Life Advice



Ask Amy: Young son worries about growing up

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

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.


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