I got out of the car and headed for the back.
I opened the trunk and looked at the bags of groceries I still had to carry inside in the pouring rain.
I grabbed as many as I could and ran up to the house.
“Mom, I will hold the door for you,” my four-year-old said.
I carried in the packages then headed back outside for more.
What I saw next made me stop in my tracks.
My wet six-year-old was walking up to the house carrying bags of groceries.
“I know there’s a lot of bags and since it’s raining I wanted to help you.”
Right then I knew I was doing something right. I felt so proud at that moment – my little boys were learning to become men.
Here are 8 ways I try to teach my boys to be little gentlemen:
1. Lead by example. Boys need a role model, someone in their life they can look up to and learn from. Both my husband and Dad always take the time to teach the boys new things. Not only is it important to be an example but it’s also important to explain things to them so they understand. I’m thankful to have two great men in their lives to help guide them.
2. Make eye contact. I want my boys to walk into a room with confidence, shake someone’s hand and look them in the eye. Making eye contact helps build self-confidence.
3. Be Polite. Every gentleman uses the words “Please”, “Thank you”, “Excuse me”, “Can I help you?” and they even know when to say “I’m sorry.” If my boys demand something, I tell them to ask again nicely. It’s all in the tone and I never let them get away with talking nasty.
4. Give up your seat. A few months ago, we were on a Disney bus headed back to our hotel. A pregnant women got onto the bus and my husband (who was standing) asked my oldest to let the woman sit in his seat. He eagerly got up so she could sit down. When we got off the bus, my husband explained to him why it’s important to think of others.
5. Acknowledge their actions. I make sure when I see my boys doing something nice or polite to tell them how proud I am of them. I want them to know what they did was good and that this is the type of behavior my husband and I expect.
6. Help others. I tell my boys that even though someone may seem like they don’t need help, it’s always nice to offer it. Just like when my boys helped me carry in groceries and opened the door for me, I made sure to tell them that I appreciated their help.
7. Table manners. We always make sure our boys sit straight in their chairs, don’t use their hands to eat, and keep their elbows off the table. This is still a work in progress, but we aren’t going to give up!
8. Good work ethic. Of course my boys think money grows on trees, so we try to show them that you need to work hard to earn money. I’m proud to say they are always eager to grab their tools and help my husband around the house. We do reward them for their hard work and this keeps them excited for the next project they can help with.
My husband and I feel it’s important to teach our boys early on so they grow up knowing how to be respectful and kind people.
I always think, I want my boys to be the type of men that I would want my daughter (if I had one) to marry.
Tell me: How do you teach your son to be a gentleman?