Parenting: The changing bond between father and son
February 2, 2011 (WPVI) -- When Nicholas was younger (3 or 4-years-old) he used to idolize and imitate everything I did - and it was flattering.
From wanting to dress up in my clothes, or imitate how I read the newspaper or even my laugh. It was easy to tell he was trying to make sure he had the attention and approval of his dad.
Now that he's eight (almost 9 in 2 weeks), a lot of that idolatry has gone out of the window. The bond has changed, and in some ways so has the connection. But experts say that's natural as a son gets older. And it's up to the father and son to not only redefine the relationship, but work a bit harder to maintain the bond...because it could set the course for a lifetime of bonding between father and son.
So don't be caught by surprise (as I was) when your son begins to question or challenge your authority, and all of their previously held perceptions about you. One child psychologist says it's part of their maturation, as they strive to become individuals, and learn how to be "their own man". Some teenage boys will even reject their father's values (something to look forward to--not!).
So, dads need to remember to keep things in perspective, as we recollect those by gone days when our sons adored us. They still do, it's just expressed differently.
Psychologist Dr. James Longhurst wrote recently, "Dads need to realize that they can never be as good and all knowing as their young sons think they are - and likewise, never as bad or out of touch as their older son may say they are".
That's good to know and remember as we redefine our connection and fortify our relationship.
rick williams parenting reports, parenting, rick williams
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