Raising Boys Part 1: Communication
Communicating with your son changes across the milestones of their life from playing trains or kicking a football to helping them with their homework to driving lessons. Before you know it, they have left home to follow their dreams and become a man.
No matter what the circumstance, it is very important to keep the line of communication open with your son, so you can have a good idea of how they are traveling emotionally, mentally and who their friends are, how they are going at school, and when they need help.
Here are some tips on communicating with your son
- Build a comfort zone – create a safe space for chats, this could be around the breakfast or dinner table, watching sport together, driving to and from a sports game, drop off or pick up to school, playing cards, walking the dog, cooking a BBQ or taking a hike or surf together.
- Make the first move – don’t wait for your son. Find a story to share with them that you want their opinion on – ask them conformable questions, ones they will be interested in participating in.
- Listen, without judgement, be open- don’t share your view first, as it sets a position for them to adhere to and then you lose their real voice, or their real feelings on a certain issue. If you are a particularly gregarious father, they may find it hard to compete, so be sure to give them space, time and listen – let them speak first!
- Ask curious open questions – don’t load the question with your expectations, really seek their opinion on something. This could be a new shirt, a tie, getting tickets to a sports game, a book to read, a movie to see, something in the headlines, or around their subject of interest.