Raising boys are always tougher some have said and with good reason too. Raising male kids and fashioning them into the men they should be is a task on its own. It is not just challenging—it can equally be exciting if done properly.
Boys are active from the get go and use up way more band-aids than their female counterparts as toddlers. These peculiarities are clear and some psychologists suggest that they are hardwired into the male DNA. However, there are a number of misconceptions about boys, like the common, boys are not emotional …this and many more are just hogwash and must be jettisoned.
Fathers have a primary role to play in their son’s lives especially early on. Society testifies to the results of absent dads, but the fact is that present dads who are grossly unaware of their roles or too busy to care enough cause a peculiar problem as well.
Here are some suggestions men can implement to have productive time with their boys.
1. Teach Them By Letting Them Tag Along
One of the best times spent with your son is not necessarily time spent alone with them; it is the times you let him observe. Take him to work or to meetings, take him along as you go to inspect a project as long as it is safe for him. Let him see you do what you do and just watch you be a man.
It is one of the most productive times you can have with your son because you also have to be on your best behavior. Children learn much more by observation than by words. Manhood will always mean to them what they see in you and in other men around them. You should consider being that example.
2. Learn From Them By Hanging Around Them More
Have you ever asked your kids questions and I don’t mean the rhetorical questions we ask without really expecting answers. Time spent with you entering into their world and mind is often the most productive Daddy time ever. You will be shocked at the differences between your generations. If you think that you know it all, listen to your 8-year-old speak.
Hang around with him to play a video game or let him help you with something on the computer. Acts like this begin to form a guard in his mind against the unspoken expectations that every man must know everything and have it all together.
You are teaching him the power of vulnerability, you are teaching him to make fewer mistakes in life. If you don’t know something; ask for help.
Your kid doesn’t need to know the right answers, he just needs to be involved, too many men never seek help and carry around an immense emotional luggage, teach him that it’s okay to talk about your concerns. You are raising a mentally healthy child.
3. Do Some Work Together
The best times I ever experienced with my dad, while growing up were times we spent working together on some project, whether it was painting a house or building some project together or packing up books (and my … did he read a lot).
If you are mowing the lawn, for instance, let him use a rake and gather the grass, even if he is too young and making a mess of it, let him. The aim isn’t a perfect job, but productive daddy time. This is the best time to just discuss freely, ask questions about all his friends and what school is like too. These times are often revelational.
Men often feel at home with some work on their hands plus it is a great strategy for teaching them the power of teamwork because chances are that he will eventually have to work with one or play with one.
4. Get Him Around Some Adrenalin… Or Better Yet Stir His
I am not suggesting you take your son to a bar or something, but I am suggesting that you both have some men’s thing you do together. You may not have to go bungee jumping or something that extreme, but something like a horse ride or letting him take part in an all men’s football game with all the perks will work fine.
Men have to be courageous and face life with some excitement, rush, and less fear. While this sounds stereotypical, it is still true in our world today that men are expected to be less afraid than the women. Getting him around the right kind of men and activities will stir him up and you get to discover a million things about your son.
5. Have ‘Your Thing’
Whether it is singing, playing football or tennis, going to the movies of games, dancing or whatever it may be, you both need to have ‘your thing’. Just make sure, it is ‘his thing’ too. Your son is not you; you don’t want to force him into a mould.
Steer Him in the directions of the passions you discover, he will be of more long term benefit to society that way.
6. Disappear: Try Some Men’s Time Out
‘We don’t need magic to disappear, we just need a destination’ this and other amazing travel quotes will get your wanderlust stirred up pretty quickly, but it doesn’t have to be a fancy location, it could even be a work trip or just a hunting trip. Perhaps a few days away with a little soft hiking and scout lifestyle.
Pack your bags together, or better yet you both pack a bag, The point here is to get your son to see you as a pal as well as a dad, and build a bond of transparency and friendship that will outlast every problem … because problems will come.
Boys will be boys, goes the popular saying, but boys become good men when we take proper care to place the right prototypes before them.
Let’s go raise good men, shall we?