“I’m proud of you. Win or lose, you’re my son.” – Tony Nathan’s dad, Woodlawn
When was the last time you said something like that to your son? When I heard this line from Tony Nathan’s dad in the movie, I got really convicted! It made me realize how important it is to build my sons up. We all know the influence a father has over his son. But instead of taking advantage of our role, we often ignore it. So how can we better affirm our sons on a more regular basis?
Well today, let’s talk through 3 ways to affirm your son:
1. With Your Words
The easiest way to affirm your son? With your words. It’s easy to think highly of your son. When you see him play well in a game or get a good grade, you think to yourself, Wow, that was great! But oftentimes, we unconsciously keep these thoughts to ourselves. It’s not that we don’t believe these things to be true, but we haven’t made affirming our sons a priority.
It’s also important to affirm your son when he doesn’t make the grade or doesn’t make the starting team. Saying something like “You gave it your best and you have an important role to play on your team. I’m so proud of you” can really lift your son up. These 6 short sentences your child needs to hear you say can help you to validate your son even more.
Challenge: Send your son a text today saying how proud you are of something he’s done recently.
2. With Your Actions
It’s no secret that tons of things are demanding our attention 24/7–our phones, our social media, our televisions, even our work. That’s why the hardest way to affirm your son is with your actions. Instead of pulling our sons in for a hug, we pull our phones in to check Facebook or Twitter for the tenth time that day. Instead of going outside to play catch in the yard, we go outside to take our very important business call.
Challenge: Turn off your phone and your TV and ask, “Son, what do you want to do together tonight?”
3. With Your Wisdom
Finally, when you do affirm your son with your words and actions, be sure to do it wisely. This means letting your son know that you love him just because of who he is, not what he does. It also means identifying your son’s unique gifts by helping him to understand those gifts, and then helping him to build on his strengths.
Challenge: Write a note to your son and share with him the amazing talent you see that he has. Encourage him to pursue that area of giftedness.
What are some other ways to affirm your son? Please share your thoughts in a comment below.