One of the greatest privileges a man can ever experience is to have a son, and one of the greatest privileges a son can ever experience is to have a father. God has blessed me personally with 3 sons, and they are three of the biggest joys of my life.
While I try to show them my love in many ways, one of the primary ways is through my words. As I’ve raised my boys, I’ve noticed how my words have a tremendous impact on them for either the good or the bad. Paul Lewis once said, “A father’s words are like a thermostat that sets the temperature in the home.” How true. For every father of a boy, here are 5 things every son needs to hear from his dad.
1. “I love you.”
No father should ever outgrow telling his son that he loves him. Because no son ever outgrows the need to hear it from his father. In a society that tries to paint men and boys as too macho to show or verbally express love, our sons need to see and hear what real love looks like from their fathers.
2. “I’m proud of you.”
One of the greatest disappointments that grown men have when it comes to their relationship with their father is that they always wanted to know that he was proud of them, yet many of them never did. Dads, let’s make this one easy—tell your son regularly that you are proud of him. Your son’s self-esteem is counting on it. One of the best parts of the All Pro Dad’s Day school program is that they have pride moments where dads say what they are proud of about their children. Learn more about joining a chapter or starting a chapter here.
3. “I’m here for you.”
Nothing speaks love to a boy like a father who is present and willing to spend time with him and willing to listen to him. Boys are not naturally as big of talkers as girls, but they have to know that when they need someone to talk to, Dad will be there. Never leave room for doubt that your son knows you are there for them no matter what. And when they do need you, make good on that promise.
4. “You’re doing a great job.”
A simple “Way to go, son!” and a pat on the back goes a long way with a boy. I remember asking my teenage son a few years ago what was one thing I could do better as a dad, and his answer to me was simple, “Tell me more often that I’m doing a good job, rather than just noticing the things I do wrong.” As much as that hurt to hear, I needed to hear it.
5. “Thank you.”
Boys thrive on being appreciated. So tell them often that you are thankful for them. “Thanks for being my son…Thanks for doing your best…Thanks for choosing to show kindness…and thanks for helping your mom…Thanks for making me proud to call you my son…”
Our sons need to hear these things. Dads. Let’s not make excuses, let’s simply make it happen!
Sound off: What are some other things daughters need to hear from their dads?
Huddle up with your son and ask, “What is the most encouraging thing I have ever said to you?”