Dad & Tween Son Relationships
Fathers work hard at a job to provide for a family. Be sure to take the time to teach tween boys the leadership skills that help them succeed in life, too.
Being the father of a tween boy is a huge responsibility. There are basically two times in a boy’s life when the role of a father is crucial in helping him develop the leadership skills he needs to have a successful life as an adult. An obvious time occurs when puberty hits and hormones go crazy, according to Dr. James Dobson from his best-selling book, Bringing up Boys (Tyndale House Publishers, 2005) This is when a boy really needs a father’s authority, along with a strong physical example and his role as a coach.
If concrete rules and boundaries are not set at this point in a tween boy’s life it is time to get them in place. This means that a father needs to explain his expectations to his son regarding general behavior, involvement around the home, and his performance in school.
Dad should become responsible for consequences and a reward system for the son, with Mom as a helper in helping her son achieve his goals. The father, as the absolute authority, will help a tween boy develop the leadership skills he will need to lead his family when the time comes.
Father as a Physical Example
Most fathers work very hard at a job to provide for the family’s needs. It is an important role, very much necessary to support a family. But, a father needs to be available to his son in a physical way, which is crucial to him learning the value of quality time.
Use this weekly time slot to check up on a tween’s achievements throughout the week, go over upcoming assignments, and let the child express his input on how things are going in his life. This time can be spent over a weekly dinner date or at home in a private setting. Definitely make it a one-on-one time only.
Father as a Coach
It is fine for a father to develop a relationship with his son using the above techniques, but it won’t go very far if Dad isn’t providing the much-needed encouragement his son needs to perform well. A coach teaches new skills, answers questions that a player has, and is able to perform skills himself. In much the same way, a father needs to step into this role with his son. Be easily accessed by phone when at work and give daily doses of encouragement to keep a child’s attitude in check.
Don’t forget to have some fun with a tween in the process of teaching him leadership skills. Outings together provide the needed outlet that both father and son can share together. Trips to the park to throw around the football, walking the dog after dinner, and playing video games are great ways to relate together and have a good time.
Teaching a tween boy leadership skills using tangible and intangible techniques will help him be a confident and successful adult. If there is a family situation in which a father is not in the picture, any male figure that a tween boy looks up to will do just fine to fulfill his needs for a structured life. It may take a little more planning and effort, but the outcomes will be so worth it.