with Michael Lum

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!!! June 19, 2011



Where are you in   

The Life Cycle of Father-Son Relationships ????

D. Charles Williams, Ph.D.

Have you ever noticed?

Children want to be just like their parents when they are young….. nothing like their parents when they are teens ….and then become just like their parents for better or worse when they become adults?






This could not be more evident than in the relationship between Fathers and Sons.  The acronym that will be use to capture these evolving stages is IDEAL.





As children, sons idolize their dads and think they can do anything. This identification is most often demonstrated by a son’s imitation of his father’s behavior by walking like him, talking like him or wearing his clothes or shoes. At this age, a son wants so much to please his father and receive his approval and acceptance.






As teens, sons experience a period of discord in which conflict is the central theme they share. They often reject the expectations, values and directions their fathers have embraced and take on more non-traditional philosophies, placing them regularly at odds with one other. The teen may resent or even fear his father depending on the intensity of their differences, at times, carrying over into the son’s early twenties.





As young adults, the father-son relationship enters into a period of evolving. Distance may still exist emotionally and they may even ignore each other. The conscious attempts at being different than one’s father so characteristic in the discord stage begin to appear more like competition. Competition with another can be viewed as one of the most indirect but highest forms of flattery that exists.






As adults in their 30’s and 40’s, sons begin to move into the stage of acceptance toward their fathers. They have begun to forgive, recognize strengths and even admire the qualities that once seemed so out of step with their previous “know it all” manner of thinking. They begin to accept each other’s differences.




Fathers and sons often become friends during this time, share common interests and express opinions without heated exchanges. The son may even experience challenges as a father with his own son.





In their 50’s, older adult sons become a legacy of their father’s influence for better and worse. Time tempers painful memories and in their place often remains admiration and respect for the difficult job being a father must have been, as he is now finding out for himself.

To successfully pass through the stages of   idolizing, discord, evolving, acceptance and becoming a legacy, should be an “IDEAL” goal for every father and son.

Charles Wadsworth once said, ” By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.”



No Responses to “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!!! June 19, 2011”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: