What Boys Need from Their Dads
Daddy Talk

What Boys Need from Their Dads

Fathers come in many different forms these days. One thing they all have in common is that they are looked up to by those around them, especially younger men and boys. This may seem like a lot of pressure to put on one person, but here are some mindful ways that dads can set good examples for the boys in their lives.

Support of Partner & Family

Boys often look to their fathers to emulate how to treat their families and partners. How you treat family members has to be intentional, especially when it comes to women and girls. It is important to remind your children that parents are team players and equally supportive of each other. This can be done through your actions as well as your words. Whether it’s offering a helping hand or asking for one, parents need to act as an equal and united front, regardless of who is bringing home the bigger salary.

The presence of a strong support system will instill important values such as respect and support. Such values provide balance in a child that they can then utilize within their own relationships as well as your family dynamic.

Expression of Emotions

When it comes to uncomfortable conversations, the most important ones are usually about how you are feeling. It’s about more than just happiness and sadness, though: humans have complicated, layered emotions that we experience every day. Stress, anxiety, and pressure are all valid and normal feelings to have. It’s crucial to find a way to express these feelings in healthy ways. Visiting a counselor or therapist can open us up to conversations we may not be used to having regarding our emotions as well as give us tools to productively regulate emotions.

From there, being honest with our children about who we talk to and why can introduce them to the idea of healthy expression. If you show your sons healthy coping tactics, they are more likely to grow up with the emotional intelligence to recognize a tricky situation and find a solution instead of keeping it within themselves. Emotions can be a difficult subject for some people, but avoiding conversations about them can be unproductive and, at times, detrimental to you and your loved ones.

Admit to Failures

Everyone makes mistakes. Whether small or large, it’s normal and no one expects us to be perfect other than ourselves. Therefore, some may have trouble admitting when they’re wrong or ignore a situation entirely. But admitting to failure is not the same as admitting defeat; mistakes are opportunities for us –and our sons– to learn and grow. Therefore, it is important as a parent to recognize when you’ve failed, become comfortable with the uncomfortable, and set it right.

Sweeping a failure under the rug will only come back around to hurt you later. It is also important to avoid negative self-talk when you realize you’ve failed. Low self-esteem is a normal feeling to have but externalizing it can affect how your child sees and treats him or herself. Remember, little eyes are always watching you.

A Place of Guidance

Creating a safe environment for your child to feel seen and heard is important. Even when they are misbehaving or making mistakes, discipline should be given constructively and with purpose, not just ‘because I said so’. Listing alternative solutions after listening to their side of the story with a non-judgmental ear can be comforting and show them that you’re actively listening to what they have to say. It can vary depending on your and your child’s communication styles, but if they feel respected, they are more likely to open up about a deeper issue that may be bothering them.

But it’s ok not to know all the answers either and admitting that can make you seem like less of an all-knowing enforcer and more like an imperfect parent that they can relate to. This will be beneficial for both of you when it comes to having crucial conversations about puberty, relationships, careers, and other social issues as well.

Leading by example is difficult but it will be beneficial for the young people in your life. You’re not expected to be perfect, but you are expected to try. As fathers, the most you can do for your sons is to instill values in them and give them the tools to be understanding and patient people. 



Brian Thomas is a contributor to Enlightened Digital. He enjoys reading and researching tech and business. When he’s not looking into the latest trends, you can find him out cycling.

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