565. Response to Viewer — Item 11

I dedicate this series to Her Highness Katrinka. She asked “Why is it so hard for fathers and sons (specifically grown sons) to be close?” I cite the father mostly, but mother plays a more critical role than included here:

  • Being of independent nature, men receive no reassurances from being close to one another as women do. So closeness has to be generated over time.
  • Father and son compete as do all men. Their competitive relationship forms in the tweens and solidifies in the teens.
  • Men don’t change much, unless they get saved. So, how they get along in early compete mode determines how they relate later.
  • Leadership can vary greatly, but absence of both respect as a person and trust that matches maturity level breeds an unwilling follower.
  • Throughout childhood, hold him back and earn his scorn. Help him along and earn his desire to belong. 
  • When father pays little or no attention to son’s upbringing, mother has too much influence. She’s reflects or expresses disappointment in father to the son, and he takes up her offense. 
  • Helicopter mothering prevents son learning from mistakes and failures. It leads to lack of both self-respect and self-confidence, which conflicts when father has those traits to spare.
  • Mother elevates son over father; she treats him as adult rather than child. Son shows no respect for father, because he learned he can be equal while acting like a child.
  • Trust and respect for father can easily be killed by son’s bio mom and bitter ex-wife of father, especially when son is in the tweens living with her. 
  • A son continually aims for independence, declares it, and expects it without argument soon after puberty. If father fights and suppresses this drive along the way, bitterness arises and follows later in life.
  • When father leads uncertainly, unpredictably, distrustfully or with whims, temper, and anger, then son’s disrespect grows proportionally.
  • If father suppresses son’s growth toward independence, son resents hell out of it and bitterness may well follow for life.
  • If father lets son outcompete father in decision making, repeatedly outwit or beat down father to get or do what son wants, or let’s son get too independent too fast for his britches, disrespect develops and lasts for life. 

1 Comment

Filed under Dear daughter

One response to “565. Response to Viewer — Item 11

  1. Katrinka

    Guy, Every point you made makes perfect sense. After emailing you, I asked my husband for more clarification and he did a good job of explaining it to me (something he is can be reluctant to do and I understand why). He made two major points (very personal in our situation). He reminded me that his son joined the military when he was in his early 20s, which was OK with Dad except for the branch he chose 🙂 . . . Dad suggested one that treated its members better. After a couple years his son went awol when the going got tough. There was an embarrassing and frightening chase/capture/military discharge, etc. Dad is retired military and proud of it, and although he didn’t say much to son it is always going to be there between them, as son is pretty defensive about EVERYTHING now. He also said, “As long as he continues to believe his mother’s lies about me, things will never change.” This is plenty painful, as son is middle-aged now so doesn’t look like it will get better soon.

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful response. As I mentioned to you, I’ve been here a long time and have wanted to help this along if I could. Sometimes young people think they can get along in life and don’t need mom and dad’s approval, and want to leave the old folks behind while they make their own way. I think this is partly OK, but not in a way that removes family completely and permanently. Usually when they get older they start wanting to come back to the folks, and I just want there to be a way back for him so that he doesn’t think he has closed the door forever.

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