Knowing how to communicate better with your son isn’t always easy. Think about the last conversation you had with your child. Did you walk away feeling closer to him, or did it raise your blood pressure by a few points? Was your child smiling, or looking for something else to do? Or was he rolling his eyes?

For every dad, good communication is vital. Although some dads are fantastic at getting their kids to open up for those heart-to-heart talks, it’s more like a puzzle for many guys. And if we aren’t great at it, how can we equip our children to be good communicators?

Communication is a key way we show our children how to love. We need to make communication a high priority so that we can teach our kids by example and through practice. The ideas you’ll find below are targeted to dads of sons, although you’ll find that many of them can be adapted for use with daughters, too.

In a nutshell, good communication is about listening first before making our opinions known, and doing away with lectures in favor of asking questions that promote two-way discussions. Also, we have to be open to receiving feedback, even if it’s negative, and take the initiative in rebuilding relationships when fractures occur—having the courage to admit when we’re wrong and seek forgiveness. Those are all areas of communication that help demonstrate our love.

By being a good communicator, you serve as a model for your son in hopes that he will communicate with you. But let’s be honest: getting your son (especially if he’s a teenager) to talk with you can be one of the greatest challenges of your fathering career, but it is doable.

This article as originally found in its entirety at in an article titled Be A Good Dad For Your Son: Solve the Communication Puzzle