Parenting Series: Improving Relationships with Your Son (Part 2)

Josh Kisseeby Joshue Kissee (Manbuilders.com)

Author Tim Ferriss blogged about reality distortion field and rarity of giving your full attention to another person.

“We are living in a world where no one, it seems, has attention for anyone or anything for more than a few moments. How rare it is when someone pays attention to us. Consider the wording of the phrase: pay attention. In industrialized nations, at least, attention is becoming almost as scarce a resource as money. Someone who “pays” it to you is giving you something of true value.”

Your son should be rich in attention that you pay.one one one father son

Seriously. My sons love their one-on-one time with Dad. If I taught them nothing {let alone strategically used ManBuilders tools}, the one-on-one seals the knowledge of knowing that you love him. More than any other skill, your love and the quality of your relationship with him is the one that will outlast all others.

You may need some help. My wife has helped me tremendously in keeping me accountable to continue the one-on-ones. With five sons, it’s difficult for me to give each of them one-on-one time per week. I wish it could be done, but there just isn’t enough time. So we make sure each week a different son receives this time. It works out to be roughly one per month, per son. The Law of Proactive scheduling comes into play by posting their schedule on the wall or by letting them know that once a week there is someone who will get a one-on-one.

My sons will tell me when they are close to the month mark from their last one-on-one with me and say “it’s been a while dad” or “we never do one-on-ones” anymore, even though it was just last month. That’s how much they crave it!  It’s not because I’m a superhero. The key is that during our time, no matter what we are doing, my attention is fully glued on them.

They love it.

So all well and good. It sounds like I have it all under control. Don’t be mislead. I’m just onto a really good thing that I know works. Everyone knows that if you find something that works, you keep doing it. If you find success, you keep doing the things that make you successful. This is one of those things.

Schedule it and make it happen!

Now for some ideas. Consider choosing from the list of low-moderate-high cost options for having a great one-on-one with your son. You could also reference any of the ManBuilding Ideas.

One-on-One Ideas

Free One-on-One Ideas

  • Walk to a local park that has a playground
  • Spend time alone with him in his room. Shut the door, play with him, and talk.
  • Play make-believe/pretend with him outside and transform this into hide-and-seek.
  • Have a scavenger hunt for your son’s favorite toy (indoor or outdoor). Give him a reward when you find it!
  • Sing songs together. If you play a musical instrument, let your son join you and sing with you.
  • Explore in a patch of woods near your home. Pretend like you are in search of enemy soldiers or animals that you are hunting.

Cheap One-on-One Ideas (low-cost or transportation required

  • Have a water balloon fight. Nothing else to say here.
  • Paint his face with face paint like a soldier and go on a secret search and destroy mission together at night. Use sticks or dowel rods like guns as you go hunting for the snipe.
  • Draw/color together alone and talk about his pictures
  • Get out some paint and make a mess together
  • MP900202050Go to the park and have a picnic together while playing his favorite sport.
  • Go outside and paint with sidewalk chalk
  • Go to the library and let your son pick out books that HE is interested in. Take them home and spend time reading with just him. Make sure you ask him questions about the stories that open his imagination so you can listen.
  • Go for a bicycle ride in your neighborhood. If you have a bicycle, ride yours. If not, jog around him and get some exercise!
  • Play a board game (no video game). Good games for this age may include Battleship, Shoots and Ladders, CandyLand, and many others. Just look for the age range on the box when selecting the game at the store.
  • Build with Legos together.

Moderate Cost One-on-One Ideas (low to moderate cost and transportation almost certainly required)

  • Take your son swimming, just you two, and focus on him having a good time. Pretend you are in a water war with each other and encourage his imagination.
  • Take your son fishing and don’t expect to fish yourself! This is about his time with you. He will get his line tangled, lose his bait, and require your constant attention. Just plan on doing little fishing yourself and this experience won’t drive you crazy!
  • Take your son on a camping trip overnight. This could be in the backyard, on private land, at a local/State park, or in the living room. The key is to have a tent and sleep in it with him. This is a powerful one-on-one for boys. If you can build and safely maintain a fire, even better!

In our next post, we will review the second in our four-part series, The Power of Positive Words. The article will be filled with a variety of ideas you can start using immediately when spending your newly scheduled time with your son.

What have been the best one-on-ones with your son? Any tips to share with the community?

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