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Mtl_zack's avatar

Parental bonding...

Asked by Mtl_zack (6759points) November 1st, 2008

so im 18, and my dad and i have just recently started bonding. 6 months ago, i could never have done anything fun with my dad, but now, i feel comfortable with most things. i mean, tonight we went to a bar together and saw a movie, which we both found hilarious (burn after reading). we talk a lot about politics together. he takes me seriously.

my parents havent met all my friends, but they met some of them. many of the friends that i tell my parents about are girls, and they assume things that arent true. i havent reached the stage where i can talk to my dad about relationships and sex and whatnot. how do i get to that stage without it getting awkward? as a child and teen, i have been kinda prude, and i have never talked about relationships with my parents. the occasional joke comes out, though.

and i dont want my mom to be involved with this. my mom would be completeley out of it because she doesnt have lets say, “life experience”. she, as a child was very quiet and shy, while my dad was a hippie.

so, to summarize, how do i make a smooth transition into talking about “life” with my dad?

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10 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

One of those times you’re “bonding” and you’re at a bar or restaurant or taking a walk, or hanging out after shooting some hoops, or whatever you do, just seize the bull by the horns: “Dad, can I ask you a question?”

“Sure son.”

“Well it’s a little awkward… about life and everything….”

“You can ask me anything, Zack.”

“I’m not asking about the birds and the bees. I know about that. See, it’s about this girl… did you ever have a situation where….?”

And you’re off.

He might be a bit awkward, and then he might talk. On the other hand, he might be terribly uncomfortable, and then, well, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. But if he was a hippie (whatever that means), he’ll probably think it’s cool, and will answer as best he can, and he won’t be condescending, or make stupid jokes. He’s probably been waiting for that father-son talk a long time, anyway.

augustlan's avatar

The only way to get over the awkardness is to get through it. Once you start, it will get easier and easier each time. Good luck.

PupnTaco's avatar

You’re already doing it. Good job!

itsallgood's avatar

politics is a great start! if there is agreement there, an openness, a sureness, that respect you mentioned means much to a dad. i’m a mom and know how important this seems to to father and son, as mine do not have it… like a break to any other conversations for my son. so you have a wonderful base, just ask
love

galileogirl's avatar

Oh good, Dad takes his 18 yo son to a bar-personally one of my top 10 bonding experiences, right up there with picking up his first pro and teaching him to roll his first joint.

Evidently talking to each other about why you think the way you do, passing on life experiences and sharing skills isn’t fun enough.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@galileogirl, I take my oldest daugher or her friends to happy hour whenever I can. It’s not about going out drinking, it’s really more symbolic about recognition that they are an adult, and that our relationship has shifted from adult-child to adult-adult.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@mtl zack, part of it will probably stay awkward, until you both figure out what the TMI boundaries are. Sometimes you can get started on a topic by saying you read something, and ask what he thinks.

shadling21's avatar

@galileogirl – How will criticizing Zack or his dad help them out? There is nothing wrong with bonding over alcohol. Zack lives in Quebec, where the drinking age is 18, so it’s a common coming-of-age activity.

I understand where you’re coming from. The matters of the heart will be awkward to broach, but it sounds like he’ll accept your words with care.

I love the suggestion daloon made – ask him about his personal life first. Nothing too heavy. “When did you start dating girls?” and the like. If you already know about your father’s past, try asking him his opinion on things. For example, “Do you think that an age difference in a relationship should be a problem?”

Basically, start off with an appetizer for the conversation, then ease your way into the main course.

Good luck!

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Better yet, ask your dad about what attracted him to your mom. Sounds like they were opposites in some ways, and if they’re still married after all this time, there’s some good lessons to be learned about how to manage a relationship successfully.

donkhard's avatar

Just speak your mind and be yourself. If you guys have enough in common to bond, the transition will be smooth.

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