The Father Son Relationship - Fathers Are People Too


A father son relationship can be a complicated issue. Depending on our age we view our fathers in different ways. They can be our heroes, our competitor, our bully, our partners, our best friend and sometimes even our worst enemy. All father-son relationships are different but in general they form a pattern as time goes by. 

A Father Son Relationship

From a son’s perspective, as a child you usually do as your father tells you to and most of the time he’s your hero. Growing up, he’s a competitor for your mother’s love.  Into your teens and he becomes more of a bully. You’re out of college or university and he can become your business partner or just a friend to talk to and receive occasional advice from. Married and he can become your worst enemy, giving you advice that your wife disagrees on, so you’re left in the middle of the battlefield. 

The above can be also based on the ‘I.D.E.A.L’ acronym which states the following:

  • Idolize - This refers to our childhood days when anything our father did was just perfect and we used to look up to him. He was our hero.
  • Discord - When we are in our teen years, our fathers can’t do, or say anything right. They only get in our way of our happiness. What does he know about life!
  • Evolving - Moving out of our teen years and into our 20’s, with so many differences and opinions he can be seen as a competitor.
  • Acceptance – Into our 30’s and 40’s and we begin to understand our fathers true intentions. Unfortunately it can take this long before a close relationship is built when both father and son leave old misunderstandings and differences in the past.
  • Legacy – We are now in our 50’s and have a more clear picture what a father-son relationship is all about. Understanding that we have been given the structure of our character by our father, after following many of his footsteps.

Here's a short video showing a father son relationship. I saw this video for the first time in a personal development seminar. Enjoy!

Do you really know how much time and effort your father has really given to you in your lifetime? Passing on his knowledge and experiences and protecting you from dangers, at least from his perspective. Apart from glimpse memories and what others have told you including your mother and grandparents, you probably have a very vague idea of the real attention and affection your father has given you. Will you ever find out what real value your father has offered? I guess not. 

 Tips to improve your father son relationship

  • Find a common interest – This can be difficult as sometimes as the stubbornness of both father and son can block out any common activities or hobbies you have with your father. Who will take the first step to break the ice? Usually the one with the more knowledge and that is usually the son. Even a small activity that you both like will do the trick. I personally play backgammon on a Thursday evening with my father, enjoying a good chit chat in the process. You’ll be surprised what an hour of ‘bonding’ time can do for both parties.
  • Understand that being a parent is tough – Having children of your own often does the trick in this case. When you have children of you own you appreciate the hard work that goes into parenting, and understand that as much as you want to be a perfect father, it can be challenging job.
  • Focus on the positives – There are bound to be moments when you had a good laugh with your father. Reflect on them to encourage even more great times in your father son relationship. It only takes a “thank You” from you or “I’m proud of you” from your father to spark a feeling that is cherished and respected. I remember at my wedding when I mentioned in a little speech I had, thanking my father for his commitment to see me through the best schools in the country, as he worked two and three jobs to accomplish that. It was a way of me saying “thank You” and I could see that he loved every word of it.   

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