July Parenting Article (Father Son Communication)

Some proven tips for Father-Son Communication.

1. Chat regularly about anything and everything. Talk about things you know are on his mind, specific things that have happened to him in the day. ( “How” and “Why” questions work best.) But also make a point of broadening his interests, and general knowledge. Use your chats to pass on charitable ways of looking at people, concern to help others, the need for determination and will power, sincerity, and cheerfulness… remembering that, while your example is the best teacher, what you say does have an impact.

2. Do things together. Be a part of the children’s interests. Read up on their hobbies and their sports. Foster the interests that you think will suit them. Work on combined projects.

3. Don’t do jobs alone…repairs, projects, and recurring maintenance and gardening. Give your son a role to play appropriate to his age; guide him through the challenging parts. Provide encouragement and instruction.

4. Try not to go on car trips alone…not even to the shops. Use regular trips (Saturday sport, etc) to have your regular chat.

5. Read stories to your son when he is young. For the years when he is learning to read listen to him each night and still read to him. Develop a culture of reading at home through your example, and your interesting and enthusiastic conversation about the wide variety of books and articles that you have read and are in the middle of. Take your son to the library regularly and help him to choose good books. Read sometimes instead of having the television on.

6. Say prayers with him at his bedtime. Start young, when he is only a little toddler. Use the opportunity to build a routine of having a chat every night before he goes to sleep.

7. Use your chats to give timely sex education and advice. It is only right for a child to learn the most intimate truths of human love from his parents. Unnecessary problems arise in almost every case if this does not happen. As a rule of thumb, children should have learned the facts of life from their parents by the time they are ten years old, and by twelve they should be have a clear understanding of the mistakes that people can fall into.

8. Remember that a parent’s moodiness, tendency to impatience or anger can have a serious effect on the confidence that a child and adolescent will be able to show. A father who is dogmatic, who prefers to talk rather than listen, who talks about himself too much, or is too easily critical of the efforts, interests and friends of his son will find son reluctant to communicate. Similarly, a father who is passive or too involved in his own interests will blunt his son’s desire to tell him anything.

9. Correct your son calmly, explaining the reasons. This is perfectly compatible with being firm, and with imposing a fitting punishment or  sanction for misbehavior. Try to be consistent with your spouse in your decisions and follow up punishments to ensure that they are completed. Use the opportunity that problems and mistakes provide in order to get at the causes, helping your son grow in his character.

SOURCE: Redfield College, Sydney.

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