“You can’t put an old head on young shoulders!” That is what they say. However, as a father, undoubtedly, there is some advice that you will have gained through your own experience that can help your son. In fact, there are some nuggets of information that are just too valuable not to impart. A topic you can read more about in my post below.
Boys do cry.
The first piece of advice that you can impart to your son is that boys do cry. In fact, boys, just like girls, experience the entire range of emotions, and reacting to these is perfectly normal and can be essential to maintain good mental health.
I think the core of this advice is that while it can be seen as more masculine to suppress emotions, this can actually be a very toxic way of living. In fact, it can cause a whole host of problems that can be very difficult to manage. With that in mind, you must teach your son to experience their emotions fully. Of course, to be able to do this, they will also need support on how to cope with their feelings in the most constructive way as well.
Practice makes perfect.
Another of the most crucial pieces of advice any father can give to his son is that practice makes perfect. That idea that there is value in determination, grit, and putting effort into something, even when it is hard in that moment.
In fact, many accuse the current generation of being entitled and not wanting to work for the advantages they have in life. Something instilling an attitude of practice and determinate can help guard against.
Of course, for many fathers, the issue is how to do this constructively with their kids. Happily, I have a few suggestions that can make teaching determination and continued practice fun.
One is to get your kids involved in sports, especially games like basketball, that require a level of skill to be built up to succeed. In fact, activities like these like these youth basketball shooting drills are a perfect example of practice makes perfect. With the additional advantage of encouraging them to do regular physical exercise as well.
Alternatively, you may wish to educate your children on this concept by taking on a project together, perhaps by handcrafting something over time? A task that requires practicing their skills and having to deal with not being an expert straight away.
You are not your job.
For so long now, men have been judges and categorized by what they do in the time from 9-5. However, an excellent lesson in life that fathers can impart to their sons is that they are more than their job or career.
In fact, this nugget of wisdom can have several benefits. The first being that if we hold our careers a little more lightly can be a good idea. The reason being that it can help us to find room for other life enriching activities as well, such as spending time with loved ones or doing a hobby.
Also, your child’s work and even school life will not always go their way. Therefore, by encouraging your child to have a life not limited only to their career, can help them to cope better when the situation is challenging. After all, people lose their jobs and get passed over promotion every day. Oh, and many people, men, in particular, can really struggle when it comes to retirement. The reason being that their identity is so wrapped up in what they do, that without it, they can lose their drive to keep moving forward in life. Something you can help to inoculate your child against by using this perspective.
You can go your own way.
Sometimes as parents, we can be so focused on ensuring a child is obedient and safe, that we can’t crush their spirit entirely. Something that can make them fearful of making their own decisions and genuinely pursuing what they want in life.
Of course, this means that one bit of valuable dad-wisdom that you need to impart is the fact that it’s OK for them to go their own way. To choose their own life in line with what will make them the happiest.
Will they make mistakes? Of course, because they are human and just like you. However, even the mistakes, errors, and failures are essential learning experiences. Ones that when made within a loving, supportive environment can be transformed into something useful.
Regular exercise is not optional.
Some kids will gravitate naturally toward being more sporty, and some won’t. However, a valuable lesson that any farther can impart is that regular exercise in some form needs to be an integral part of their sons’ lives.
Now, I’m not saying that you have to encourage them to be an athletics or sports star or pressure them into doing activities like football or baseball. Especially if they don’t want to. Instead, this advice is all about recognizing the importance of physical movement in whatever form that takes.
External validation is a fool’s game.
Never have we lived in a society where the vast majority of the population spends so much time fishing for external validation. Of course, I am referring to social media here and the crazy way that it has started to shape a generation and their perspective of what is essential in life.
Now, I’m not saying that fathers should ban their sons from social media. In fact, doing so can be just as problematic because it is a platform where today’s youth meet and interact. However, it is crucial that fathers educate their sons on how to behave on such platforms. Just as it is also vital that dads help them to deal with the rejection that using social media can lead to as well.
In essence, the critical wisdom that fathers can impart here is to encourage our sons to stand up and be true to themselves, regardless of what the masses think.