Your Kids Are Not Your “Buddies”

Somehow I’ve gotten into the habit of calling my sons “buddy.”

“How’s it going buddy?”

“Hey buddy, how’d you sleep?”

“Love you bud.”

And while the term has a breezy appeal, it sends the wrong message.

I am not their buddy, and should never aspire to be.

I am their dad.

They will have many buddies in their life.

But only one father.

The roles are radically different.

A buddy’s job is to be fun, familiar, easy.

A father’s job is to help his children become capable, principled, thriving adults.

The posture of a “buddy” will not cut it. It’s not up to the task.

And though it may seem a small thing, the names we call our sons (and daughters) matter.

So, numerous slip-ups aside, I’ve stopped calling my boys “buddy.”

I call them each “son.”

And each time I do, I can feel the higher energy in the air.

They are reminded that I am the one they can bring their problems, fears, and pain to. That I will love them always, no matter what they do or don’t do.

That if forced to choose between their approval or their ultimate good, I will choose the latter, no matter how unpopular that makes me to them.

And I am reminded that these precious children are not just little companions but my greatest charge, my highest responsibility, and my ultimate legacy.

If you have children, think of the names you call them by, and what those names imply.

Choose your words wisely.

They may affect generations.


  1. Excellent. Be a father.

  2. Looking back at the names my parents called me I can remember some dear moments of great joy hearing my father say “Son” and other times great sadness when the forever inscribed on my mind title of “Shit for brains” would follow from my mother. A word from a parent can last a lifetime in the heart of child. Kind or Hard, it will be planted and the roots will take hold. If left to grow to long, it will be next to impossible to rip out. If I let the words of my anger sit planted in my children’s mind to long, I will forever lose them. I MUST tear it out by the roots. It starts with an apology and a heart felt moment to let them know you are sorry. This is not weakness, but strength. Then you must as the above article says, learn how to be the father and call your child, daughter, for i have been blessed with 5. They need to see me as the man that will always do what is best for them. So maybe when the time comes they will find a man in their lives that will treat them with the respect and love that they deserve.

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