This makes me sad to read.
So take the opportunity, (not PE, just in general), to instill change. You remark with disdain about having “distanced negative and put-down” types of interaction. Your son will not profit by that. Would be a terrible waste to see you just give in and approach such an important issue with such a mindset. I have read many of your posts, and there’s much more to you than that.
Guess it'll have to stay like it is with my father and like past generations
It does not. Your relationship will be what you make it. Few things in your life will be more important, and nothing will be more important to your son.
I write this respectfully, don’t take offense.