He wants his son to grow up to be a better man than dad.

March 11, 2014

Dear Wayne,

I want my teenage son to be better than me. I want him to feel more secure, be more confident and not be afraid to disappoint me, the way I was afraid of disappointing my dad. That fear caused me to make school and career choices that I regret to this day. I don’t want my son to have the anger that I feel toward my dad. Any suggestions?


Dad Wanting More


Dear Dad,

First of all, you’re a good man for wanting your son to be healthier and more at peace with himself than you have been. Keep doing your work—especially on your relationship with your dad—and the progress you make will have a great impact on your son.

I do have a suggestion for you. Make a short list of men you know who have teenage boys, men you’d like to hang out with. Suggest a father/son overnight. Let the men know what you’re looking for—support of the other men to become a better dad, a great time, and the wisdom that’s there for all of you when a group of good men come together.

You can camp out or grab a few hotel rooms in the desert or up in the mountains. Play something physical, like water polo or football, grab a steak, play poker, smoke cigars, and circle up to talk about what’s really on your minds. It only takes one courageous dad—or son—to get the ball rolling.

Men are so reluctant to ask for help. Imagine the impact all of you dads will have on your sons by treating them like men—rather than boys, and showing them how valuable it is to have close relationships with other good men.