My Father Is Like a _____ and Like Father, Like Son

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Type
Reflection and Awareness

Two short activities that challenge dads to think about their relationship with their own father and its impact on them as fathers themselves. From Quenching the Father Thirst: Developing a Dad by the National Center for Fathering.

“A father whether good or bad, present or absent makes a permanent impact on his children.” – Dr. Ken Canfield

Activity 1: My Father is Like a ________

Materials:

  • Paper
  • Pens

Procedure:

  1. Instructor state: The purpose of this activity is to challenge fathers to think about their relationship with their father.
  2. Draw a picture of a non-living object that represents the type of father your father was during your childhood.
  3. List three ways the object represents your father. Be prepared to share with the class. State: Examples of non-living objects are a rock, door, tool, etc.
  4. Transition: Thank you for sharing about your fathers. Next, we will look at ways that we are like our father and ways that we are different.

Activity 2: Like Father Like Son Exercise:

The purpose of this exercise is to help men understand the degree to which their fathers impacted them; what the positive characteristics of their fathers were, and our awareness of the decisions we make to be different from our father.

Materials:

  • Like Father Like Son Handout
  • Pens

Procedure:

  1. Instructor state: Let’s review some points about our next activity. The instructions are to take three minutes to write down characteristics we have that are similar to and different from our father/father figure in each column. Here is some help for this activity.
  2. Identify similarities and differences. Take three minutes to write down characteristics we have that are similar to and different from our father/father figure in each column. Examples:
    • Physically – facial features, height, build, color
    • Psychologically – hot tempered, hold emotions in
    • Socially – education, financial status, outgoing
    • Spiritually – practice faith, attend religious services
    • Behaviors – walk, posture
  3. Identify positives of similarities and differences. Circle those things that are positive.
  4. Instructor state: The positives are parts of your fathering heritage that you can pass on to your kids. Build on those, and realize they are a gift. Perhaps there are some opportunities to do things differently as you look at the negatives. You have an opportunity to make a decision to stop a cycle of negatives that you do not want to pass on to your kids. Additionally, we should remember our father was a son. Most often fathers do the best they know how. We don’t say this to excuse our father’s shortcomings but to help us understand them. If you could go back and shape your father’s life what would you do or say?