Of Fathers and Sons: How One Can Become a Great Parent

father and daughter reading together
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The words seem stunning. How can the child be the father of the man? It sounds ridiculous. Credit all that to the English poet William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850), who helped launch what is referred to as the Romantic Age in the history of English literature. William remembered his youth with a certain joy carving his memories in a poem “My Heart Leaps Up.” And he carried it throughout his life. That should give us a glimpse of what the world-renowned poet meant. The child forms his perceptions and his character while young, and it serves as the foundation to guide him through and through.

There’s no doubt that fathers are a major influence on a son’s upbringing. He can bring stability and strength to the household. Of course, it doesn’t mean that a child is hopeless without a biological father to raise him. Many of the most influential leaders we know today grew up without one. Steve Jobs’ father, a Syrian refugee, never married his mother, and as a result, the Apple founder was put up for adoption. That is how he eventually met his adoptive parents, Paul and Clara Jobs, who reared him to adulthood.

If you’ve been wondering how to be a great father to your son, fret not. There are proven-and-tested ways that can help you there, assuming your son is still with you and has not yet grown up to be a man.

Show Nurture and Care

More often than not, there’s a tendency for fathers to be disciplinarians. Indeed, there’s a reason why rules exist. Had we been unable to put traffic lights in the middle of the city street, accidents will pile up in no time.

And as you may know by now, children need structure and nurturing at the same time. However, far too often, we focus on enforcing the structure and forget the nurture side of things.

So a good way for you to improve your father-son relationship is to stop being just the drill sergeant of the house. If your interaction with the child is to ensure he carries out your “do-this do-that” commands, then the chances are that’s going to be the impression he’ll have of you. He’ll grow up resenting you as someone always on their back.

Instead, nurture your son. Show him the more caring you. By doing so, he can also show his kids in the future the benefits of a caring, multi-dimensional kind of fatherhood. For instance, a good way to get the ball rolling is buying a “to my son” necklace. The powerful words etched on these are a testament to how much you value your son. What’s more, it’s a constant reminder he can wear daily.

Understand Your Own Father


We are who we are today because of our childhood experiences and decisions. That is what William Wordsworth was thankful for. And that can apply to your experience with your dad. He could have loved you more than you’ll ever know but is a one-dimensional father showing only his disciplinarian side.

That’s why to move forward and have a better interaction with your own child, you must come to terms with your own dad. By updating your perspective, you alter your own view of yourself as a dad. And in the process, you reduce those hidden fears that could have limited you.

To do this, establish a deeper connection with your dad. Go beyond the usual chatter and seek his guidance. Ask him about his struggles when you were still a child.

You should reflect on it even when he has passed away and moved out of your life. You can connect with him by writing him a letter. By doing so, you expressed your long-repressed emotions and let them go. Additionally, you can write a letter back from him detailing the things you want to hear him but never did.

Teach Him How to Do

Many times teachable moments will come to you. The time when he forgot to bring his extra shirt for basketball practice, and he complained to you about it. It was definitely not your fault. Of course, you can choose to talk to him calmly to make the most of the moment.

But teachable moments are not always there to show your kids the way. This is where your example will be the ultimate lesson for him. Buddhist food for thought “how you do anything is how you do everything” should bid you well. This means that you show him your way of doing things every day.

By tackling problems right, you teach him how to tackle his problems right too. How you react every time the food is not cooled well is one fine example. And there are more. So long as you do every day right, he should get the hint and grow up to be a wonderful father one of these days.

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