What things do sons need to learn from their fathers? I would say there are many ideas and concepts a father should teach his son; yet, I want to extract as well as analyze 7 essential traits I believe are crucial to the development and maturation process- from boyhood to manhood.
A father should model as well as verbalize to his son the gravity of integrity. He should instill in him the importance of telling the truth and how it will affect him in the present and future. In addition, he must help his son to see how honesty is connected to being a great employee/employer, friend, spouse, and overall great person and how dishonesty adversely affects and ruins those previously mentioned things.
King Solomon said it best, “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Pride is one of the greatest sources of a man’s downfall. This is something a father wants to emphasize to his son. Struggling with this issue can lead to serious consequences, such as dysfunctional relationships due to failing to hear anyone else’s point of view, unemployment because of not being able to submit to authority or follow the employer’s instructions, and loneliness as a result of being inflexible and unwilling to compromise. At the same rate, a father must help his son to distinguish between being meek and being weak. Meekness is the ability to possess a mild, controlled disposition, to take the low side, and to comply with proper rules/authority. On the other hand, weakness is being fearful, silent, and allowing others to walk all over you. So, meekness is the acceptable characteristic, not weakness.
In many cases, males are more apt to suppress/repress their feelings towards others. However, we must be able to illustrate care/concern for people and share with our son its importance. This can be shown through sympathy (feeling pitiful and sorrowful for someone else’s misfortune) and empathy (the ability to share the feelings of others or to put yourself in their shoes). When a male develops this, he is able to make better decisions, be remorseful for harming/hurting others, and enjoy healthy, long-term relationships.
It is imperative that a father models bravery before his son. I’m not referring to being mean, aggressive, abusive, and combative, but being able to face difficult situations head-on and overcome them. Too many men flee when troubles and adversity arise. But a strong man will weather the storm and persevere, despite the opposition and tribulation he faces. This trait is truly essential for a husband and father to possess because, in his role as the head of the household, all eyes and expectations will be on him to successfully navigate the family during difficult circumstances.
5. Emotional Control
Society oftentimes paints “out of control” behavior in men as normal and acceptable. Yet, it is not. A father must teach his son how to regulate his emotions and express them inappropriate ways. As a dad, he must reprimand him when he exhibits negative ways of expressing emotions and correct him by suggesting strategies and techniques for releasing stress and channeling anger appropriately.
6. Work Ethic
Traditionally, men are known as being the sole provider or the highest-paid provider in the home. Because of this, it is imperative that a father communicates to his son the significance of working hard and earning a stable, honest income. Of course, in life, things happen, and there may come a time when a man experiences unemployment. However, outside of these types of circumstances, a male should automatically possess a desire to work and provide for his family.
It is defined as having self-control, strong mental fortitude, and mental toughness. Personally, I define discipline as the ability to stop doing negative, detrimental things, and to start doing positive, beneficial acts consistently. This is a critical characteristic that a father must convey to his son.
The keys to success, longevity, relationships, etc., are all hinged on discipline because it spills over into various areas, such as money management, time management/organization, work ethic, and emotional control. Those who lack discipline have difficulty properly budgeting their money, keeping appointments, completing tasks in a timely manner, maintaining employment, and controlling their negative feelings.