36 Things Every Father Should Do With His Son

Whether you’re already a father, plan on being one someday, or want some ideas for things to do with your old man, this list is in order. Each experience will impart a few skills and a few life lessons along the way. They also just happen to be bonding experiences each of you will remember forever (outside of the ones where you drink together).

1. Go Deep-Sea Fishing

2. Assemble His First Tool Kit

3. Get Lost in Nature and Find Your Way Out

4. Go to a Ball Game

5. Test Drive a Supercar

6. Start a Collection

7. Build a Workbench

8. Camp Somewhere Illegal

9. Go to the Barbershop

10. Spend the Day Playing Golf

11. Go Hunting for Your Dinner

12. Volunteer Together

13. Be Funny

14. Change a Tire

15. Plan a Trip

16. Play a Video Game so He Can Teach You a Thing or Two

17. Teach Him to Grill the Perfect Steak

18. Vegas

19. Shovel an Elderly Neighbor’s Driveway

20. Play a Prank on Mom

21. Teach Him How to Shave

22. Jump out of a Plane … or Do Something to Get Your Adrenaline Going

23. Brew a Batch of Beer

24. Drive Stick

25. Go to a Firing Range

26. Share His First Good Whiskey

27. Watch All the Star Wars Movies in One Sitting … Just the Good Ones

28. Show Him How to Treat a Woman

29. Also, Teach Him to Flirt

30. Attend a Car Show

31. Trespass

32. Build a Fire

33. Teach Him How to Drink Responsibly

34. Listen to Some Damn Classic Rock

35. Whittle

36. Share Your One Great Story


  • Ham Boner

    Share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him.

  • belsonc

    Respect his wishes if he wants nothing to do with religion, like my father did with my wishes.

  • Tyler Durden

    That’s fair…as long as dad doesn’t care if his son ends up in Hell.

  • belsonc

    Pretty sure mine doesn’t. Also pretty sure he doesn’t believe in heaven and hell, but that’s irrelevant.

  • belsonc

    For background, my grandfather was orthodox, and drove me to tears about it a few times for trying to get me to pray with him. So maybe it’s more than respecting my wishes – maybe he didn’t even want to have anything to do with something he saw make his son cry.

  • Tyler Durden

    At the end of the day we’re all free to make our own choices (thankfully…and for now). My argument to my 2 year old daughter if she shares your perspective is the following: If I’m wrong and you’re right, what happens? We share the same fate. Maybe we cease to exist, or maybe we hit the reset button and we come back as goats. If you’re wrong and I’m right, what happens? Eternity is a long time to be wrong.

    Something to ponder. For my background, my grandpa made me eat green beans. I cried…but he made me eat them cause he cared.

    I’m not trying to make light of your history…I would just hate it if you’re wrong. On the other hand if I am…then I’ll see you on the other side. Just don’t eat all my grass.

  • http://dudek.tumblr.com bdudek

    Ah yes, Pascal’s Wager. I’ve heard it numerous times from Christians and the like. I’d like to wager you the Amish Wager. “If an Amish person came up to you, as a Christian, and made this wager:

    1. If you shun technology and the Amish have the correct theology, then you gain eternal reward.

    2. If you shun technology and the Amish have the incorrect theology, then you suffer a finite loss, but still live a rewarding life of simplicity and devout Christianity, and so may still receive an eternal reward!

    3. If you do not shun technology, and the Amish have the correct theology, then you suffer eternal punishment.

    4. If you do not shun technology, and the Amish have the incorrect theology, then you gain some finite pleasure from the technological comforts (mmmm, the joys of zippers!), and perhaps still an eternal reward.

    Thus, by shunning technology, one is guaranteed an eternal reward in Heaven, and by refusing to shun technology, one will either suffer eternal damnation or perhaps eternal reward anyway.

    Why gamble with salvation? Take the sure bet, and shun technology. Remember, he shares the same belief in your God.

  • belsonc

    I’m sorry, I’m still trying to process “mmmm, the joys of zippers!”…

  • http://dudek.tumblr.com bdudek

    Deflect, that’s ok, but I’m still curious about your answer.

  • Robert Paulson

    Ha. I AM Tyler Durden!! When not making soap I troll random message boards for a solid atheist vs Christianity argument.

    I’m not going to deflect. I appreciate your Amish Wager. I will admit I enjoy zippers, so I may be doomed! Let’s hope not. That said, I personally don’t get caught up in Christian denominations (Amish being the extreme). Man tends to over complicate the message. Keep it simple. John 3:16.

    I hope that gets it done. I’m sorry, but I can’t make the Christian argument better than those already out there. It’s a choice and comes down to personal faith. If it takes more than faith in our Savior to reach Heaven and have an eternal life, I do hope I find that answer sooner rather than later. Maybe someone will expose the truth and help me find that answer in a random off-topic message board someday.

    Intellectually, it’s a tough argument. Scientifically, it’s harder. That said, check out a scientific argument in favor of Christianity (for reference purposes only, of course). “Does God Exist (Stephen Meyer). It isn’t a perfect argument, but then again, the perfect argument doesn’t exist (although the Amish Wager comes close).

    Keep an open mind and heart.

  • Hawaiian shirt guy

    Tyler, you are missing a critical third option: what if we are both wrong. Listen close, your soul may be in mortal danger! What if there is a god, but it’s not the one you believe in. She will be very pissed you chose to believe in a made up god instead of her. She won’t be as mad at atheists because we picked sides.

    If you really do tell your daughter about Pascal’s wager, make sure she bets on all the possible gods, lest she pick the wrong one. Even better, encourage her to think for herself instead of blindly following your beliefs. Imagine how bad your hell will be if you not only were stuck there, but you sentenced your daughter to hell too because you convinced her to worship the wrong god.

    Pascal’s wager isn’t a single bet. You’re betting against all of the other gods others are betting for.

  • Tyler Durden

    As a parent, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask her to follow a few beliefs I have blindly. I’ll encourage independent thought, but unfortunately for awhile, I’m going to have to ask her to tag along. I suppose my wife and I could keep her in the car when we go to church. I would hate to unfairly persuade…or tilt the scales toward potential damnation by Christianity.

    If I’m wrong and I ask her to blindly follow me, I will feel incredibly guilty…if I’m feeling anything at all at that time. However, I will be a fraud to my faith if I ignored the parts that encourages us to bring our children into that faith as well. It does seem a little unfair to them, but we make tough choices for them everyday that influences the type of person they will become.

    I appreciate your comments. I hope we all find what we’re looking for.

  • maethlin

    My biggest problem with religion – the notion of eternal damnation for non-belief. I seriously want no part of that kind of god.

  • anodo

    why the fuck would you bring religion bullshit into this. my whole family is christian, but i’m not, i’m not even athiest or agnostic. i don’t believe an any type of religion.

  • pichi1

    2 illegal things?? it really helps a son to see his father handcuffed and getting a criminal record…

  • Rt1583

    For some reason, I don’t see you as one to encourage independent thought.

  • Rt1583

    Meh…it’s just one of hundreds of “should” lists. Take if for what it is, someone you don’t know telling you how you must live your life.
    If you can swallow that whole then by all means be upset about the two illegal items on the list.
    If you choose to live your life as you choose and not by what some unknown person believe you should do, don’t worry about them because they ultimately mean nothing.

  • InfiniteJest

    Not really.

    You’re free to believe in whatever you want, if you believe in the Christian God, you need to acknowledge how freedom is the supposed cornerstone of that belief (you know, the apple tree was within reach).

    Also, even if you want to believe in heaven and hell, you should consider being a good person is more important, in that respect, than being a good christian. And that if you want to be a good person, weekly volunteering is probably more important than weekly church.

    Just saying.

    For the record, I’m an atheist raised by an atheist father and a smowhat believing mother (Catholic, the religion of the large majority in Italy), they provided me a religious education (during childhood, I went to the Mess and had the 3 years of catechism classes on saturday afternoon). When I came of age to make my own choices, my parents were nothing but supportive.

    [A religious education as an historical and cultural value, as I see it, even if you do not find yourself a believer.]

  • Howie_Dunnet

    Methinks we got sidetracked with a silly argument on superstition. Move along now.

  • Stefatropolis

    Tyler, do you really think so little of your God’s power that your child can’t come to recognize His existence as an adult? What of the millions of Muslim children who will go to Hell because their parents indoctrinated them into that faith? If you reply that such children can convert to Christianity later in life, then so could your child and you needn’t indoctrinate them into Christianity. However, if you say that such children CAN’T convert later in life, you’re acknowledging both that Hell is a just and fitting place for children of the unfortunate fate of being born to parents of a non-Christian faith and that your God is powerless to reach them. It doesn’t show much confidence in either your religion or its God that you feel you need to make your children Christians while they’re so young and impressionable they can’t think critically, rationally or make an informed choice about their faith. Teaching your children to be independent thinkers is a much greater gift for you to give them than merely make them programmed for whatever religion their parent happens to belong to.

  • Stefatropolis

    You should convert to Islam then, Tyler. Because eternity is a LONG time to be wrong about that religion, too.

  • Guest

    there is no hell, there is no god and there is no jesus. Religion is just a story, a bad one full of rubbish.

  • markpb

    The first question that came to mind when I read the title of the post is, “Why does my child needs a penis in order to share cool moments with them?”

  • simplemankev

    Wow 36 great things a father and son should do together and I check the comments to maybe see some great stories and it’s back and forth about a god or no god seriously people if you worship him great and if you worship something else or don’t worship something else just offer your son what your beliefs are and when he is grown and becomes a man he will choose his own path that will be his choice where it be god are no god but just know you can look back and remember that you shared some great times together while you was here on this earth.