WHEN FATHERS & SONS CLASH - RESOLUTION TAKES COURAGE
Updated: Apr 28
The path to resolution of conflict between fathers and sons is clear-cut and simply understood: talk to each other. The problem is that it takes an enormous amount of courage for men to actually talk about their feelings. Plus, men don’t often exactly know what they are feeling or how to put words to it. Recognizing, much less proclaiming, one’s vulnerability is often simply too overwhelming for men.
They should start a long and heartfelt conversation that would inevitably result in resolution.
Three things are essential for this type of conversation to occur:
· Trust that each won’t be diminished in the other’s eyes,
· A Belief that it’s beneficial to risk showing one’s emotional hand, and
· The Initiation of such a courageous interchange by the father.
THE FATHER MUST...
Step up to the plate and begin mentoring his son; that is, he must act like a father.
He must serve as a model of the wise and generous elder who believes a man must be able to reveal both his strengths and his struggles.
He must want to not only impart knowledge but also help develop essential qualities in his successor.
He is there to help his son grow into his own person and not a clone of himself.
He must believe that to prepare his son for succession will establish his legacy and not his demise.
THE SON MUST…
Open himself to being mentored.
He must value his father’s courageous attempts to be honest with his feelings.
He must meet the challenge of showing his own vulnerabilities.
He must admit he can actually learn something and believe that it doesn’t reduce him as a man.
He must relinquish some control and challenge the myth that he should know things he cannot yet know.
He must trust that his father sincerely can make room for him personally and professionally in the family business.
He must honour his father while finding his own way.
Resolution can best be achieved when father and son understand the origins of the conflict. A change in their belief system can lead to a change in behaviour. Fathers and sons working together can then begin to transcend their basic instincts to compete and conquer.
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