The Atlantic

Dear Therapist: My Son Has an Impractical, Ridiculous Career Plan

He wants to be a stand-up comedian. I don’t want him living in my basement at age 35.
Source: The Atlantic

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at

Dear Therapist,

A few months ago, on a college tour, our 18-year-old son announced that he had found his purpose and future career: He wants to do stand-up comedy.

The fact is, he’s got some talent in this area. He’s comfortable onstage, he’s a great physical comedian, he can do accents, he’s charming and funny. At the same time, at 18, he’s undisciplined, he’s a procrastinator, and he gets debilitating migraine headaches when he is sleep-deprived, dehydrated, malnourished, or stressed. The late nights, lack of a consistent schedule, and intense stress of that lifestyle seem like a terrible idea for a kid who probably

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