are their mother. And finally, this last possibility. You may convince one of your children to become a medical student, as you are. But that might backfire, because your son or daughter might learn enough about medicine, to pursue an easier related job, of stealing and selling prescription drugs. Under those conditions, you might need some sedatives to emotionally function, and if that happens, and hopefully that child will give you a discount from their illegal stock. I hope this helps.