Generally speaking, it is believed that father-son relationship has a sense of competition or even enmity. This belief comes from Oedipus complex, as propounded by Sigmund Freud. According to Oedipus complex, the son will bear enmity against his father and will have cordial relationship with his mother.
In the Greek mythology, Oedipus killed his father and married his mother. The reality of father-son is moved far away from Oedipus myth, however, it is also true that father-son relationship is more complicated than you think, there may be competition, a rivalry, enmity, or cordiality, deference, even dependency.
Father’s Relationship with Adult Sons
Your son who looked at you with a great awe, admiration, respect when young may appear different when he becomes an adult. This is even more evident in the father and sons who have different interests. The sons will find hard to relate to the fathers who have different nature and interest. This might give rise to a feeling of competitiveness. They might feel too proud to share their thoughts. Their male tendencies might stop them from breaking the ice.
In order to understand your adult son, you will have to analyze your relationship with your father. If your father is still living, you can ask him whether you were a good son to him. Your relationship with your own father will reflect on your relationship with your adult son. Based on your relationship with your father, you can identify key elements to build a strong father-son relationship.
How to Strengthen Relationship With Your Adult Son
Here are some tips to build strong relationship with your son. While these tips may not ne enough or even work for you, these tips may of course give you an idea on how to get started with creating and building strong relationship with your adult son.
Sons are heavily influenced by their fathers. Recognize this fact.
Believe it or not, you were heavily influenced by your father and your son will also be influenced by you. It does not matter whether your nature and interest are same or not, father will always influence his son. It is different matter that some son builds on same nature and interest, where as some grow up into entirely different person.
You became a man by watching your father. Your son will emulate the same thing. He will always be watching you. Father’s influence in the personal development of the son is generally overlooked, however, it is the first real thing that happens in your son’s life.
Your son will always be watching you interacting with your wife and other women. He will watch over when you interact with men. This will teach him about respect and disrespect, about conflict and difference, about love and hare. Your son will learn about masculine issues from you, he will learn how to interact with women, with men, he will understand how to deal in certain situations etc.
Develop common interest. This will help to patch differences, if any.
Because of the age difference or generation gap, you might think that your adult son will never understand you. Like every coin has another side, you son will also be thinking that his dad is never going to understand him. This is a myth in every family. In fact, you both can develop common interest. When the interests are common, it is easier to along together. If you are a book reader and your son is more of a sportsperson, you can start talking about his sports. When you begin to take interest on his sport, you might notice that he also begin to take interest in your books. The result is you begin to enjoy sports and your son will start loving books. If this not happening, you can find common grounds. Find something that you both love and enjoy. How about playing tennis, going on a short hike, watching favorite TV show etc. If you have quality time doing father-son activities, you will develop strong relationship in a short time. The father-son activities will create opportunities to get closer.
Take on a big project. Doing something together will build father-son relationship
If you have done something together with your son, you will understand how you begin to communicate more and how your reliance on each other develops. If this is alien to you, start doing projects such as house painting, repairing a car, fencing the garden, remolding the house etc. When you work with your son, it will create a bond. The projects you have done together will give you something to talk about in many years to come. You can sit with your son and reflect on the projects. Such nice talks will always create lasting memories.
Building father-son relationship: The Checklist
In order to build your relationship, you should also focus on things like communication, spirituality, and giving positive messages.
Power of effective communication: Generally speaking most of the men always struggle with effective communication. Effective communication means you are willing to listen first. Listen to your son, so that he will listen to you. Listen to your son without being judgmental. Look for the opportunities when you can talk to your son. You can talk about recent movie release, the election, the football match, the TV show etc. While communicating with your son, don’t be afraid of the big talk. You can talk about love and sex, alcohol and drugs etc.
Power of positive messages: Our society is bombarded with negative messages all the time. The negative messages will build pessimism. For example, your son sees his role model with a six pack abs, and he may not have a good physic. You will have to teach him, it is ok not to have six pack abs. Instead of letting your son brood over things that he does not have, to help him understand his true strength.
Power of spirituality: It is very important to make your son grounded on spirituality. Help him understand the true meaning of life, how he can find true happiness, how following faith and culture helps create his own unique identity.
Colleges and universities will never teach your son life lessons, it is you who has to come forward and tell him about the real world.