Parent-child relationships are some of the most rewarding, complicated, and influential interpersonal experiences. It’s not always easy to make the transition from a parent-child relationship to a mature, adult friendship. Father-son relationships are often fraught with some of the societal stereotypes we place on men. Additionally, it can be difficult to truly see each other as people. Here are a few ways to increase the health and vitality of a father-son relationship.
Accept each other. Acceptance is the foundation of any healthy relationship. While you don’t have to agree with every decision the other has made, it’s important to truly accept the other person, just as you accept yourself and your addiction during the recovery process. This is the ground from which all other healthy relationship aspects are built.
Avoid competition. We often put a high premium on competition in male relationships, and the father-son dynamic is no different. While a little healthy competition in the form of sports or games is fun, try not to compare accomplishments or life goals.
Share your interests. Let each other know what you’re interested in and how your interests, passions, and goals have changed over the course of your lives. Perhaps you have influenced each other in certain ways. Sharing and active listening is another core foundational aspect of a healthy relationship.
Learn from each other. Realize that you are both individuals with much to offer. Listen to each other’s life experiences and see what you can learn from and take into the future, perhaps into your own friendships or parent-child dynamics.
See each other as people and practice honesty. It can be challenging to see a parent or a child as an individuated and separate entity. Practice truly seeing one another as adults and contributors to society and honestly reflect back what you see. It can be helpful to communicate using “I notice…” or “I see…” as jumping off points for increased visibility and honesty.
Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premier men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate, and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (855) 202-2138.