Tuesday, August 10, 2010
WEEK 19 QUOTE 19
A COLOURFUL NEW LOOK FOR "THIS WEEK WITH THE KIDS" - THANK YOU INDI AND SETH!!!
"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man about. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."
The arrogance of youth! But we've all been guilty of the same - sure opinions being reviewed and often adjusted, even discarded as we have matured. If you have a son that is fourteen and are struggling in your relationship, there is hope of him changing his attitude towards you as you change your approach with him. Read on for some help on how you could do this.
This post is a continuation of the previous post - WEEK 18 QUOTE 18.
It is PART 2 of WHAT SONS NEED FROM THEIR DAD.
In the previous post I talked about ~
* how dads can and why they need to CONNECT with their sons.
* sons need DISCIPLINE, AFFECTION, LOVE AND FORGIVENESS from their dad.
In this post I'll talk about ~
* dads need to be a MODEL OF EMOTIONS AND SELF CONTROL.
* dads must SHARE REAL LIFE TOGETHER with their sons.
* sons can best be EQUIPPED FOR THE FUTURE by dad.
This last section has five points, the fourth and fifth points are still in process, so will have to wait till the next post.
3. MODEL OF EMOTIONS AND SELF CONTROL.
Sons need dad to be a model of living well with his emotions and self control, that is worth following. I think Sean Sands was a pretty good example of self control in the Quote from the last post.
"There is some frightening research from Australia: nearly a third of men never speak to their father. Another third only use 'put downs', or mock their fathers when speaking to them. The final third have merely 'distance' talk: about sport, power tools etc. Only one in twelve sees his father as an emotional support."
I read once about a Catholic nun who was involved in working in a prison for men. A couple of weeks before Mother's Day, she was asked by an inmate if she could get a Mother's day card for him to send to his mum. When other prisoners heard about it they also requested cards to send to their mums. The nun phoned a card company, explained the situation and they agreed to supply her with a huge quantity of Mother's Day cards for free. They were all snapped up by the inmates. A few months later as Father's Day approached, she decided to be prepared and so phoned the card company again and was given a huge supply of Father's Day cards. Not one male prisoner asked for or wanted a Father's Day card when offered. Years had passed and the same situation was repeatedly lived out in front of her - she always got rid of the Mother's Day cards, but was still stuck with the first shipment of Father's Day cards!
The way we live emotionally really governs our lives. A son, particularly in his early years, watches his dad's emotional patterns and use or lack of self control. These patterns deeply affect his developing character.
Through a dad's emotions, he silently communicates information on the importance , the priority and the value he places on individuals in the family. This will either be positive or negative. Dads need to regulate their negative emotions such as anger, resentment, hatred, jealousy and envy, moodiness, coldness or distance, and be a positive role model.
The two photos at the top of this post are visual examples of the emotion of two fathers which affect their sons - not only for that moment but possibly, who knows for how long?
Sons regularly need to see dad demonstrate self control in situations they know impact dad personally, even hurt dad personally. Boys need to see, know and begin to understand dad's "feeling side". This is a model for them as they learn to respond to a world with many hurts and disappointments.
-#** FACT **#- THE EMOTIONS DAD DISPLAYS ARE ABSORBED AND EFFECT SONS - FOR THEIR GOOD OR TO THEIR DETRIMENT.
-#** FACT **#- SONS NEED TO SEE DAD DEAL POSITIVELY WITH PERSONAL HURT.
In the last post I talked about play wrestling, this activity is clear in showing a son how to become a good winner and a good loser. He must experience both, because real life gives us lots of experiences of losing, so dad needs to equip him. [ The movie "The Pursuit of Happyness" is a great movie portraying a positive attitude to 'losing'] Play wrestling teaches a son "how to use physical strength without dominating and hurting. Play fighting will help your son learn to control himself, a skill that will be vital for him as he heads into the emotion filled years of adolescence."
-#** FACT **#- SONS NEED TO LEARN THROUGH ACTIVITY WITH DAD, HOW TO CONTROL THEMSELVES.
4. SHARING REAL LIFE TOGETHER.
Before a dad can gain entrance to be heard by his son on real life subjects, he must first make sure he has a strong bond connection with his son. this earns the right to be heard. This is essential with sons of eight years and older.
Again dad is a model that a son copies in the area of learning to listen.
-#** FACT **#- IF DAD LEARNS TO LISTEN TO HIS SON, HIS SON WILL LEARN TO LISTEN TO DAD (eventually)
Listening - like good communication, works both ways. Lecturing is the killer in this area. Dad needs to be open and approachable to honest feedback from the son - even if it is negative. If you know or sense there is distance in the relationship, dad must take the initiative first to erectify the problem. Dad after all is the maturer, more experienced of the two, so he needs to lead the way, set the example to follow. Dad needs to clearly admit when he is wrong, otherwise he teaches his son to never admit fault. These beneficial practices all demonstrate love to a son.
Ian Grant in "Fathers Who Dare Win", suggests some questions to help stop conversations getting stuck and shutting down into non-communication. He says to move away from asking "Why?" questions, instead ask question that open or begin a conversation ~
"What has to be done?"
"What can I do to help?"
"Could you explain a little more?"
"Could you tell me your reason for asking?"
"What needs to change?"
"What are you trying to accomplish?"
Respect - is a very important area to dads and sons alike.
"We all crave the love and understanding of a father. Many men have told me that the most important aspect of their journey from boyhood to manhood was when they finally felt they had earned the respect of their fathers."
Many studies support this high priority acceptance - respect being given by a father to his son. Teenage sons particularly need to know they are important to and respected by their fathers. Through this they develop self confidence and a strong sense of identity.
A son wants to be respected for who he is, not his achievements academically or in sport. He wants to know he is valued for himself, as a person.
Respect can be communicated to a son in the way dad speaks to him. If this is a regular pattern, it will encourage a son to speak respectfully in return to dad. Dad again needs to lead the way.
CLICK here to read Alex Kronemer's great story of his struggle working at being a positive dad to his sons, while dealing with a bad relationship with his own father.
-#** FACT **#- SONS NEED THE RESPECT OF THEIR FATHERS FIRST, SHOWING THEM HOW RESPECT WORKS.
Pornography - The world is increasingly public in displaying pornography. Even in child TV time slots, shops and public places, pornography screams out loud and clear. The statistics of addiction to pornography in men, teenage boys and boys, is alarming.
-#** FACT **#- SONS NEED DADS TO BE HONEST ABOUT THE DESTRUCTIVE EFFECTS PORNOGRAPHY HAS IN BOYS AND MEN'S LIVES, AND EQUIP THEIR SONS TO KNOW THEY CAN MAKE CHOICES TO STEP AWAY FROM ITS HOLD.
Dad needs to know reliable information here, as this industry is subtley strong, geared to catch and control its addicts. Once armed, dad can know how to prepare and steer boys away from pornography, as well as look for the signs of bad habits starting.
To help sons with pornography, dad needs to be fully aware of what his son is watching on the internet, TV, video games, movies and magazines.
It seems boys can become addicted to pornography because they themselves suffer from personal trauma which has not been resolved. If a boy's personal trauma stays unresolved, his heart is still hurt or injured. This is where pornography steps in with its superficiality of providing pleasure and the appearance of keeping a boys heart "safe from the possibility of further pain. The reality however, was that my heart became more and more detatched, thus setting me up for further pain down the road," says Ken Weatherbee in his article "Pornography and Trauma. There is a Connection"
This too is where a boy's peers do not always help. Encouragement from friends to be involved and experience pornography can both put pressure on boys to conform, and also be a powerful questioning force on a boy's self assessment of his manhood. The group attitude is that involvement with pornography, proves manliness. So boys can be both confused and pressured.
Ken Weatherbee writes, "To all fathers reading, it is so important to realize how our children, particularly our sons, look up to us as heroes - they are like sponges absorbing our actions and behaviour into their subconscious minds. When we look at women with lust, our sons observe and internalize this example as they develop their own view toward women. Our comments on casualness toward "locker room" talk leads these young boys to establish an unhealthy attitude toward women - sexual toys for our personal gratification."
Mr Weatherbee in his article, describes his trauma as a boy and talks clearly of his own recovery and the program that enabled him to move out from the control pornography had on him.
CLICK here if you want to know more.
-#** FACT **#- IF DAD IS A POSITIVE PART OF HIS SON'S LIFE, THEN HE IS THERE TO PICK UP ON THE MOMENT IN CONVERSATION, TO CLEARLY AND TRUTHFULLY SPEAK ABOUT THE DEADLY ADDICTIVENESS OF PORNOGRAPHY - AND HIS SON WILL LISTEN
5. EQUIPPING FOR THE FUTURE.
Many writers agree that a boy develops into an adult with less difficulties if his father is a part of the whole process.
Positive expectations towards their future life - As already stated, sons need to know their father has confidence in them, holds a high opinion of what they are and what they can be in the future. For fathers with sons who have very different ambitions in life, or approach to work, this can be very difficult. Regardless of this being true ~
_#** FACT **#- SONS NEED TO KNOW THEIR FATHER HAS A HIGH OPINION OF THEIR ABILITY TO MAKE GOOD CHOICES IN THE FUTURE.
As a dad, if you don't think of your son in this way, you need to do some work - either check if your assessment levels and attitudes are appropriate toward your son - or win your son over to improve and change in his attitudes and habits, so he heads in a direction you can be supportive of.
A son's confidence, self esteem and sense of self worth is all wrapped up with his relationship with dad!
-#** FACT **#- FATHERS PROVIDE SONS WITH IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT.
The safety, warmth and affection he feels from his father as a growing boy and teenager, all translates into a well adjusted young man who responsibly separates from the family and becomes an adult.
Attitudes to Women - Sons observe, learn and are affected by the level of respect their father demonstrates towards the boy's mother, and women and girls generally.
His perspective and treatment of people of other cultures and socio-economic groups, also affects a son's developing mindset for the future.
The father-son relationship shapes the son's attitude to sexuality, his emotional health, his relationship with his future spouse and his success relationally as an adult.
Sex - Most dads have certain areas of life that are important to them, which they want their sons to know about and be competent in - maybe to handle money well, or be able to build a house. For my husband, he wanted all our children to learn a musical instrument, because he is musical and music is important to him.
The subject of sex is important to dads and likewise to sons. However sex is not a subject that many dads willingly pursue regularly in conversation with their sons. it is natural that a boy wants information and to understand sex.
-#** FACT **#- SEX IS IMPORTANT TO MALES, SO IT IS A MUST THAT DADS DO MOST OF THE TALKING ABOUT SEX WITH THEIR SON, INSTEAD OF ALLOWING THE SCHOOL, THE PUBLIC BILLBOARDS, TV AND NEWSPAPER MEDIA, MOVIES, MUSIC AND MAGAZINES, TO GIVE THEIR VERSION OF THIS IMPORTANT SUBJECT.
"Ten Talks Parents Must Have with Their Children About Sex and Character" by Pepper Schwart and Dominic Cappello, seems to be a popular and a useful book. It asks parents to identify their own values and views on ethics and religion and then assists you to teach these in the context of sex education with your children.
"The Story of Me" by Stan and Brenna Jones, "Before I was Born" by Carolyn Nystrom, "What's the Big Deal?" by Stan and Brenna Jones, "Facing the Facts" by Stan and Brenna Jones - we have found great as conversation starter in discussion with our children.
"Sex with Attitude. A Relationship Handbook" is marvellous both in delivering text in up-to-date language and in it's creative visuals. All the "Attitude" books are highly recommended - "Hardwired. A Handbook for Growing, Inhaling and Injecting Life", "Attitude. A Handbook for Your Head". Look at their website - www.attitude.org.nz
It is dad's responsibility to not keep sons in the dark about sex. This is a known cause of boys often getting involved in pornography. Trying to 'self educate' themselves.
THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS, again dad it for you to do some thinking and to put new things into practice in your relationship with your son - for HIS sake.