There is something most fathers do that needs to be addressed. We aren’t as loving towards our sons as we are our daughters. Now, this may be a cultural issue as I only know one side of this; however, I’m a proud father of four wonderful and talented children. My oldest son followed by three beautiful daughters.
Time and time again I’ve been told by my Queen that I’m too rough on our son. Being of sound mind and judgement, I have disregarded this too long. One day I found myself analyzing the relationship I have with my father. I idolize this man now; however, when I was younger it wasn’t so. He was strict, business first, and emotions were just a burden. We didn’t hug and rarely said, “I love you.”
While having a conversation with my folks, my mom pronounces her love for all of us. I, in turn, do the same. Yet between dad and I, there’s only a bye. I understand his reasoning for his parenting style now that I’m older. As a black man, I would always have to fight harder for my place in life. Those lessons prepared me for that fight. I made sure all my T’s were crossed and I’s were dotted. Spoke with respect even when it wasn’t returned. Because it displayed my character and not the perception of what the country thought of me. This lesson applies to all men too. Most men were raised on these principles while some of us were forced to learn this on our own.
Now that I’m older I realize I’ve done the same with my son. I have not adjusted my style as the world has changed. Just as my father and his father never adjusted with the world, I find myself wanting that with my son. The hard part is, “How do I to adjust without losing the lessons that made men like my grandfather, father, and me?”
I’ve come to 3 simple rules to go by.
1. CORRECT HIM WHEN HE’S OUT OF LINE: The world will correct him often. Regardless of race, teach him young and he will learn to correct himself before anyone else.
2. EXPLAIN WHY YOU ARE CORRECTING HIM: Never leave your actions open for misinterpretation. Men are logical creatures by nature so treat him like so.
3. PRAISE AND LOVE MUST BE GIVEN OUT AS MUCH #1 IS: This will show him he is loved and his actions bring you joy. Don’t limit this to sports fellas. Rejoice and learn to appreciate what it is your son is passionate about. No different than we would do our wives and daughters.
This isn’t fool-proof by far; however, it does give us as men a basis to go by. You don’t want to be that father that hasn’t said “I love you”, or given his son a hug in 30yrs. Your relationship with your son requires regular maintenance. Just like most things in a man’s life he loves dearly.
About the Author
Ken Aplon is a Enviromental Engineer in the Water/ Wastewater field. Proud husband and father to four children. He doesn’t see him himself as a writer. Writing is a way to get his voice out to the world. If you would like to reach Ken, he is on Twitter!