Children of successful parents aren’t the only ones hiding behind their parents’ shadows. The experience is widespread, and the effects last well into adulthood.

Ryan expected his father’s disapproval when he decided to pursue a teaching degree. The 25-year-old American special education supervisor from Maryland wished to improve the lives of kids. His successful physician father encouraged him to choose a career in medicine. The opportunities in the US that Ryan’s father had worked so hard to make available to his children were something he wanted them to take advantage of. Ryan had long considered himself to be his father’s successor. But he realized medicine wasn’t the proper profession for him when he began studying physics in college.

Children who grow up in their parents’ shadows may experience a range of challenges as adults, according to Alex Leff, a psychologist and relationship expert in New York City who works with many famous or socially prominent children. She has noticed that many of her clients use worry, success, and perfectionism as coping skills for a continuous sense of unhappiness in their lives.