The relationship that we have with our dads can be quite complicated at times, especially if you’re a boy. Unlike what many people think, sons don’t always get along with their fathers. Do you know why? It’s because we don’t regularly share the same interests and opinions with them. And this difference often causes communication problems which can further damage or strain the already rocky relationship.
“[T]he relationship between father and child can have a significant impact on the child’s tendencies toward depression and behavior problems,” says Rick Nauert, PhD.
As a son who once had a very tricky relationship with his Dad, I would like to share some of the tips that helped make my relationship with him a lot better. I’m not saying that it’s going to work for everyone, but it worked on mine. Interested in finding out what they are? Then let’s begin.
Let Yourself Forgive
Before anything else, you must first set yourself free from all the bad memories that damaged your relationship with your dad in the first place. Forgive him and yourself for not being able to fix your issues sooner. Remind yourself that it’s better to start late than never. Allow yourself to forgive, then and only then will you be able to heal. Am I telling you to forget? No, I’m not. That’s on you. What matters is that you were able to remove some of the heaviness you feel inside your chest.
“Take responsibility for who you are today,” says Maud Purcell, LCSW. “Acknowledge what was troublesome about your growing up experience, accept it, and move on.”
Find A Common Ground
One of the first things that you should do if you want to mend the relationship with your son or with your dad is to find common ground with them. And the best way to do that is to look for something that can interest you both. Whether it’s fishing, playing sports, or even camping, you need to figure out what is that one thing that you can do and enjoy together. It will jumpstart a train of opportunities that can help you fix your relationship with him.
Never Force A Conversation
Forcing a conversation with your dad will never result in anything good. And even if it does, the risk of making things worse is still high. Guys rarely ‘open up’ to one another. There’s something about this so-called ‘masculinity’ that almost always prevents us from bringing our walls down and actually saying the right words that could fix everything. So just to be safe, don’t.
This one is very important. Don’t let time be an enemy once more. Instead, allow it to set the pace. If things start yielding positive results right away then good. But if they don’t, then let them. Patience is the key to making sure that things will go by correctly. Don’t rush it and you will get the kind of results you want. “Fostering a relationship with an older family member is like tending a garden. It takes time, patience, and planning,” wrote Tchiki Davis, PhD.
These are just some of the things I did to fix my relationship with my Dad. As previously mentioned, these things will not be practical for everyone. But since they did great things for me, I’m still going to recommend them. If you are done reading this, you can go out and fix things with your Dad – now. You’ll never know, maybe that’s all you need to do.