There's something special about the bond between a father and son; watching your son grow from a baby into a boy with the same hopes, dreams and curiosities that you had at his age is a magical experience. Of course, relationships between fathers and sons can be just as challenging as any other.
As sons grow older, they may stray from their fathers in interests, beliefs and more. Even when they're still young, many boys struggle to connect with their fathers, even though both may truly want a close relationship.
Whether your son is still just a baby or you're looking for ways to connect with an older child or even an adult, here are three creative father-son bonding activities to try out.
People love hiking solo because it's a way for them to disconnect from the world for a little while and be alone with their thoughts. But nature walks are actually a fantastic activity to share with someone.
Pick a hiking trail or a wildlife refuge and do some research before heading out to make a list of plants and animals you want to identify during their trip. This will give you something to talk about right off the bat.
Nature walks give both fathers and sons some fresh air and exercise, but more importantly, they give ample opportunity to truly talk and be open with one another without distraction.
Finding a project that you're both passionate about is a great way to connect and help others. Whether it's running a food drive for the homeless, painting houses or lending a helping hand at your local animal shelter, volunteer work is rewarding for everyone involved.
Fathers and sons who volunteer together are able to work side-by-side and become united under a shared goal.
Fix an Old Car
Lots of dads love to spend time tinkering away in the garage, but why not invite your son to join in? It may be tough at first if working you the car is your favorite solo pastime, but showing your son that you want him to take part too will make him feel appreciated.
Don't know much about cars but always wanted to fix one up? Why not search for old models online with your son and decide on which one to buy together? Then, you can both learn from scratch and get closer during the process. You may have to be creative to find the parts you need, but there are places like City Auto Wreckers that have many resources for you to browse.
Stick to Your Interests and Remember Your Influence
Even if you and your son aren't as close as you wish, your presence matters. Whether he's just starting out in preschool or a moody teen, a son always needs his dad. The best way to find things to talk about and do together is by sharing interests; if your son is a video game fanatic, ask him to show you his favorite titles. If you love camping or sports, invite him out for a trip or afternoon game together.
You're never going to be the same person, but that's okay. What counts is that no matter where your son is in life, you're there with open arms.