In our culture, sons are taught to be tough, strong, aggressive and leaders. What is often ignored is teaching them to be expressive about emotions, empathetic, loving and caring. These are the qualities that produce great husbands, dads and leaders. As dads, we have an opportunity to teach our sons qualities that will help them to identify with others, with their parents and in the future with their girlfriends and spouses and the world around them.
If we do not teach our sons how to process their feelings and how to express them, they will be severely limited in their ability to face adversity well. They will become aggressive or bottle up their feelings and shut down, turning from connecting with others, which lead to greater insecurities. I encourage you to teach them how to express their feelings.
How do we do this? By spending time with them. We can get lost in the day to day of career, family and all the “business” of life. Make it a point to set aside a time throughout the week to make a connection with your son. He has admired you since the day you first spoke to him. He has watched how you treat his mom and how you provide for the family. You have been the example of what a man should be from the beginning of his first breaths. You are his hero and he wants nothing more than to spend time with you and to make you proud.
Spending time with your son will show how much you value his relationship. Playing catch in the yard or going to the park to fly a kite. Watching a movie together, working on a puzzle together, the possibilities are endless. This time helps express how much you love him, creating self-worth, creating confidence and creating security. You are showing him hands on what it means to make connections with others. Your time and patience with him is displaying what it means to love unconditionally. Also, and simply, talk with them. There is no substitute for communication.
Our sons will grow up fast and before we know it, they will be grown men themselves. Will we look back and be proud of the time we spent with them? Will we look back and think about fatherhood as an investment we put into our sons to provide for their future. Will they know their worth in our eyes and hearts because we have spent time with them? The choice is yours to invest in them and provide a secure base for their future.
Here at Renovari Counseling we help fathers work through the issues and challenges of life and family to be the best version of themselves and be better for their families. Give us a call today.
Jeff Ortiz, MA, MFTI