A boy’s father is arguably the single greatest influence in his life. His dad’s presence or absence sends him a strong message and sets an example that he will remember when he himself has a family. Here are 10 ways deadbeat dads can make a positive impact on their sons’ lives, starting today.
- 1. Don’t be self-centered. Too many fathers only spend time with their sons when it is convenient for them. But when dads make the effort to spend time with their sons every day, those boys develop a sense of value and confidence that will stay with them into adulthood.
- 2. Realize that time is everything. A dad needs to cherish his son’s childhood and build memories that will last throughout his son’s life.
- 3. Do everyday things with him. Quantity is quality. Fathers and sons need to cook breakfast together, do errands and chores together, and do grocery shopping together, too. A boy needs to learn more than just how to throw a football.
- 4. Stop being “here-but-not-here”. When a son has to keep saying “Dad…Dad…Dad…” ten times in a row to get his father’s attention, something is wrong. Nothing builds up a boy’s self-esteem like knowing that his dad is interested in him.
- 5. Never cut him down, especially in front of others. This will damage him in ways that can never be repaired.
- 6. Never cut down his mom, especially in front of him. This sends the message that his mom is dumb and doesn’t need to be obeyed or respected, and this is difficult to undo.
- 7. Make him a priority. Fathers who take time off from work to attend their sons’ extracurricular activities will be remembered. Whether his dad was there cheering for him at every single game, or at every other game, or at no games at all, that boy will remember.
- 8. Talk to him. Fathers and sons need to have the sex talk, the drug talk, the alcohol talk, the-listen-to-your-mother talk, and the don’t-be-a-player talk, too. Daily communication with his father, even if it’s just small talk, is absolutely essential to a boy’s social development.
- 9. Be his dad, not his buddy. A boy needs to know who’s in charge. He needs to learn to respect his parents, or he will walk all over them when he’s a teenager.
- 10. Pay child support. It is every father’s responsibility to provide for his own son, even if they don’t live together. Whether the mom initiates it or not, that dad needs to spend a portion of every paycheck on his son.
Every boy needs his father to be involved in his life. When a boy grows up to be a man, he will use his father’s example as a starting point in working out how to be a husband and father himself, and when that time comes, his own family will benefit or suffer because of the behaviors and attitudes that were passed down from father to son.
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