Father Son Relationship – A dynamic and complex relationship
The father-son relationship can be considered complex. A son longs to earn his father’s respect. He wants and needs his acceptance, as well as his love. It is not common for father and son to open up and share feelings or other personal details.
Maybe it’s not considered ‘macho’ enough, and it looks like a weakness. ‘Masculinity’ is supposed to be passed down from father to son. No matter how wonderful the mother is, this is unfortunately an area in which she cannot teach her son anything. A little boy is trying to understand what it means to be a man, and only his father can help him in this. She wants to look and become just like him, since she respects and admires him so much. He worries if he thinks he’s let him down – perhaps because he didn’t react ‘the way he should’ in a situation (eg crying because he fell to the floor and hit himself) – and fears that he might turn out not to be like his father in the end . Sometimes the father’s reactions are sharp and wild. Perhaps she feels that she has a responsibility to teach him what it means to be ‘tough’ and ‘strong’ so that he is ready to face life’s difficulties. Many men don’t realize how important their role is and the impact they have on their sons’ lives. They help create their beliefs about life, relationships, and the image they have of themselves.
What can I do;
• Be there for your son.
Not only in his successes, but also in his failures. Share your own failures with him. He needs to know that you too weren’t perfect and made mistakes, and in the end you made it.
• Don’t reject him.
Make him feel in his worst moments that he is doing just fine and that you believe in him, and you will definitely see a lot less bad moments or failures.
• Develop different activities/hobbies together and spend time doing them.
This can mean various sports (eg football, fishing, running, etc.), to other activities such as wood construction, making small cars/models, etc. When he enters adolescence, his interests will change. Having some common interests will make it easier for you to communicate with each other during this difficult time.
• Keep in mind that your son is constantly observing you, and learning to behave accordingly.
Most likely to resemble you in character and demeanor. Make sure you are who you would like your son to be someday! Be patient and honest, and at first you may feel that he doesn’t appreciate or respect you at all (especially in adolescence) but the truth is quite the opposite.
Do not doubt how much your son needs you. Just remember that he can’t easily say it or show you, maybe out of fear that he won’t be ‘man enough’ in your eyes.
At Counselling Kenya, our team of dedicated mental health specialists use tried and tested methods that address the root cause mental wellness issues. To make an appointment with one of our licensed therapists, call 0741123944