The modern day takes its toll on father son relationships. Whether it is an absent Dad, a Dad who works too much or a Dad who drinks too much it is not always easy to be friends let alone civil relatives.
However you have two choices in dealing with this. You can start complaining about the external circumstances in society that have created the conditions for a potentially frayed relationship it is better to focus on what is in your control.
As one half of the relationship you have the ability to improve it. You can play or the victim or you can stand up, take charge and create the relationship you want. Whether you are the father or the son you can do something about it.
Here are four practical tips for improving your father son relationship:
1. Understand That Parenting Is Tough
Too often children can be critical of their parents. The vast majority of parents did their best and made the best decisions they could with the information they had at the time. There is no qualification in parenting. They are just winging it. They will make mistakes and they will screw up. But they mean well. If you can grasp that then perhaps you can learn to forgive your father for his failings. That is the first step to building a harmonious relationship.
2. Plan Regular Activites Together
Males bond over certain activities that give them time, space and something to occupy the silence. Pastimes such as fishing, watching sport and working on a car together are a way you can spend time, which can eventually lead to the ability to open up a bit more. The Art of Manliness has an excellent list of father son bonding activities.
3. Find A Common Interest
Many young men struggle when they feel their father is pushing them into the direction of his own interests. They feel he will be disappointed if they don't shape up in what he wants them to be.
Try instead to find something that you both enjoy and both have a passion for. Then you can engage, socialize and bond over that activity rather than getting frustrated at each other.
4. Do Something That Shows Your Gratitude
Even if things haven't been great in your relationship there will be some nugget of goodness in there. Focus on that. Share your feelings of gratitude. Whether it was for something that happened in the past or something that is happening right now you can put a relationship back on the right path by focusing on the positives.
This could be as simple as saying thank you. Perhaps you could write him a letter. Or you could take him out for a special treat. Either way make him know you are grateful for him.
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