One characterization of the relationship among Squire Cass and his sons is that of the wealthy, self-absorbed parent who gives little attention to his children as they grow up. The Squire fails to establish a consistent relationship with his sons as he is at times indulgent, at others too stringent. Nonetheless, he complains of the sons' lack of responsibility and unwillingness to interact with the family rather than examining his own behavior. For instance, he tells Godfrey,
You youngsters' business is your own pleasure, mostly. There's no hurry about it for anybody but yourselves. (Ch.IX)
Squire Cass also feels that he is a generous man because he opens his home every year for the New Year's dance, and he allows his tenants to be dilatory in paying their rent--at least until he feels the need for his money. On the other hand, he finds his sons selfish and self-serving in their affairs. His relationship with his sons is so superficial that he has no idea of Godfrey's secret marriage or of Dunsey's fraternal acts of extortion.
The relationship between Squire Cass and his sons can be characterized as the relationship an administrator has with two bad, lazy, ineffective, and difficult employees who also happen to be related by blood to him. Hence, it is twice more difficult to fire an employee who is related to you by family, because the drama increases and more bridges are burned in the end.
Squire Cass was very clear with his sons, especially Godfrey, that he did not trust neither of them enough to administer the Red House. The sons also knew that they would never be up to par with their father because none of them had the work ethics, the strength of morale, nor the attitude to take over a job as well as their Dad does.
Hence, it is the relationship of master and servant, soldier and commander, boss and employee what is characteristic of the father/son connection in the Cass clan.