According to the National Fatherhood Initiative there is a fatherhood problem in the United States. One out of every three families in the United States is missing a father influence. If your family has a dad around then appreciate and take advantage of your situation. From birth to adulthood, fathers can bond with their sons in many different ways. The outings and adventures need to be age appropriate, promoting the distinct developmental opportunities that can happen between a father and son of that age.
Ages Birth to 4
Babies love to be held. Flesh-to-flesh contact is an important aspect of healthy human development. Using devices like baby carriers lets any activity become an outing. Of course, this works for any gender, but at this age the father is being trained more than the child. This is dad’s time to get used to the idea of a child. Mothers have nine months to carry a child and develop the rhythms of parenthood. For a participatory father who wants to be the male influence in his son’s life, using carriers and backpacks lets a baseball game, a trip to the library, or a walk in the park become an outing.
Ages 5 to 12
By this age, outings become adventures. This is also the time when a son is most receptive to learning the important lessons of becoming a man. The website The Art Of Manliness recommends two activities for father-and-son bonding base on the premise that men build then both activities are true male projects. The first is working on a car or motorcycle. Building it is where the bonding happens, but putting on a helmet and riding your creation is where the story begins. (Just make sure to buy your boy a new helmet. This is no time for hand-me-downs or lids that don't fit properly.)
The second activity recommended by the site is a social service project like feeding the needy. The first builds a device and the second builds character.
Ages 13 to 20
At this age a father will begin to see the burgeoning glimmer of the man his son will be. To bond without the interruptions of cellphones, video games, and the Internet, take your son on a real outing in nature. The Lady Of Avenel offers bonding adventures on a tall ship. For six days, father and son sail like pirates on the open sea. Of course, you are with an experienced crew to guide you.
Just because your son is an adult does not mean you need to stop going on outings with him. You have spent all of this time and energy teaching him to be a fun and caring man, you might as well enjoy him. Depending on your philosophic bend, there are religious and non-religious adventure packages. For the Christian, Christ in the Rockies offers hiking, camping, and rock climbing excursions throughout the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. These expeditions are specially designed to promote the father and son bond within a Christ centered ideology. For those that do not want the religious aspect then Backcountry Adventures offers the same type of bonding adventure.