When I was seven, I experienced my favorite memory from childhood. I remember my dad coming home from work in the middle of the afternoon. He changed his clothes quickly. Then he told me why he was home. We were going to my first major league baseball game. I’ll never forget it. The pure size of the stadium had me in awe. It was like the scene in Gladiator when they see the Coliseum for the first time. My heart was pounding. Excitement built with every step. We finally got into the stadium and walked through the tunnel leading to our seats. All of a sudden, the world opened up. There it was—the sky, the field, the players, the sounds, and the wonderful smells of delicious food. It was thrilling. But what had the most impact was the fact that my dad and I were doing something together.
Before leaving, we got two pennants which I hung in my room. They remained on my wall all the way through my college years. I still have those pennants. Now they are hanging in my son’s room. That night was special and unforgettable. My dad planned a night where he focused his attention on me. I felt honored, loved, and cared for. That memory had power. It empowered my dad to speak into my life in a more influential way. I was more willing to listen to him and take his advice. Making special memories with our sons wins us the right to speak into their lives. Here are 3 guidelines for making powerful father-son memories.
1. Pay Attention.
Keep an eye on your son’s interests. Make note of them and start a list. Study your son and know him. Ask him questions about what he likes. Talk to his mother and get her ideas. My dad knew I loved baseball. When he took me to the game, I felt like he knew me. When my son turned seven, I recreated this memory with my son and he loved it. But the only reason he loved it was because he is into sports, especially baseball, and I knew that because I was paying attention to his interests.
2. Make it Special.
Create a time where it is just the two of you. You don’t need to shell out a lot of cash. It’s about the time you spend together, not how much money you spend. Your son will feel cared for by how much attention he is receiving from you. Plan it out and surprise him. Make sure he knows this is something special when you tell him. Try to do something he’s normally not able to do. It can even be as simple as letting him stay up past his bedtime to watch his favorite movie.
3. Be Flexible.
Your son may not like the activity you are doing together, but he will love being with you.It is your job to set the table for your son to have an amazing memory. You can’t dictate how he responds. Don’t force it; just let it happen. One thing stadiums have now that they didn’t have back then are playgrounds. While I was just content watching an entire baseball game with my dad, my son needed to let out energy. So he spent several innings in the playground area. You have to be flexible. Your son may not like the activity you are doing together, but he will love being with you. When he asks you when you are going to do it again, you’ll know you have hit the mark.
Sound off: What’s your favorite memory from childhood?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is your favorite memory of us together?”