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Here are seven suggestions for sons who want to reach out to their fathers.

  1. Take the initiative. Sons are in a better position to do this than fathers. If sons don’t begin talking to their dads, the conversation may never take place.
  2. Don’t being a conversation with grievances, no matter how justified. Ease into a discussion of your feelings about your father with more general conversation about his childhood and yours.
  3. Listen to what your father has to say. Don’t interrupt, argue, or mentally compose a response as he is talking. Look for dimensions of your father that you didn’t know existed
  4. Search for common ground. Are you experiencing some of the same things he went through?
  5. Keep in mind that your father is a son too.
  6. Remember, it’s as important for your father to hear that you care for him as it is for you to hear this from your dad.
  7. Tell him. Soon. Next year may be too late – or next week, or even tomorrow. The best day to tell your father that you love him may be today.

Source: Ralph Keyes, If Only I Could Say ‘I Love You, Dad’.