Tips for a Healthy Relationship Between Fathers and Adult Sons | WeHaveKids
Jan 29, According to experts, the father-son relationship has the greatest influence on the ability of sons to tackle and survive the challenges of adult life. Dads, you have one of the most influential roles in your son's life. Here are 7 things your son needs in the father son relationship. Mar 7, Here are five tips on how to prevent a bad father-son relationship from sabotaging your current and future goals.
Jeff Herman Father talking to his son in the garage.
According to a study by California State University-Fullerton, men that had positive childhood relationships with their fathers are more able to handle stress and emotional distress later in life than those that didn't.
Unfortunately, not every male enjoys a nurturing, positive relationship with his father. There are a variety of reasons why some fathers and sons don't get along. The Apple and the Tree The popular saying, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree," isn't always true.
And even when it is, that doesn't always mean dad and son will always see eye to eye.
The Psychology Behind Strained Father Son Relationships
Some sons are simply the polar opposites of their fathers, resulting sometimes in feelings of disappointment on the father's side and rejection on the son's end. And in those cases where the son is a reincarnation of his father personality-wise, that doesn't guarantee a jovial relationship.
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This relates largely to the longstanding theory that the flaws you're most annoyed by in others are the ones you also possess.
Divorce Divorce is another factor that can strain, and even destroy, the relationship between a father and son. This, naturally, can lead to strained relationships between fathers and sons, especially when the son feels the father is somehow at fault for the deterioration of the family unit. If we decide to tackle this wounded relationship in therapy, we will invariably encounter an array of painful childhood memories.
We will experience waves of disappointment, rage, and grief at the loss of what we never had with our fathers. By bravely revealing and working through this boiling cauldron of emotion we may come to a meaningful resolution.
Perhaps a facilitated conversation in therapy would provide an opportunity to deal with the unfinished business, leftover resentment from our childhood. In cases of neglect, physical or emotional abuse, could a father acknowledge his wrong doing without excusing his behavior?
Daddy Dearest: When the Father-Son Bond Just Isn’t There
At that point there would seem to be no hope for repair. Their attempts for reconciliation may or may not reach their father, but the real psychological work entails making a concerted effort to sort out this jumbled knot of confused, disturbing experiences and memories within themselves.
Personally, I have twice attempted to untie this knotfirst with my father and much later with my own son. These were largely unpleasant memories of abuse at the hands of my father, which he called discipline.
I wanted to try to deal with this upsurge of memories and intense resentment that was coming from deep within me. This created a stalemate between us, and every time I saw him I was tense and would entertain vengeful fantasies. As part of my own therapy, I was able to vent intense feelings of righteous anger, victimization, and outrage.
This ongoing venting of rage and hurt eventually opened up a totally unexpected memory. I came to realize that there had been a time when I was really young where I actually had wanted something from my father. It was a shock to have this memory. I also came to realize that this did not change anything with him, but it meant a lot to me to uncover this wanting feeling for him.
Unfortunately, nothing in the realm of relationship was possible with my father. So I had to let go and feel the pain of that old rejection and my anger, and then I was able to disengage and move on.
When I had a son of my own, I was tested as a father myself. The first early years with my son started off really well, but as he developed and became more autonomous and defiant, sadly, I was unable to manage my reactivity to his testing of boundaries, etc.