Some boys grow up without a father. There might have been men here and there in their mother’s life but those men never committed themselves in their lives. One or two may have reciprocated but unfortunately the passion withered away or one of them died. There are boys who grew up not really knowing how to properly love themselves. By this I mean they didn’t have any man in their life to show them how to be a man really, take care of themselves, be themselves, make mistakes and learn how to deal with them. They had none of that.
It’s a wonder really because when a child was born they would say they’ve been on their own journey, their own learning curve too. Some fathers show their son a lot in life and in turn they also learn a lot from him. For instance, a father could be suffering from something. They will realize this by observing the behavior of their son that is highly visible in them too. Their wife may suspect this, but may not say anything until the husband was ready to talk about it. No-one is really ready to talk about things until they are ready. They’ve accepted the situation for what it is.
So what should a father do?
10 things fathers should learn to do with their sons
- Give your son a hug, a kiss and tell him that you love him. Every day. After an argument or when he’s done something awesome. Literally all the time!
- Your Son will occasionally mess up. After all, he’s like you! Not perfect. Don’t point out what he’s done wrong constantly – nurture him. When his punishment is over tell him that sometimes we make mistakes and as long as we don’t do them again, it’s all good.
- Apologize to your spouse in front of him whenever you’ve messed up! He will be a big “you” when he’s older.
- Apologize to him when you mess up. There’s nothing wrong with admitting when you’re wrong. Choose to lead the way for your son
- When he cries, don’t call him a baby. Instead take him in your arms and tell him it’s OK to cry when you’re mad/angry/upset
- Treat your partner the way you would like your Son to treat his future partners. He will mirror absolutely everything you do when he’s older. Trust me on that one.
- Talk to your Son. Let him cry on your shoulder, let him be happy, make him laugh and smile. And more importantly show him the emotions that he’s having right now are absolutely OK with you
- Your son is not responsible for your happiness. Let him fly free, don’t burden him with your problems.
- Teach him stuff. Show him new things, let him experience the world with you. Don’t squash his thirst of knowledge by telling him to shut up. Let him get a proper thirst for the unknown. Teach him to never be satisfied with one question and one answer.
- Give strong boundaries. Show him that with big mistakes come harsh consequences, like in real life. Never, ever, ever hold it against him though. You were young once. Look at all the stupid stuff you did!
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As a father, I have evolved a lot and I know I write a lot about changing and growing up through introspection. But I can honestly say having a child was probably the biggest shock but simultaneously the largest happiness in our life. I can say with confidence that it has changed us on a macro-level.
So all those fathers out there, I have shared with you some of the things I’ve learned along the way. Some things that the society gets wrong that can be overturned. We need to teach our sons (and daughters too) to be their own person/s. Seek out their own individuality and run with the wind. Obviously this list isn’t finite and there are plenty more empowering things you can do with your son.
What are things that you do with your child that help build a strong relationship and teach valuable life lessons?