The best activities for father and son bonding revolve around exploring the outdoors, playing an organized game or working on a task. Sports are easy-to-learn activities that even younger boys can participate in, while learning to play a game of cards works with older boys.
Turning a work effort, such as yard work, painting or washing the car, into something fun to share encourages both father and son to share stories and ideas. Men seem to bond best when they relate to one another’s abilities or share some sort of commonality, and activities provide opportunities for connection.
A child who shows interest in fishing, camping or hunting is more likely to take interest in stories shared by his father about the activity. Verbal praise of a job well done, of a good idea or of a victory over his father helps establish an intimate connection. Stability in the connection between father and son is important, as the frequency of bonding opportunities and of direct contact between the two determines the strength of the bond.
As children get older, male teenagers often become rebellious in an attempt to establish their own identities. Beyond these older years, maintaining a bond relies on showing an appreciation for what the older son is accomplishing and sharing stories about fatherhood itself.