Words are powerful. They can be used for good or for ill. Blessing or cursing. Their absence can also be felt, and fathers, in the hustle and bustle of life, sometimes forget to give our sons the vital nourishment they need.
Here are things your son should hear from you often.
“I love you.”
You can show your love by your actions, but one of your regular actions should be to say that you love him. Speak it so they know it’s true, and act it out so he knows what it means. Do this at least once per day.
“I’m proud of you.”
Your son looks up to you, whether you realize it or not. He is desperate for your approval. When he does something you approve of, tell him. It will give him wings.
“I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”
You aren’t perfect. You will fail your son, and when you do, it’s important that you apologize. This helps model the proper behavior for him and builds trust. He should not think you are perfect. Not only would that be a lie, but it also sets an impossible burden on his shoulders.
“I expected more from you.”
You have expectations, and when he fails them, he needs to know. Do not withhold this type of discipline. It shows you care. He needs to know when he messes up, how he messed up, and how to do better next time.
“I’m so thankful I get to be your father.”
Your son is a gift. Tell him. Being a father is not a job. It is a privilege.