Tips on Successful Relationships Between Fathers & Sons

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In a society where many families are torn apart by divorce, and fast-paced modern life often causes parents to lose out on time with their children, the importance of cultivating healthy relationships between fathers and sons is apparent. Communicating well and spending quality time together enables fathers and sons to develop a closer bond. But fathers also strengthen their relationships with their sons when they discipline them lovingly and model respectful behavior.

Learn to Talk to Your Son

In his book "5 Things Every Kid Must Get from Dad," Carey Casey offers fathers some tips to be effective communicators with their sons: 1. Do not force face-to-face chats; instead try talking while working on a project together. 2. Watch for cues that he is ready to talk, as your son may feel more like talking after dinner rather than first thing in the morning. 3. Be available at any hour, and let your son know it. 4. Give your son verbal affirmation, letting him know that he is loved and that you are proud to be his dad.

Spend Time Together

Parents spend lots of time shuttling kids to practices, classes and various other activities. However, the quality time needed to build relationships is often lacking. But the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood, for example, reminds dads that how they spend their time shows their sons what is most important to them. So when a father sacrifices some of his leisure activities in order to hang out with his son, it demonstrates to him how important the relationship is. Whether playing pretend with preschoolers or taking a hike with a teenager, fathers are encouraged to participate in activities that their sons find interesting.

Set Boundaries

Carrying out discipline in a loving way shows sons that fathers genuinely care about their upbringing and are concerned about shaping their character. Casey directs fathers to hold their sons accountable for unacceptable behavior, ensuring that they respect authority. Children learning that there are consequences to their actions communicates the importance of controlling behavior and thinking before acting. Thus, the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood advices that fathers guide their sons by setting clear expectations and reasonable limits.

Teaching Respectful Behavior

By modeling respectful behavior, fathers demonstrate appropriate reactions and expression of feelings for their sons. Casey advises that communicating positive emotions and controlling negative ones shows sons how to healthily convey their feelings. Casey also says that fathers have the responsibility of teaching their sons to value women and not view them as objects. This will help them foster healthy relationships in the future. Additionally, the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood contends that by showing respect toward the son's mother, a father not only sets the standard of expected behavior but also fosters a sense of security and acceptance.