The relationship between a father and a son can be one of the best things in the world.  It can also be difficult for a father and son to stay connected in this stressful, busy world.  Many things are pulling at fathers, keeping them busy at all hours of the day, and kids are so connected to their devices, that sometimes it can be hard to get communication in.  But a good relationship with your son is worth striving for because it can be one of the most powerful and impactful relationships a young boy can have.  Recent studies have shown that fathers are actually engaging more with their kids today, and there's a lot of positive outcomes for families that have a father who is actively engaged in the lives of their children.  So why not use the valuable interactions with your children to teach them a few things along the way.  There are certain things that dads can teach their sons better than anyone else and these are things a son needs to hear from his dad.

Fathers set the example for their sons and boys will seek approval from their dad at a very young age.  When our son was 2 years old he would go around the house in diapers carrying his little toy hammer and banging on the furniture.  Even though we didn't like him creating dents in our furniture, we couldn't help but enjoy watching our son pretend to work like a man.  He had seen his father use a hammer and tools around the house and he wanted to do the same.  My husband also remembers that one of the memorable examples his father set for him was when his father told him as a boy that he could say any words that he heard his father say.  By setting this rule down, my husband's father was very careful to refrain from swearing as he knew his son could copy anything he heard him say.  My husband says he never heard his father cuss or use bad language.  One of the best gifts a father can give his son is approval, love, and a good example.  Fathers can take advantage of one on one moments to teach their sons a few important values and life lessons.

A few ways to get in a teaching moment could be:

  • At bedtime: Talk to your son before bed.  Kids are often calmer and ready to listen as they settle down at night.
  • One on one activity: Take time out of your week and do something fun with your son.  Use this time to talk and teach important values.
  • Work side by side: Let your son be near you as you work on things around the house or as you help others.  Let them try their hand at some new skills.  Talk to them as you work.
  • Everyday example: One of the best ways to teach your son is by how you live your life every single day.  He'll likely follow your good example if you just keep trying your best.

So what are some of the most important things a father needs to tell his son?  When life gets busy it can be hard for a father to know where to start when teaching and talking to his child.  Here's seven things a father should teach his son to help him get started.

1. "I love you."

Many times it can be hard for a dad to say those simple words, but don't forget how much your son needs to hear it.  Saying I love you doesn't have to be a long, dramatic event like we see on TV.  It can be just a simple phrase that you add onto a quick goodbye as your son leaves for school.

2. "It's okay to make mistakes."

Boys need to know that making mistakes is a part of learning and a part of being human.  Teach your son to fix his mistakes, repair the damage, and to learn and move on afterwards.  Remind them that each mistake teaches them to be a better person.

3. "Honesty matters."

It also brings the highest form of respect.  If you want your son to find true success in life, teach him honesty by exemplifying it yourself.  Remind him that being honest at all times takes a lot of courage and being courageous will make him a great man.

4. "Do the right thing even when it's hard."

Your son needs to hear that being a real man means doing the right thing, even when it's hard.  Remind him not to make excuses, but to take responsibility for his actions.  Though this may be hard for him to learn at first, it will be very valuable in the long run.

5. "It's okay to work hard."

Hard work is good for the soul and for building character.  Hard work brings results as well as feeling of accomplishment.  Teaching your son to work hard and finish the job will help him succeed in more than one way in life.  He'll learn to accomplish goals and even achieve his dreams.  Learning to not give up will keep your son afloat even in hard times.

6. "Treat the woman in your life better than you treat yourself."

Show your son how to treat his future wife with respect and dignity by doing it yourself.  Teach him that being a man is being respectful and loving to his family.  Show him that relationships and family are the most important thing in the world by making them the priority in your own life.

7. "I'm your biggest fan."

Above all, make sure your son knows you got his back.  No matter what happens in life, he needs to know that you will be there for him.  Life will bring challenges for your son and he'll be able to overcome them better if he knows he always has the support of his dad.  Support him in hard times.  Talk to him daily.  Stay in the loop about his life and his world.  Become his biggest fan and your relationship will be stronger than ever.

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