How to Be a Good Father To a Son

parenting Apr 29, 2020
How to Be a Good Father To a Son

Do you remember a time when your dad taught you a lesson that still sticks with you today? Whether it was fixing a flat tire, showing you how to tie a tie, or imparting a pearl of wisdom during a heart-to-heart chat, these moments are golden.

Each father-son dynamic is unique. Yes, not everyone is lucky to have fathers who serve as great role models and facilitate those golden dad-and-son moments. Still, across the varying family dynamics, the essence of what it means to be a good father to a son remains universal.

Now that you’ve become a dad to a little boy, you have a chance to follow the footsteps of your own father — or take an entirely different route as you strive to become the best dad you can be.

Dad University is always here to support you in your journey. Today, we’re imparting seven tips and valuable lessons we learned in our journey on how to be a father to a son. Let’s dive in!

1. Be Present 

Being a present father means more than just physically being there for your son. You also need to be there for him mentally and emotionally. Being present means actively listening to him, participating in his everyday activities, understanding his world, and showing genuine interest in his life.

One-on-one time with your son is invaluable — it’s when and how strong bonds are forged and precious memories are made. Trust us, your son will remember those moments when you made time for him, despite your busy schedule.

Your presence can make all the difference in your son’s life. Active engagement in his life can significantly shape his personality, give him confidence, and instill the values that will help him grow into a well-rounded individual.

2. Show Affection

There’s no such thing as “too much” when it comes to showing affection to your son. Affection isn’t just a mom’s territory, and it’s high time we tossed that antiquated mindset out the window. Dads, too, should embrace the power of affectionate words and actions.

From hugs and kisses to words of encouragement and affirmation, your love and affection can make a huge positive impact on your son’s self-esteem and emotional well-being. It teaches him the importance of expressing emotions in healthy ways, which is essential for his growth and development as a man.

Don’t be afraid to show your son how much you love him, even in public. Be a role model of healthy affection for your son to follow and emulate — he’ll appreciate the lesson all his life, especially when he becomes a father himself.

3. Let Him Learn To Do Things Himself

It’s never a good idea to coddle your son too much. Remember, our children learn by doing — so if you prevent your son from doing something out of fear that he’ll get hurt, then you might be stunting his learning and growth.

Your role in his life is like that of a coach: you teach him what to do then let him try it out himself. Don’t play the game for him! In short, let your son explore and learn from his own experiences. They will help him build self-confidence, problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills, and — most importantly — independence.

Just always be there to guide him along the way and be there to pick him up when he stumbles.

4. Be Good to His Mom

Being a good father also goes beyond the relationship between dad and son. You also need to remember your relationship with his mom. Regardless of whether you are married, living together, or co-parenting, you need to set a good example.

It’s important to always treat her with respect and be civil. Your son watches how you treat his mom — and what he sees will stay with him. Your everyday interactions with his mother play a crucial role in shaping his views on relationships.

So, being good to his mom sets a positive example, showing him that respect is more important than any personal differences or past problems. Remember, your son looks up to you. Your actions often become his blueprint for how he navigates the world and treats others.

5. Teach Him Emotions That Are Perfectly Fine

Let your son know that the expectation of boys never crying or expressing emotions is nothing but an outdated and harmful stereotype. Open emotional expression doesn’t make men weak — in fact, it shows strength, depth of character, and emotional intelligence.

Many dads struggle with talking about emotions, especially with their sons. However, it’s important to teach your son that expressing emotions is perfectly normal. Let him know that it’s okay to feel sad, angry, or scared.

Normalize talking about emotions so he feels more comfortable with them. More importantly, help him find ways to express those feelings constructively.

6. Manners Maketh a Man

Good manners are an important part of being a responsible and respectable member of society. The saying “boys will be boys” doesn’t give any boy or adult man an excuse to be rude, gross, or disgusting.

So, teach your son to do better. Instill in him the importance of politeness and treating people right. Make sure he makes it a habit to say please and thank you early on. Most importantly, teach him the importance of tone — manners aren’t only about what you do or say but also how you come across.

As always, remember, your son looks up to you. Your actions are his example of how to navigate the world, so be sure to set a good one!

7. Love Your Son No Matter What

Last but not least, the most important tip on how to be a father to a son is simply this: love him no matter what. Unconditional love is a must for being a good parent to any child. No matter what your son does or doesn’t do, remember that he is your son — and love him for it. 

It’s okay to have expectations and dreams for your son — that’s just part of being a father. However, always remember to love the son you have now, not the one you want or the idea of him in your head. Whether he meets your expectations or not, your son is still your son. There shouldn’t be any caveats or conditions for him to earn your love and affection.

The Bottom Line

Becoming a father to a son is one of life’s most rewarding challenges. Even if fatherhood and all it entails doesn’t come naturally to you, with these seven tips, we guarantee you’ll be well on your way to becoming the best father to your son — as well as raising a man who is kind, loving, and well-adjusted.

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