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When my kids were growing up, my husband worked a lot and wasn't around that much. When he was, he was a good father, but I think it had an effect on our son as he seems to look to other father figures though he is now a young man. Is there a way that I can help to reconnect them? My son is in his early 20's.


Sondra Drahos Replied: Since your son is an adult now, it may be difficult for him to build a close bond with his dad or he may not know how to go about it. Encouraging them to spend quality time together doing things they both enjoy is certainly something that you can initiate. I would talk to your son about how he feels about his relationship with your husband and have the same, but separate, conversation with his dad. I would also encourage you to talk to your son about what kind of father he intends to be someday and encourage him to build relationships with those that can help guide him and lead him on a path that will help him reach his goals, whether he look to you, his dad or other mentors to advise him.
Posted On 2009-11-18 01:13:06
Mark Borowski Replied: First of all, you can help a little to reconnect them but I think the effort needs to come primarily from your husband. I would suggest you raise this issue with your husband but not in a judgmental way. Simply explain what you noticed about your son and ask if he has noticed the same behavior (this will give you some idea of how "in tune" your husband is with your son although one incident can't give the entire answer).

It sounds like you think the best solution is for your son to go to his father, at least for most of these issues. See if your husband agrees and together you can discuss ways he and your son can reconnect. It might be that your husband actually directly talks to your son about this issue and how he (husband) now wants to have an improved relationship. Or it might be that he just starts to do more things with your son and slowly begins to develop a better relationship. And during some of these times he weaves in disussions about how he would like his son to come to him with challenging issues or problems to discuss. He could explain how the 20s can be a difficult time of transition to adulthood so this is a good time to be open and discuss things, maybe even sharing a story or two reminiscing about how when he was in his 20s, he could have gone to his dad or asked for help and a certain situation would have been so much better (or how something was much better because he did ask for advice, help, etc.).

One good thing is that your son does have other male role models he feels comfortable going to. I just hope they are ones that you are also comfortable with and are positive role models.

The other thing to remember is that it is good to have other people for kids to go to so it is okay for your son to do this. You should think about what issues your son is going to others for advice and decide if it matters that much that he does not go to his father.

I hope this helps!


Posted On 2009-08-04 15:20:09
Mike Dolpies Replied: Being in my late 20's I think I can give you a perspective of someone who is close to the situation. I think it is healthy for your son to be looking at other father figures as long as they are "good people." Meaning, they can lift him up and give him wisdom. Of course having a mentor compared with a "father figure" is a lot differant. His dad just has to reach out and make it work based on the current situation. Of course, they can't go back and have a catch or but dad can begin to take an interest in his son's current life by asking questions and being a good listener.
Posted On 2009-08-03 14:12:30
Charlie Seymour Jr Replied: I'm glad to read that he seeks out other father figures - I have been such a figure for some young men and take that responsibility quite seriously... so be glad that he's seeking them out. As for reconnecting with your husband: what Family Activities do you still have - like vacations, day trips, trips to a restaurant. I often call a trip to a nice restaurant "a vacation" and though I know I'm spending more for the meal than I normally would, it's great to get my kids (now 38 and 26) together in a family unit. And is there a way for dad to invite your son to a baseball game, day out "just the guys" for something they would both enjoy: perhaps if your husband took the initiative (and maybe he already is doing this), your son will see that effort, agree to join his dad, and both will have a great time (and great bonding time). It's the small connections that lead to a lifetime of strongly-connected family emotions.
Posted On 2009-07-27 10:14:30
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