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Conflicting emotions
  • FionaD
    Posts: 33
    My son has been a My Little Pony fan for some months (he's 13 today and likes the innocence of it's look too), and because he wants to be an animator one day, he has been practicing drawing in this style. Tonight he was getting himself more and more stressed. He had realised he hasn't drawn in this style for a couple of days because he feels like he's losing interest - but he says he doesn't want to lose interest, he wants to keep drawing in this way. He had a go at drawing the pony but it wasn't anywhere near as good as he's managed in the past. (He's literally drawn hundreds of the same version over and over.) He lay on the floor writhing around in frustration - he can't work out why he's lost interest and it's bothering him. He wants to 'force' himself to be interested again but doesn't know how. I've made several suggestions such as 'it's ok to lose interest - maybe you will start to like something else.." but that made him more upset. He desperately wants to be 'interested' in this drawing style again. Can anyone explain what's going on and suggest how I might be able to make him feel better about it. He's doing something else for the moment but I know he will return to this, when something bothers him, he always does. Thanks in anticipation.
  • FionaD
    Posts: 33
    Someone somewhere else suggested " Could he be grieving the loss of something familiar? And the predictability, security and joy this interest brought?" and I think this makes sense. He doesn't like the pain of not enjoying this interest anymore, and he doesn't like that he isn't in control of that. So I have to let him grieve? :-/
  • HarHer
    Posts: 352
    Hello Fiona,

    You have written with such compassion and I can truly relate to the helplessness you feel as your son battles with the anxiety produced by this internal change.

    My youngest son is 17 now, but he has had a very longstanding interest in cars (particularly Japanese cars). At around 13 or 14 he began to become very interested in fitness and the cars took a back seat for a while.

    My son also experienced this sense of loss as his focus changed. It was not just the interest that had changed, it was his plan for life (he wanted to work with cars, study motor vehicle maintenance and so on).

    However, after a year of intense focus on fitness, his fascination with cars emerged again and now I would say he has a 'dual specialism'.

    Change is so hard and I think for many people with special interests, identity is deeply connected to the interest.

    I have no advice, only reassurance that nothing is 'lost', it just rests fro a while and a new interest will emerge. Furthermore, your son may develop more than one special interest and this can be a very positive expansion of knowledge and skills.

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