On the Road to Manhood: The Profound Impact of Fathers on Sons

Father with son

On the Road to Manhood: The Profound Impact of Fathers on Sons

When asked about how raising a son is different than raising a daughter, Prime associate and father Dennis Davis answered,

“Raising sons and daughters is different, yet similar. Dads want to instill responsibility, accountability and work ethic in both. . . What we learn from husbands and wives, moms and dads is that mom is the nurturer. Dads want to instill different things in their sons—toughness, the world owes you nothing, and no one will feel sorry for you.”

Dennis Davis, Prime associate and father

As a Prime associate since 2002 and a father to a 12-year-old son and a stepdaughter aged 28, Davis draws from his own experiences to highlight the unique dynamics involved in raising sons. Let’s face it, raising sons is different than raising daughters. In the last blog post, “Strategies for Raising Girls (From a Girl Who was Raised by an Amazing Dad)” the author shared her experience growing up with a twin brother and discussed how her father raised her and his two other daughters, fostering strong relationships and unique bonds. This blog will delve into the dynamics of the father-son relationship.

As a father, you are your son’s biggest role model.

Your relationship with your son is extremely important in order to raise a good man. Clayton Brown, who helms the marketing department at Prime, is a father of two boys and three girls, ranging from 10 to 22 years old. He shared with us his thoughts on how raising sons is different than raising daughters.

“Tough love towards a son feels more natural.  Raising a future protector and hard working provider takes a little less emotional support and a little more sternness.  The exact opposite is true for a daughter.  Each child has to feel love from their Dad though and how you show that love to each child is different.  Stay engaged, participate, give compliments and lead by example.  Remember that the environment that you create is the one that they live within.”

  • Clayton Brown, Prime Marketing

Clayton hit the nail on the head—fathers should lead by example, especially when raising a son. In this blog, we will explore the ways in which you can be a good role model for your son and provide optimal support as he matures into a man, even from the road.

Teach Your Son How to Treat Others

As a father, you set the standard for how your son should treat others. One of the most important ways you can model this is by how you treat your son’s mother. The dynamic between you and your partner is the first relationship your son will witness, and often times the relationship he will most closely observe (Parker, 2021).

Even if your relationship with your son’s mother is strained, it is crucial that you treat her with respect. When you’re talking with your son, be aware of:

  • Your attitude toward your partner
  • What you say to your partner
  • What you say about your partner

You have great influence over your son, and you should model respect and love so he is inspired to treat others the same way. How you treat your partner sets the precedent for how your son will approach every relationship in his life—from romantic to platonic (Parker, 2021).

Teach Your Son How to Handle Mistakes

Instill in your son the valuable lesson that making mistakes is a natural part of life. When you share with him not only the mistakes themselves but also your genuine reactions and the steps you took to take ownership and grow from the experience, you will:

  • Demonstrate responsibility and humility in your own actions
  • Set a powerful example for problem solving
  • Show your son the importance of acknowledging mistakes
  • Convey that it is ok to makemistakes
  • Demonstrate that mistakes present meaningful opportunities for personal growth and learning (Levy, 2020)

It might be tempting to conceal your missteps, especially when you are on the road, but you should be transparent with your son. An attitude of transparency and honesty will build trust with your son and set a positive example for him.

When faced with a mistake, apologize. When your son sees you apologizing for an error you made, it will teach him to be responsible and kind.

Robert Taibbi, LCSW, will tell you:

“Apologize. This is something some men don’t do very well—they can be arrogant, they blame others for their problems and emotions. They see apologies as caving in, you win, I lose,” (Taibbi, 2011).

Apologies go a very long way in repairing and maintaining healthy relationships. They also teach:

  • Responsibility
  • Empathy
  • Humility

Teach Your Son How to be a Leader

As your son’s most influential role model, you can teach him how to be a leader. Three of the best ways to model great leadership are by:

  • Being trustworthy
  • Empowering others
  • Never stop learning

When you are trustworthy, your son will view you as reliable and look up to you as a leader. You can model trustworthiness by:

  • Following through with promises
  • Being dependable
  • Being consistent

Another quality of a great leader is the empowerment of others.

Simon Sinek, author and inspirational speaker, would agree, “Leadership is not about being in charge. It’s about taking care of those in your charge,” (Sinek, 2015).

A great leader is selfless, and when your son sees you uplifting others, he will follow suit.

Leaders never stop learning.To model this for your son, find your own inspirational role models that possess the qualities you want yourself and your son to emanate. Share these role models with your son and show humility by telling him what you have learned from these inspirational people.

Modeling Leadership While You’re on the Road

Teaching and modeling strong leadership skills is important to Prime drivers. From Dennis Davis’ perspective, it is one of the main motivating factors as to why drivers do what they do.

“We want our sons to protect and provide. This is the reason our drivers drive for long periods of time, weeks and months, to provide for their kids and their grandkids. They sacrifice for their families, living in a 8’x10′ space, often feeling isolated. They do it so their son, daughter and wife will have a better life.”

–  Dennis Davis, Prime associate and father

Here are a few ways in which you can model positive leadership qualities to your son while you are on the road:

  • Show him that you are trustworthy and dependable by never missing a scheduled call and calling him back right away if you do miss a call.
  • Teach him to empower others by uplifting your own son; encourage him by affirming that he is a good boy, growing into a good man.
  • Provide the emotional support and safe space that your son needs.

When you do these things, you will set your son up for success in becoming a leader.


By embracing the role of a positive role model, you have the power to mold your son into a compassionate, responsible and empowered individual.

Even amid challenges of life on the road, you can teach your son:

  • How to treat others
  • How to handle mistakes
  • How to be a leader

Consistency in communication, honesty in sharing your experiences and encouragement during every interaction contribute to setting your son on a trajectory toward success.

Whether navigating relationships, facing mistakes, or aspiring to leadership, your role as a positive role model shapes your son’s journey into manhood. May this reflection on researched insights serve as a source of inspiration, offering guidance on how to be the best role model for your son.


Ford (2023) “Strategies for Raising Girls (From a Girl Who was Raised by an Amazing Dad)”

Levy (2020) “3 Things Every Son Needs to Hear From His Father”

Parker (2021). “How to Strengthen a Father Son Relationship”

Sinek (2015). “Leadership is Not About Being in Charge”

Taibbi (2011). “Fathers & Sons: How to Be a Great Dad”