We originally posted this back around Father’s Day but with New Year’s around the corner, we thought some of these might make good resolutions and things you can commit to doing with your son as you head into the New Year. So here are 9 things that every father should do with his son.
Every father should be his son’s hero. With that in mind, here are our best suggestions for how to help you create moments that your son will remember and build off for a lifetime.
It can be anything. A birdhouse. A treehouse. A fort. Anything. Give him some nails and wood or fabric and paint. Then teach them how to do something with it. Remember the most important thing is not what it is you’re building. Or even if it turns out good. What is important is that you work on a project together and learn to plan, organize, mess up, improvise and everything else involved with learning how to create.
Grow Facial Hair Together
We advise that you start this one once they get out of elementary schools. Either that or go heavy on the hormone infused chicken for a few months. But when they come of age and they get pass the fuzz and into the stubble, do a No Shave November with them. Rock a beard together. Or better yet, channel your inner Tom Sellecks and sport matching mustaches. Either way, you win. And while his friends are shaving their arms and chest, he gains the ability to level up his man credentials.
Teach Him How To Drink
Or I should say, teach him how to drink responsibly. No one needs an alcoholic son. Or alcoholic father for that matter. But what your son needs is to be taught an appropriate respect and perspective on drinking. So when he is young, teach him what drinking responsibly looks like. Pattern responsible drinking for him and save your benders and table top dancing for when he is not around. As he gets older explain the differences between an IPA and a Lager. The intricacies of Speyside scotch versus scotch from the Highlands. And finally, when he is old enough, take him out on the town and buy him a drink so you guys can reminisce on the memories you have created.
Do Something Illegal
Not super illegal. Like grow a crop of marijuana in your backyard. Or be a get away driver. But something dangerous enough that you might get in trouble for. Or get a stern rebuke for. Or a deep sigh of disappointment. Just something that forces them to color outside the lines and get away with it. You are not trying to create a pathological criminal with the illegal act. Just trying to create a little adventure.
Show Him How To Be A Gentleman
This should hopefully be an easy one for you. And while it is important to teach him the importance of manners and opening doors for ladies. Dig deep. Get into what it means to be a true gentleman. I am biased. So I would focus on the what it means to be a Southern gentleman by teaching him how to wear a bow tie without being a douche. How to be truly hospitable and open your home to friends and even enemies. How to uphold justice and what is good and right. It may sound romanticized but your son could do a lot worse than rediscovering the lost art of being a gentleman.
Tell Him Exaggerated Stories
Exaggerated stories expand our imaginations. There is a fine line between lying and being a great story teller. But every story you share should be teeming with possibility, adventure, big colorful adjectives. Teach him how to entertain an audience and then win them to his side. Exaggeration is more than fluff. It opens us up the possibility of a bigger story we can live into.
Spend A Weekend Camping Together
Unplug. And when you’ve unplugged. Double check that you have unplugged everything. In this day of constant communication and technology swarming around us and through us, it is important to remember the value of solitude and the earth. Camping is a great way to (re)establish that rhythm. Sit around a fire in conversation or sit in silence staring at embers. Walk through a stream. Or simply sit and read. But get outside and remember what connects us to the ground and places we live.
Cry In Front Of Him
Men are conditioned not to cry. From the playground to our relationships it is easier for us to keep our feelings in check than to be open to the full range of emotions we may experience in life. For some people it is easy to cry. For others, it is not easy. The point is not to make him a cryer or a non-cryer. The point is for you to be teach him the importance of connecting with every emotion he feels and channeling them in healthy ways. So be open in front of him. And if that means crying, then cry him a river.
Teach Him A Simple Recipe To Cook For Someone He Loves
Every man should know how to cook. And while every man does not have to be a chef he should at least be able to put together four or five basic meals and one or two meals that while simple, really know how to impress. So get in the kitchen and fumble around with a recipe and figure out what works because at some point he is going to need to impress someone. And what better way to their heart that a delicious meal.