In his book, The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens, psychologist John Duffy, PsyD, talks about an adolescent client named John, who’s a star football player. He’s so good that the local paper predicts that he’ll play in Division I football, and college scouts have already started contacting him.
A teenager’s dream, right? Well, unfortunately, John isn’t too keen on football. He plays the sport solely because it’s the only time his father, a famous college football player, pays attention to him. And John pines for that attention and his dad’s approval. But he also wants to quit football and pursue other interests.
Maybe you’ve felt a similar trap with your own parents: not enjoying or downright hating something you’re doing but sticking with it because it’s the only way, in your eyes, that you can connect to them.