There is nothing as beautiful than to see a father and his sons interacting with one another with natural affection and playfulness. I have had the privilege of seeing this many times over with our seven sons.
Since the time our children were babies, my husband has taken them out all bundled up for walks in the evening. This tradition has evolved into special times of sharing and teaching. Our family calls it ‘bud time’. Even our teenage sons still want bud time!!
Our current society puts such a negative, unmanly focus on male relationships. The various media has made a great portion of men into wimps. Television shows portray men as bumbling, weak and indecisive. Movies cast men as oversexed and excessively violent.
Fathers are frequently afraid of showing their feelings. If they are too affectionate they might raise *** disoriented sons. Because of the current frenzy over abuse, father's (and mother's) hands are tied when trying to discipline unruly children, especially in public.
It is a double edged sword: children are criticized for their naughty behavior and parents are seen as being to lax, then when parents do take control, they are seen as abusive.
And yet what is necessary for normal childhood development is the frequent interaction of fathers and children. Boys learn how to be men by the constant observation of their father throughout the years. Boys learn how to treat women by keenly watching how their father treats their mother. Boys find healthy expressions and outlets for their testosterone with each other and with their fathers. There needs to be hands-on wrestling with laughter and giggling aplenty. There needs to be side by side working together on house or yard projects.
Fathers are constantly under a microscope for observation by everyone in the family. His role is probably the most influential. (This is not belittling a mother's role at all. It is just different. ) The way a father reacts to the myriad of situations that will arise will effectually shape his children.
What kind of sons do you want? Happy, well adjusted, leaders in their family and community, hard working, honest, faithful. Then father needs to model this. Model it in a group and family setting, model it one on one with each of your sons. What you put into relationships with your sons now will have far lasting effects in the years to come.
Jeanne Condon, besides being happily married and raising 8 children, works from home at a fun part-time side job. She can be reached at http://www.happyandhealthyfamily.com