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That’s My Boy! Men And The Longing For Validation

That’s My Boy! Men And The Longing For Validation

The car honk was muffled but Luke heard it like a whistle blast.

He downed his orange juice and wiped the crumbs from his toast into the garbage.

His winter coat was on before the juice was poured so he could be ready.

It’s 5:40AM on a dark and crisp late January morning. Mr. Becket’s SUV idled on the street in a cloud of vapour from the exhaust.

Luke made sure the screen door didn’t slam so as to not wake his mom up. She hated it when he did that.

As Luke rounded the vehicle the back passenger door opened and the rear gate lifted in unison.

Glen leaped from the vehicle to high five and fist pump Luke as they always do. A cheerful chorus of,

“Good Morning Luke!’ erupted from within the vehicle.

As Glen helped Luke put his hockey bag in the cargo area next to his, Luke replied, “Good morning Mr. and Mrs Becket!”

Practice was intense, as the team knew every drill and tactic mattered. They fought hard to be in the final round and now it’s just a few days to the championship game.

Luke and Glen played on the same line. The first line. Luke and Glen are number 1 and 2 in team scoring and in the top 5 in their division for points.

Luke and Glen are also best friends. They’ve been buddies since they were 6 when they started playing hockey.

However, their lives could not be any more different.

Luke lives with his Mom and little sister. His mom is an alcoholic and has a habit of making some very poor choices around the men she dates and her priorities as a mom. Luke and his sister pretty much have had to self govern themselves for as long as he can remember.

You see Luke's Dad left them when Luke was just 4. He’s only seen him once in the last 9 years.

The last time he saw him his parents used the 30 minutes to just yell and throw stuff at each other! His dad didn’t even say goodbye before the door slammed.

Due to his mom’s inability to hold down a job for too long, Luke’s hockey gear has been donated by the league and the sponsors over the years he’s been playing. Hockey has been his salvation and it is his only real escape from reality.

The Beckets on the other hand are Luke’s dream family. In Luke’s eyes, Glen is the luckiest kid in the world. They’ve been picking Luke up and attending every practice and game since he can remember. The wee hours of the morning in the dead of winter never seemed to dampen their genuine enthusiasm. They were always so encouraging and supportive.

Mr. Becket was very proud of his son Glen and it was obvious. However, as much as his son was the star of the squad, he recognized something in Luke from way back. Luke worked harder than any player out there. There was a drive and determination that was unmatched for any kid his age. The Becket’s knew of Luke’s world so they tried their best to be his surrogate family.


It was at the 5:40 mark of the first period when they first goal was scored. It was a sweet feed from the defence-man to hit Luke at full flight at the blue line. He was able to draw the defence over and flip a nifty backhand pass to Glen in the slot. Glen went top shelf, and oh was it pretty!

The place erupted as the red light flashed and the ref pointed excitedly at the puck at the back of the net.

The boys all congratulate each other and Glen did his fist-pump glide-by to his joyful team mates on the bench.

As Glen pivoted and looked up into the stands of the cheering and roaring crowd, he spotted his mom, dad and little sister standing and clapping so proudly. Even with the thunder of the crowd he saw his dad with that emotion welling up pointing at him, shouting,

“Way to go Glen! THAT”S MY BOY!!

It was just 3 minutes into the first overtime when it happened.

The puck was deep in their end. The other team had been pressing with some tight checking and a trap style defence. Luke was spinning and weaving at the top of the circle attempting to get sprung free from his match up that was all over him.

Somehow the puck came away from the boards onto Glen’s stick, he knew he had a fraction of second to slap it forward to clear the zone to relieve the pressure. It was then he saw Luke evade his opponent and the outlet pass was away.

Luke got it right on his stick at speed at centre. Nothing looked more effortless than Luke on a break away. His lanky body and smooth skating style made him a thrill to watch and a nightmare to catch once he got behind you.

The crowd was up, the roar was deafening. By the time Luke hit the blue line everyone just knew it was in. With two magical taps to the puck, Luke threaded it forward and pulled the trigger from 20 feet out. He went five-hole! The goalie could only flinch and it was over.

As the sticks, gloves, and gear flew through the air and littered the ice, the players dog-piled in celebration.

It was indeed Luke's finest moment!

Luke skated a victory lap and spotted the Beckets up in the stands, beaming their pride and pointing at him with a knowing exuberance. Glen’s mom had tears streaming and clutching her heart as she was so joyful for Luke.

Mr. Becket watched Luke as he skated for the adoring crowd. He then noticed Luke's smile was now gone and he knew he was doing it again as he does after every goal he scores.

Like every other game, Luke was scanning the crowd, hoping, longing and aching to see that one special moment that made everything all right.

Just once, just this once he needed to see his parents in the crowd. Waiting for those familiar sweet sweet words to break through the cacophony of cheers.

“Way to go Luke! THAT’s MY BOY!”

But for Luke…they never came.


Like Luke, so many young boys grow up to be men with a common thread they all share.

There is a drive for success and achievement that often gets overlooked as being ambitious and focus driven.

It’s admirable for sure and it is often celebrated as a necessary ingredient to achieving success.

However, a closer look at a man’s motives can often reveal some deeper wounds as to why he’s wired the way he is. Much of it can often stem from his childhood and formative years.

A lot of high-achieving men are built this way because they are metaphorically looking up into the stands hoping that mom or dad are up their cheering him on, shouting,

“I’m proud of you, Son! THAT'S MY BOY!”

But it never comes.

So many are driven for achieving milestones on an unconscious level for validation and recognition from a parent that was never there when they needed them most.

This is why many material gains never really feel like victories for long. The big house, the cars, and the advancements can often ring halo and empty after awhile.

Even having a happy family can inexplicably lose it’s lustre. This is often due to the fact that it was unconsciously built on proving something. It was all based on validating just how much better a father or husband he can be compared to his parents.

If you resonate with Luke, It is important to dig into the WHY of who and what you are.

Is it possible, that there is a story you are hanging onto that has you longing for love, validation and recognition?

Is there someone in your past or present that you are busting your ass for and making sacrifices for just so they will notice you? Who do you need to prove something to?

A lot of the inner saboteur behaviour is also found here. A lot of epic wins followed by monumental failures can be the result of not ever being truly validated or cheered on in life.

In this dynamic, many spouses are left helpless no matter how supportive and nurturing they may be. They have to watch their beloved burn all they built to the ground because they can never possess the right kind of validation that can make it all right. It is not coming from the source it needs to come from…Mom and/or Dad.

This scenario of needing validation that never comes is a rapidly growing epidemic. It is the cause of so much heart ache and suffering. The unique thing about it is that it is largely on a subconscious level. Most men don’t even know why they show up or react the way they do.

They’ve buried and suppressed so much of the pain, trauma and wounds that it only appears to be surface level problems. The kind that only one more victory or milestone can help. The busier he can be or get caught up in distractions, the less he needs to focus on the truth or the root of it all.

If this article resonated with you or touched a chord of truth, breathe into it.

Don’t be that guy that reads it and just puts it on the back burner wishing it will all get better on its own. How is that working for you?

What will it cost you if you continue to ignore it and do nothing.

What if you actually decided to dig in and put all that drive and ambition into your own self discovery and self-mastery?

What could you gain?

What could your life look like in a year if you got this handled?

For the Luke's of the world, know that there is help and resources out there.

Coaching could be one of the most profound and powerful modalities you can find.

Coaching can help you understand yourself better, course correct and give you the road map to the creating the life you desire.

The coaching relationship is also there to give you the support, validation and encouragement that might be missing in your life.

As The Coach For Men I’ve made it my life’s purpose to inspire men to live remarkable lives. This is my wheel house. I get the journey you are on.

If you feel we’d be a fit to work together, let’s set up a Discovery Call and have a powerful conversation about where you’d like your next breakthrough. Click this link to my calendar to set it up:

Make yourself and those that matter a priority.

I believe in you…There’s greatness within.

You are not alone on the journey…I’ve got your back!

Dwayne Klassen


If this article was of value to you, please like, share and comment on it…I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

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