Whether you know it or not, your son is watching your husband. He’s learning from his dad how to be a man, a husband, and a father. This thought might make you feel proud, or it might make you cringe because, well, whose husband is perfect? (Hint: Nobody’s. We aren’t perfect either. And that’s OK.)
However, you can have a profound effect on what your son notices. By pointing out things you appreciate or love about your husband, you can call attention to what you want your son to learn and hopefully emulate someday. Start with these 5 things to say to your son about your husband.
1. Your dad is helpful.
“Daddy was so helpful to me when he filled my car up with gas today.”
Boys love to be helpful, and when they see the way their dad is helping their mom, they see how marriage is about helping and caring for each other. He sees how a man can go out of his way to do something for his wife, and make her feel loved.
2. Your dad shows affection.
“Your dad gives the best hugs, doesn’t he?”
Boys tend to be physical. They want to be strong and tough! But it’s also great for them to see that their big, strong dads can show affection through gentle, tender hugs and affection. This is one of the important things to say to your son because he’ll feel the freedom to show affection himself, even as he gets older.
3. Your dad has self-control.
“I could tell Dad was really frustrated today. But he kept his cool and went for a jog.”
Nobody’s perfect at taming a temper or holding back impulses. But when your husband keeps his cool when the kids are loud, or chooses the healthier snack, or even stays calm in traffic, point it out! Noticing when and how he succeeded in self-control will help your son do the same.
4. Your dad respects and seeks my opinion.
“Dad and I came to an agreement, and it is…”
It’s likely that you and your husband discuss many of the family decisions you make on a daily basis. Some are tougher than others. But do you let your son know you are working as a team, or is it always behind closed doors? Let your son know his dad respects you enough to talk things through.
5. Your dad is a great provider.
“We’re lucky we have a dad who works hard to provide for us.”
Even if you work full time too, when a father works faithfully day in and day out, it’s easy for the kids to take it for granted. And when he works overtime, it can actually feel like Dad is just MIA. By highlighting his faithfulness to provide, you open your son’s eyes to his dad’s hard work.
Now maybe you are thinking, “My husband needs to improve in several of these areas. I can’t say these things.” That may be true, but I bet you can still think of at least something to highlight—even if in only one category (or come up with your own category)! Highlighting what you love in a person is much more effective than focusing on what you think needs improvement. And if your husband overhears you talking to your son, well, that’s a bonus! He’ll feel proud, loved, and respected—and your son will notice that too.
Highlighting what you love in a person is much more effective than focusing on what you think needs improvement.
How do you point out the best things about your husband to your son?