As a boy grows up, there will be many people who influence him and his development into adulthood. As a father, you want to be the main influence in this area. You are, and should be, his most important role model. Below are 7 things to help you be the best role model you can be in your son’s life. Here is a printable version for you as well. Don't forget to check out the 7 Things a Daughter Needs from Her Dad, too!
1. He needs you to love his mother.
When you love your wife, or the mother of your son, you are showing him how to treat his mother, his sisters, and all the women he’ll meet in his life. This will set the foundation for the relationships he will have later in his life.
2. He needs to see you fail, not just succeed.
The best teacher is failure. The best type of failure to learn from is someone else’s. When your son sees you fail, and handle the failure well, he sees that it is okay to make mistakes and that mistakes can be great teachers. A boy who is not afraid of making mistakes will grow into a man positioned to accept and conquer great challenges.
3. He needs your servant leadership.
You may or may not be the boss at work. You may or may not be the pastor or minister at church. You may or not be a leader in your community. But you are the leader of your family. Your son needs to see true leadership in your home. He needs to see you leading by serving. When he sees you leading by serving, he will better understand leadership and be able to more effectively lead versus follow his peers. As he grows, he will better lead his family, lead at work, lead at church, and lead in his community.
4. He needs you to be present.
As you fulfill all the different roles you have, you may be pulled in multiple directions. He needs you to be present in his education, in his social life, in all areas of his life. Some areas are not intended for mom only, or for his friends only. Your presence in all areas will give him the support he needs.
5. He needs your love regardless of his choices.
You may be the biggest sports junkie not living in Bristol, CT (where ESPN headquarters are located). And your son may not be able to kick a ball if you placed it on his toe, nor care that he can’t. No matter what choices your son makes, he needs you to love him even if they are different than yours. Even when they are wrong choices. Your love and guidance will open the door to trust and acceptance that build your relationship. And it will build his self-esteem.
6. He needs you to affirm him.
“I love you, son.” “I’m proud of you, son.” “You are amazing, son.” “I know you can do it, son.” “That was an amazing play you made!” “You are a hard worker.” “You messed up, but I know you’ll bounce back.” Your son needs your encouragement. He needs to hear the words that let him know you love having him as a son.
7. He needs you to discipline him in love.
When you discipline your son, you set boundaries and expectations. He is going to make mistakes just like you did as a kid and just like you do now. But he also needs to know that his actions have consequences. Disciplining him in love will teach him to consider the consequences his actions will have. This will prepare him to think and evaluate the choices he makes both now and in the future.
Huddle up with your son tonight and say:
What is the #1 thing you need from me? Why?
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