Tuesday September 4 2018

Strengthening Father-Son Relationships (Part 1)

“He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.” Psalm 78 5-7 (NIV) 

  1. Recognise that sons are influenced by their father. Whether we know it or not, our sons learn about being a man primarily by watching their fathers. A father’s influence on his son’s personal development is often unseen but nonetheless real. As a young man watches his father interact with his mother, he learns about respect (or disrespect), about how men and women interact and about how men should deal with conflict and differences. As he watches his dad interact with other men, he will learn how men talk, how they relate with one another and how they deal with masculine issues. Understanding that a father’s influence on his son is unmatched will help dad think more deeply about his relationship with his son and take that relationship more seriously.
  1. Develop common interests.

This is a lesson I learned from my own dad. My dad was a law enforcement officer during my growing up years and he worked a lot of shift work. Dad was a man’s man in many ways. He played a lot of sports and enjoyed time with his friends (what little he had other than at work). I was more of a bookworm, was uncoordinated growing up and hated playing sports and physical education at school. He worked really hard to make me like sports and pushed me into things like Little League baseball, but I would have rather been sitting under a tree reading. But one thing we both came to love was camping, and we found some real commonality in the woods setting up a tent or cooking over a fire. When we started to maximize our time together outdoors and spend time together doing something we both enjoyed, our relationship grew.

3.   Listen to your sons. 

Men seem in general to struggle with effective communication. I find that I always have a tendency to listen for just a minute or two before I decide what the problem is and then I go about creating a fix. Starting from the earliest ages of our sons to listen to them without judgment and without trying to fix things too soon will go a long way to building a lasting relationship. Look for opportunities to be with your sons when you can just listen. Fishing together, going to a sporting event, or taking a road trip can all be effective ways to create a listening environment. Then commit to spending only 25% of the time talking and spend the rest in an active listening mode.

 

Extracts from 10 Ways to Strengthen Your Father-Son Relationship By Wayne Parker