Sons learn about being a man primarily by watching their fathers.
Which is why most persons argue in favour of the notion that it takes a man to raise a fellow man.
This explains the reason why boys have a special bond with their dads and often seem to connect with them in ways they almost never would have done with their mums.
Whether we agree or not, a father’s influence on his son’s personal development is often unseen but nonetheless real.
Here’s how dads can help raise good sons, and keynote conversations they can have with their sons:
1. Be A Worthy Role Model
There is a no more important aspect of raising responsible a son than modeling the behavior you hope that they grow up with.
As they watch you in action, they learn (consciously/subconsciously) what being a man really entails- how men think, talk, act.
Therefore, you have to demonstrate dedication, empathy, self-control, and responsibility, in order for them to want to be the kind of men you hope they grow up to become.
This assignment might just be the toughest part of raising your boy(s), but it is critically important.
Your sons will learn more from watching how you react and behave in given circumstances than they will from everything you tell them.
2. Spend Time Together
Your time is precious to both you and your child.
Your willingness to give some of your time to him sends the message that they are a priority to you.
It is the very first step to communicating your love and respect for your child.
And if you, the person your boy respects most in the world, believe he is worthy of your undivided attention, your child will bask in the sense of his own importance, boosting his self-confidence.
3. Find Common Interests
It’s totally okay if you don’t feel motivated to leave your football match to go up to your son’s room to watch animations with him.
You don’t have to torture yourself into loving cartoons and it certainly won’t help to force him into hating them.
But what you can certainly do is explore his other hobbies to see which matches with yours, and then make that and hopefully others you both will pick up on the way, the core of your times together.
The Father and son relationship will flourish effortlessly when you two spend time doing something you both find interesting.
4. Teach Them Accountability And Self-discipline
One of the key things that distinguish a real man from all the others is his ability to control himself and make choices that may be contrary to the feelings of the moment.
In your conversations with your sons, be sure to teach them that they can make choices and sacrifice for something of greater worth and that they should.
Getting them involved in a sport, music or some other skill that requires some sacrifice and self-discipline is an important step in that process.
When they learn that mastering a musical instrument like the piano takes many hours of practice, perhaps that will teach them the value of self-discipline.
And holding them accountable for responsibilities like chores or choir practice will help them learn to hold themselves accountable later on.
5. Listen To Them
The nature of the male gender has it that they seem to generally struggle with effective communication.
Look for opportunities to be with your sons when you can just listen.
Going to a sporting event, taking a walk, or a road trip can all be effective ways to create a good listening environment.
Then, commit to spending only 25% of the time talking and spend the rest in an active listening mode.
Groom the tendency to listen for a minute or two longer before jumping into a decision of what the problem is and dishing solutions.
No matter how old your son is, listen with genuine attention and with no judgmental nerve.
You’d be surprised that sometimes all they want is someone to listen while they rant or do whatever.
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It’s not all the time they are actually in search of advice or a solution.
They just want to feel heard and being the one they can turn to for this, is gold.
6. Teach Your Sons To Focus On The Positives
Children these days are bombarded with negative messages all around them.
Just watching commercials on television is enough to create a sense of inadequacy in our sons.
Besides we were formed in such a way that things as inferiority complex do not appear on our foreheads.
You won’t get to know if they don’t give it away in their gazes, speech, or silence.
In a bit to doing your part to contribute to raising a good son, you need to catch them doing things right and them an approving past on the back.
Find positive ways to laud their accomplishments.
Feeding them constant reinforcement will help build relationships of trust and overcome this constant barrage of pessimism that they confront on a daily.
7. Don’t Be Afraid Of The Big Talk
Make time to have the ‘girl’ talk (sex and relationships talk) with your sons to teach them all you think they ought to know about the said topic.
Being open to having these conversations will help your sons develop better attitudes and have healthier conversations about sex and their romantic partners in general.
It might be awkward at first, for you, and for them but it gets lighter with time.
Either way, you have to get past it because it will be a big part of your relationship with your son.
Also, with the ever-increasing presence of sex in the media, on the web and in conversations with their friends, you will find your relationship not as strong as it could be if you avoid talking about these difficult subjects and let them develop their attitudes about sex and relationships from other sources who may not be of your moral standard or share your values.
8. Teach Your Sons To Treat Others With Compassion And Empathy
Raising your sons on the principles of treating others with compassion and empathy can provide a deeper framework for how they should behave regardless of the circumstance.
Empathy will help your young men find commonalities between themselves and others who are seemingly different and encourage them to proactively think about and care for others.
Also Read: How To Manage Sibling Rivalry
Also, the universal perception that a man should be emotionless and conceal his feelings can be harmful to quality relationships.
Instead, teach your son about the importance of little kindnesses, of showing compassion for the less privileged, of demonstrating love to his family members and friends.
These emotions, in their proper place and in balance with the rest of his life, will serve him well as a responsible and strong man, who in the nearest future will raise other responsible and strong men of his own.
9. Surround Yourself With People Who You Admire
Your responsibility as a Dad does not include picking your son’s friends, but you can definitely encourage them to choose go about the business of friendships wisely.
Real friendships are fundamental in early childhood development, and so, teaching your sons how to find good friends and to be a good friend will help stir him in the right direction.
Find out who your son admires and who his heroes are, and you’ll quickly discover the kinds of people he wants to emulate; encourage him to pedal on, or offer reasons why you think his company means trouble for him.
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