Fathers: Teach your sons

Dr Timothy Hawkes, headmaster of The King’s School in Parramatta and a father of three, recently wrote about what fathers might teach their sons.  The following is an edited extract.  Here is the full article.

How to love. Love needs to be expressed in time with and interest in; in tenderness and respect. It needs to be shown in a father adoring the mother.

How to control anger. A father that screams insults, slams doors and kicks the dog teaches a boy the behaviour to use when upset.

How to be mindful. Other person centeredness, empathy, kindness, call it what you will – it is important.

How to accept responsibility. To use the past to excuse the present invites a fatalism that society can ill afford. In the end, we must take responsibility for our behaviour.

How to be tough. Toughness is being able to put principles before popularity and stopping a mate from being a total prat.

Teach consequences. A son needs to learn that although he is free to choose what to do, he is not always free to choose the consequences. No more is this vital than in the choice of friends. Finding the right mates can be the saving of a boy. It can also be their ruin. Not for nothing has it been suggested that a boy’s friends are one of best predictors of a boy’s future.