When You Have A Child That Refuses to Grow Up

I have three boys and their personalities are so very different.  From day one each asserted himself in a unique way and I have always tried to treat them as individuals.  That said, it's not always easy to stop comparing them.

Lately I have been realizing that I am trying to force my youngest son to be a bit more like his brothers.  He is reluctant to grow up.  Holding onto childhood likes and interests, resisting learning any new self- help skills, etc. and I have been struggling to accept that.

My oldest two boys were always pushing the envelope to try new things.  They were in a hurry to grow up!

Often they asked to take on new skills before I thought they were ready.

My oldest was driving heavy equipment around by the time he was 8!

My middle son potty trained himself in just a few days at the age of 3 because he so badly wanted to go to preschool with his older brother.  He never had one single accident!  (We let him start school the month he turned 4 because he was so insistent; even though it was part way through the school year!).

They asked to learn how to cook and bake and use sharp knives and "real" tools quite early on.

I can remember hearing "my by self!"  over and over from the time they were able to talk.

They often picked out their own clothes and struggled to dress themselves, feed themselves, and generally just taking over anything I tried to do for them.

Making his own Christmas cookies 
I encouraged their independence even as I worried over it; always afraid they'd get hurt or get in over their heads.

Then I had my third and I can honestly say he's been pretty content to stay young.  He actually seems resistant to growing up.

Whereas his older brothers often took over and wanted to do things for themselves, Evan rarely did.

Evan often asks me to do things for him that I know he can do himself.  He does not enjoy or want to make his own breakfast or lunch.  He still pretends he has no idea how to run the washing machine or dryer and waits until he completely runs out of clothes before asking me to do it for him.

Sometimes I fear he is lazy.

Sometimes I fear he may never grow up and take responsibility for anything.

Sometimes I fear that I am forcing him to grow up before he's ready.

Lately I have been trying to look at this reluctance of his to grow up as a gift.

I still get to sit and read to him.  I still get to snuggle with him in his bed.

He still has piles of stuffed animals and toys everywhere.  He plays with toys and enjoys using his imagination so much.

He has plenty of time to grow up and I really want to stop rushing him to hurry it up.

After all it really is flying by so fast.

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  1. What do you think about what John Taylor Gatto says about how quickly kids should grow up?

    1. I had to look up who he even was... I have read a lot about his schooling philosophy but I don't know much about his views on how children should grow up.

  2. I think you are absolutely right...they DO grow up way too fast. I've only got boys, too! One is almost 10, the other just turned 5, and it seems like just a blink of an eye they were babies, and every day I see a little more independence, so I don't even think twice when they climb into bed at night, or my youngest wants to be cuddled to sleep! Soon they won't want those things, whether it's peer pressure, or just growing up, so I'm going to enjoy it while I can, because I sure will miss those days!

    1. I find I tend to straddle the fence; both trying to enjoy those glimpses of childhood and not push them to grow up too fast but I am also trying to make sure I am not babying them either.

  3. You've just described my 11 year old daughter. Part of me worries she will be "baby-ish" forever...the other part of me knows I just need to be patient. Great post.

    1. Yeah, I think it's so easy to worry while parenting and yet most of the minor "problems" tend to work themselves out with time.

  4. I thought my baby girl (9) was the only one, thank you for this post... I'll worry less, try to be patient and enjoy it! :)

    1. Oh no; not the only one! You're welcome. I'm glad it helped.

  5. What a beautiful post. Our baby of the 3 boys will be 17 next month. I still read to him up until a couple years ago. No rush, no hurries, I miss them not wanting to grow up, oh how I miss it.

    1. :) That shows through in so many of your posts and they sure seem like great "boys."

  6. I known a couple of adults who refused to grow up. Great post

  7. I hear you! They are all so different in many ways...I used to think that once I mastered one, it would apply to all of my kids (lol - so NOT TRUE - my lesson learned - haha)! I have come to realize that each of my children teaches me just as much as I teach and guide them. Listen to their whispers & what their little spirits are teaching...he is (and you are) right where you are supposed to be!
    Thanks for sharing at Reader Tip Tuesday - hope to see you this week. http://www.jodiefitz.com/2017/09/05/reader-tip-tuesday-weeks-craft-recipe-party-2/ xo

  8. He will be grown up and heading out the door before you know it. Thanks for sharing your perspective, as I'm sure it's helpful to other mums with similar concerns.

    1. So very true! I feel like each time I blink they gain a few feet and grow up..

  9. Mother's and worrying are synonymous. Somehow we can't seem to get away from it.

    1. Oh it sure is! I was a worrier before I had kids but it seems like motherhood has multiplied it times 20! :)


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