I tried to draft this last week but apparently it got eaten. This line refers to Jusuf Islam/Cat Steven’s song “Father and Son”. I have a kid who is asking to be treated like an adult but there are instances where I don’t think they are ready. But mine and society’s view on being adult is very middle -age-centric, as I learned in my human development class. And I wonder if this leads me to still be too much the good cop.
I’ve raised this kid to know that the prefrontal cortex won’t be finished until they are in their late 20’s, but until last that class spring I didn’t really appreciate what this means in terms of egocentrism and risk taking. It really is like all adolescents have narcissistic personality disorder and then go to having antisocial personality disorder. This is why juvenile criminal records are sealed. It actually seems a little unfair that we end it at 18, but at least we don’t let them rent cars or run for president. We do let them vote.
I’ve been thinking as well about my application essays and how to present my own development, from the girl who got a C in Cell Biology to owning bio-organic chem. Being that person who felt good about holding a job for 2 1/2 years, to convincing someone I’m ready for a graduate program (in the case of PA school). I tried in 2014 to lead with my strengths. It was apparently not convincing (as I didn’t get into PA school) and at first I figured I wasn’t lucky, but then I decided that my resume reveals a tendency to instability and I should have addressed that.
I wish so much that there were a way to impart what I’ve come to understand to this child, but they seem determined to pass through the same gauntlet I did. But then, those ways I tried to follow my mom’s advice (if you go into art, you’ll starve) have a cost you can’t count. I’ve starved anyway.