Father and Son – Staying Close is a Challenge

Some fathers might think that a relationship with a son has a lot to do with the son’s age. While this is true to a certain extent, it is often blown way out of proportion. Your relationship with your son is similar to any other type of relationship. If you’re married, then you know where this is going. To put it simply, and without having to get all wishy-washy, if you put in the effort, you will see results.

In many cases, the mother will do the majority of the child-rearing and the father will ask his son if he did his homework and took out the garbage during the week (and maybe have a catch with him over the weekend). Is this really a relationship or something the father is doing to make himself feel like a dad?

There’s a big difference between a father and a dad. A father fits the example listed above. Throw in a few raised voices and teachable moments and it’s the epitome of a father. A dad, on the other hand, is someone that decides he’s not only going to have a ten minute catch with his son on the weekend, but take him to the ballgame. He’s someone that gives his son a hug when he gets home from work – before asking about homework. He’s more than a father and a disciplinarian; he’s looked up to and loved unconditionally.

Some fathers feel as though they don’t deserve to be looked up to. What if you’re not highly successful? What if you’re not a good athlete? What if you’re not good at fixing things around the house? What if you’re not good at anything? This is the amazing part about being a dad. Even if you’re helpless in all aspects of life, if you show your son how much you love him, he will not see the faults. He will only see the good things, regardless of how miniscule they are.

Think back to your relationship with your dad (or father). If he was controlling and abusive, there’s a good chance you still loved him, but as you aged, you began to notice the chinks in his armor. As time progressed, your feelings turned to animosity. You looked back on your childhood and blamed him for a lot of unhappiness. Is that who you want to be? Of course not. There are other people who can think back to their relationships with their dad and see nothing but a hero. Is this you? If so, you can only see chinks in the armor, but you don’t look for them. He’s human and his good qualities greatly outweigh the bad.

What if your son is a teenager? You might have a difficult situation on your hands. If the relationship is in poor condition, it might take some rebuilding, but it’s far from impossible. The key is to simply spend more time with him. Of course, he will want to be with his friends most of the time, but friends rarely hang out on Sundays. Take a Sunday and do something with your son that he will remember for a lifetime. Therefore, it can’t be watching a game on the couch. Take him kayaking on a river, to a tour of a nearby ballpark, on a hike, or go fishing in a country lake. There are so many things that a boy his age would enjoy, especially if it’s with you.

If your son is a pre-teen, then the key is to keep a strong and affectionate relationship going on a daily basis. If you manage to do this, you will grow with them. There won’t be any pre-teen and teen stages as far as parenting goes. If you’re on a business trip, make it a point to call home to talk to him. This might sound simple, but when he recognizes he’s that important in your life, he will be ecstatic. When you get home, let him know you missed him. There’s a good chance he’ll smile, whether he tries to hide it or not.

The most important thing to remember is that you’re in control. In other words, you must be the leader in the relationship. The success or failure of the relationship you have with your son hinges on you. And whether you realize it now or not, it’s going to be one of the most – if not the most – important relationships in your life.