Life Advice



Ask Amy: Parents worry about son’s SEAL plan

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

– Concerned Parents

Dear Concerned: As an almost-graduate at his excellent college, your son is surrounded by information about his options. Trust in his intelligence, even if you believe that he is naïve. This is his dream, not yours, and he has the right to pursue it.

You should approach this challenge the way he will – by meeting the future in stages.

According to the Navy’s website, training to become a SEAL (Sea, Air, and Land) is extremely rigorous (they describe it as “brutal”) and lasts for over a year after basic training. After completing that phase, SEAL candidates have another 18 months of “pre-deployment” training. (And … to speak to your concern about your son “using his brain,” intelligence and mental toughness – as well as grit – are key components to success.)

The many stages of training will give your son multiple opportunities to rethink his choice and be presented with alternative ways to serve.

Your job as parents is to be honest with him about your reservations, but to also let him know that ultimately, you have his back.


Furthermore, even though you obviously have concerns, expressing pride in his ambition and admirable goals will likely make this process easier for him.

Not standing in your son’s way may also disrupt the particular dynamic where your opposition essentially strengthens his resolve to defy you.

Love and support him fiercely through this important stage of his life.

Dear Amy: I’ve been with my boyfriend for five years. He has been totally estranged from his mother the whole time I’ve known him. I’ve never met her.


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