Like a mother, a father is also born with his child. What existed before was just a biologically potent man, but not a father. What is life is God’s gift, but the best guidance in life is gifted by a father.

As a child, a boy and a girl have the same innocence and bear the same vulnerability of emotions and thoughts, but where a girl is appreciated for her softer attitude, boys are expected to be tough like a man.Too many expectations on those little shoulders, when they aren’t that strong yet!

As I was growing up, I often heard my male friends and cousins saying “Father doesn’t understand us. He’s always bossy. “Dad is always busy. Dad shouts at mom” … and more. (Even a girl’s father could behave the same way.

A father may goes through several temperamental swings between work and family. He spends so much time securing the future of the kids that often, bonding can get sidelined. Many times, though kids understand their father’s sacrifices yet they can’t overcome the thought they wish their father could have been little more friendly, a little less busy.

Before penning this article I had some good discussions with a few of my male friends, brothers and other guys I know more casually via several social media platforms. I wanted to learn how they see their father or what did they expect as a child. As a daughter, I knew my expectations! And ore or less, the views are similar.

So, here I list those expectations:

1. Love his mother

The single most important trait every kid wants from a Dad is that he needs to be most sincere to his (son’s)  mother, no matter what happens, what situations arise, to remain on her side, and value her as the best half and remain a great friend forever.

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A friend quoted, “I would go further and say he need to treat her as an apple of eye, until his last breath. If this primary bond is in place, the rest will fall in line for a harmonious life.”

He continued, “Besides dad’s sincerity towards mom, I don’t expect anything from Dad, because, rest doesn’t matter at all. Material gains or achievements are insipid if only the above single most value is unmet.”

I wondered, how small is a wish but how difficult, mostly to meet this desire. It’s that simple for a man to be sincere and loving towards the woman who gave birth to your child!

The fact is that provided with such an atmosphere, a boy will grow up knowing how to treat a lady and girls would know that they mustn’t settle for anything less.

2. Your well-felt presence

While fulfilling several roles you have, you might get diverted and divided as a son, husband, brother, and grandson. Do remember, your son also needs your presence, in his education, social life, rather in all areas of his life.

Sometimes a boy might not feel comfortable to discuss certain things with his mom, then he goes out and tries finding answers to his growing mind and increasing curiosities and many times get wrongly guided, then begins an episode of name calling and blame games. Could that be avoided? Yes! Only if you were present as his friend and not as an authoritarian and busy Dad.

3. Teach how to overcome failures.

Many times, boys are taunted and compared with peers and friends if they fail, be it at academics or sports or any sphere of life, big or small. It’s then they need the understanding of a father, as well as mothers to understand and empathize.

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A dad can relate to understand his boy, after all, the father of a boy child gets to live the moment he left behind and might learn more. But what he needs is to be a boy again. A dad needs to be a boy to understand his boy(s).

4. The best guide for success is to accept failure and learn from it.

When your son sees you fail he will be hurt at your loss, but at the same time, the skill with which you handle your failure will teach him life lessons. He won’t remember your failure but the way you accepted your flaw and overcame the phase. He will learn that mistakes are parts of learning and won’t be afraid of them because he will learn how to conquer great challenges.

5. Affirmation is a must!

Thist does a magic! A few simple words, a pat on the back and see how your boy gets encouraged.

“I’m proud of you, my son. You are the best son. Son, I know you can do it. You messed up this time, but I know you’ll be showstopper next.”

Your son needs your encouragement. He needs to know that along with expectations you also have a belief in his potential. Often the expectations are expressed but the belief is kept at bay. There he gets half the message and gets burdened with expectations only.

6. Unconditional love and acceptance.

He needs to be loved irrespective of his choices. No matter what choices your son makes, he needs your support and understanding and the love bestowed on him even being different from you. Even when he makes wrong choices, only compassion and love can be the directional force. Your acceptance will build his self-esteem!

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7. Discipline being compassionate

When you discipline, you set limits and expectations. He’s gonna make mistakes very much like you did as a kid and, even now. But he must know that his actions will have consequences as well. Disciplining with love will teach him to consider the consequences his actions could have. This will prepare him to make right choices, now and in future.

Your son(s) need you more than you could imagine. I request the new or old dads, no matter how busy you are or how dedicated is your engagement in securing their future; the best gift which you could give to your son, is your qualitative presence. Quantity is an option though!

Good Men Project