We never kicked it at all, never pitched or kicked at a ball, you never taught me how to fight, ride a bike, none of that….!” This a lyric I heard from a Jay-Z song as Beanie Seagle rapped about being a “fatherless son.” While fathers usually do teach these things, there are some other lessons that great fathers out there teach. And hence, the reason we need their presence! Here are 5 key lessons…follow me!
1. Care It may seem that this might be the lesson that many take from their mothers, but fathers are vital in teaching their sons how to care. Sons need to see their fathers care about other people, express emotion, and most importantly love. One of the reasons men struggle to express emotion is because as boys they were never shown that it was okay. They are consistently told to “suck it up” or told that loving is a sign of weakness. Those same sons become men that want to be husbands, but lack the most important skill of loving and caring.
2. Character How Dad responds in times of controversy or conflict teaches a son so much about character. How his father lives, who his father is, at his core, and who he is when no one is looking will teach his son volumes about character. How he treats his family, friends, and community and to a point how people speak about his father will teach him the importance of character!
3. Confidence Confident fathers are vital in producing confident sons! There is nothing like the security a son feels when he feels like his father has “got this.” And, nothing makes him believe more that he can “get this!” Belief first comes from someone believing in you and nothing means more to a son than his father’s approval and belief in him. Not to mention that when sons get to watch their fathers handle situations, it gets etched in their memory and they will always pull from those mental banks!
4. Commitment This is extremely important for sons to see their fathers do. When sons see their fathers commit to things like their jobs, their crafts, their communities and most importantly their families, then commitment inevitably becomes an expectation. Inversely, when a father becomes a quitter at life and at their responsibility and family, it becomes easier for the son to follow suit. A son seeing a father commit to and love his mother is a powerful thing and it will out live any lecture or speech ever spoken.
5. Consistency Consistency births a feeling of security and structure! Knowing dad is going to show up to the game consistently. Knowing dad will be home for dinner, knowing dad will protect him when he needs protecting and will punish him when he needs to be punished. Knowing that dad will BE THERE for his mother means that he can focus on being the best son instead of having to prematurely turn into his mother’s husband. These are only 5 of the many things fathers teach their sons. While riding a bike, learning to stand up for himself or fixing a flat are all important things, the true lessons are the ones learned through a son doing those things with his father and through watching his father in action. There are so many great fathers out there and I salute you, but there are others who don’t realize how important they truly are.
Society may have marginalized your importance but I know how important you are to your sons and I hope you do too!