In a young boy’s life, nothing is as powerful an influence as the affirmation he receives from his father. A boy needs to look into his father’s eyes and hear with sincerity in his voice, “I’m very proud of you.” Or “Great job!” Such words instill confidence and the assurance that dad is on his side.
As a father I want my son to do his best and succeed in whatever he tries. However, I know that my expectations can seem like they’re too high. I know first hand the feeling of growing up and feeling that “I’m not good enough; I never will be good enough.” Having expectations for our sons is important. And if setting our expectations too high can damage a boy’s confidence, then so can setting too low expectations too low or no expectations at all.
I love my son, I’m amazed to see the light in his eyes. I’m amazed to see him achieving academic excellence at all levels. I’m amazed to see that he’s so musically gifted. I’m amazed to see that he’s such a tender, caring person. These are things that I wish were a part of me. But more than anything, I am proud of my son, not because of what he can do, but simply because he’s my son.
When he’s not around, I miss him. Whenever I do something fun, go somewhere new, taste something different I always wish that I could share them with him. I try to take advantage of every opportunity to talk to him about matters of character and conduct. The best part of my day is when I get to see my kids–when I pick them up from school.
When it comes to maintaining my expectations for him, I know that he’s not going to be able to meet all of them. I hope he knows that I’ll still be proud of him for trying and for doing his best. When I don’t meet up to his expectations as a father, I hope he’ll be just as gracious to me.
I hope you’ll begin to look into the eyes of your son, tell him how proud you are, and how much you love him. When he doesn’t do well, tell him, “That’s OK. You did your best. We’ll try again next time.” Pour out showers of love and praise on your son.