Home News Young son doesn’t want to grow up – Chicago Tribune

Young son doesn’t want to grow up – Chicago Tribune

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Young son doesn’t want to grow up – Chicago Tribune

Dear Amy: My husband and I have a very sweet 8-year-old son. His dad and I adore him. We’re having a great time going through life together.

Recently he has been emotional and sensitive. He has said several times that he doesn’t want to grow up. When I ask him why, he says he’ll miss all of the things we do together, like reading together before bed and cuddling with us, and doing “little boy things.”

I don’t know if I should be concerned about this, or even how to respond.

Any suggestions?

– Concerned Mom

Dear Concerned: This is a fairly common phase for children at this age, especially for sensitive and expressive kids like your son.

Some children going through this phase will ask their parents, “When I grow up, can I marry you?” This reflects their strong and loving attachment.

I remember going through this phase as a child, telling my mother that I was never going to move away from home. (As an adult, I believe this prospect would not have been on my mother’s wish list.)

I recall her response as being kind and reassuring.

Heading into adolescence can be a pretty scary prospect. Hormonally, socially, and intellectually your son is sailing into choppy waters, and even if he doesn’t know what’s ahead, on a deep level – he understands that change is on the horizon.

Ask him, “What are the things you love the very most about being a kid?”

Listen to his answers and reminisce with him.

You might also ask him if there are things about growing older that make him nervous.

And then tell him that none of these good experiences will end or change unless he wants them to, and that your family will share lots of other wonderful experiences together as he grows older.

If your reassurance doesn’t comfort him, or if his anxiety seems to expand, you should consider having him evaluated by a psychologist.

Dear Amy: My wife and I have two children. From the time they were very young, we made our limits for college very clear.

They have to get A’s or B’s – nothing below a B.

They can’t get into trouble with the law or the school.

They have to find something meaningful to do aside from their schooling – such as volunteering or a part-time job. Things that will build up their resumes for the next stage of their lives.

We have said that if they don’t satisfy these parameters, we will not pay for their schooling. We will judge this on a semester-to-semester basis.

We realize that these are high standards, but as a family, we have high standards. That’s the way it is.

Our daughter came home from her first semester at college with B’s and C’s. She has not gotten into trouble, but she has not found any outside worthwhile activities.

My wife and I gave her one more semester to get it together, but she recently told us that she is worried that she isn’t able to bring her grades up enough.

We told her that a deal is a deal, and if she likes college, she’ll have to satisfy these requirements.

She thinks we’re wrong, of course, and we have agreed to seek an outside opinion about this.

What do you think?

– Puzzled Parents

Dear Puzzled: I think you’re wrong. Also dumb.

If you want your kids to skim their education off of the lowest hanging offerings at school, then your rigidity about their grades will incentivize them to choose the easiest course of study. And so at the beginning of the semester when they are signing up for classes, they might hedge their bets and skip over biochemistry in favor of “Intro into soccer appreciation.”

(The internet is crowded with suggestions for “GPA boosters.”)

Scoring high grades doesn’t always equate with longer term success.

Sometimes, we learn the most from experiences which are harder to master. Parenting is a great example of this principle.

Dear Amy: The letter about DNA from “Unsure” revealed that her dad was not her biological father.

I recently found out that my half-brother is not biologically related to me at all.

My dad and stepmom used a sperm donor 36 years ago to bring one of my absolute favorite people into the world.

It was a shock when I found out that we weren’t related by blood, but he is 100 percent the brother I love!

– JD

Dear JD: This is my favorite kind of DNA disclosure story. Thank you!

(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)



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