8 Ways To Teach Your Son How To Be A Gentleman

by Tina @ Life Without Pink on January 21, 2013


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.


Source: Pinterest

don’t you?

Tell me: How do you teach your son to be a gentleman?

Meet Tina @ Life Without Pink

2013 Family Expert for P&G's Have You Tried This Yet? Trend Trio, Tina is a mom of two active boys and the founder of Life Without Pink, a personal lifestyle blog focused on parenting, and raising boys to give other parents inspiration. You’ll find everything from cool gadgets, daily adventures, to personal stories and tips for raising boys. She's also the co-founder of Girls' Lunch Out {GLO}, a social media network that hosts events for women in social media and the Influencer Strategist for Socialstars by Crowdtap.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathryn January 21, 2013 at 10:13 am

Amazing post and totally agree! There are too many boys out there who aren’t like this anymore and it’s sad. Definitely want to raise my son to be a gentleman! Thanks for the tips, i shared on Pinterest and Facebook!


2 Life Without Pink January 21, 2013 at 10:28 am

Thank you so much!!


3 Deana January 21, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Great post and advice! I’m a momma to two boys(no girls here either). My husband and I believe in teaching these same values. People are always amazed that our boys are so well mannered. Makes a momma proud!!
Deana´s last blog post ..09/11


4 Life Without Pink January 21, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Yes you should be VERY proud :)


5 Jackie January 22, 2013 at 8:33 am

As a mom of 3 girls and now a rather busy 3 yr old little boy I can say that all of these can go for the girls as well as the boys.

Sometimes I wonder if these things are a lost art or something when I see how other children act out in public.
Jackie´s last blog post ..Monday Menu ~ Homemade Marshmallows


6 Tina @ Life Without Pink January 22, 2013 at 8:59 pm

I know I totally agree!
Tina @ Life Without Pink´s last blog post ..8 Ways To Teach Your Son How To Be A Gentleman


7 Alexandra January 22, 2013 at 8:40 am

You are a conscientious parent. Love how Non Knee Jerk this is.

This is parenting with the future in sight. I’ll always remember a woman I went to hear at out church, 15 yrs ago. She said, if she could do it over, would raise her boys to be the kinds of husbands who would have happy marriages.
I think that every day now.

A happy marriage, what a joyful way to spend a life.

Alexandra´s last blog post ..What? You Don’t Google "Large Black Mole" at 3 a.m.?


8 Tina @ Life Without Pink January 22, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Wow, that’s a great way to look at it! I won’t forget this :)
Tina @ Life Without Pink´s last blog post ..8 Ways To Teach Your Son How To Be A Gentleman


9 Kimberly January 22, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Love this list! I think that my boys have had these things modeled for them mostly by my dad. Although mine are slightly lacking in the table manners department (they don’t shovel in food like maniacs, but could be a bit more adept — come to think of it, though, when we’re somewhere nice, they pull it together!)
Kimberly´s last blog post ..The Compact 2013


10 Tina @ Life Without Pink January 22, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Um my boys too. My oldest is a mess when he eats, baby steps! ha!
Tina @ Life Without Pink´s last blog post ..8 Ways To Teach Your Son How To Be A Gentleman


11 Charlotte January 28, 2013 at 10:26 am

Oh, this made me tear up a bit. What a great mom you are by teaching your children such beautiful lessons. Love that they helped you with the groceries (*SWOON!*)
Charlotte´s last blog post ..What I have learned from being a foster mommy


12 Life Without Pink January 28, 2013 at 10:27 am

I know, melted my heart. Thanks for stopping by Charlotte – miss you!


13 Veronica @ Tales from Brown Avenue January 28, 2013 at 11:32 am

This made me tear up a little too, and I don’t even have children. I love this and I’m saving it for one day when I do have kids. Thank you for this.


14 Life Without Pink February 15, 2013 at 9:57 am

Oh thank you so much! That means a lot.


15 Jeannine Brogan March 2, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Hi! I was about to write a blog about how to teach your son to be a gentleman when I stumbled across this post. Awesome post btw!
I was wondering if I could link it to mine? I wrote one this morning you may find interesting called, “How Men Should Dress And/Or How To Be A Gentleman” Here is the link;
Please let me know if I may use this post as a link in my new blog post! And thanks for explaining all of this for those mom’s who really need to know!
Jeannine Brogan´s last blog post ..Now For The Men! How Men Should Dress And/Or How To Be A Gentleman


16 Tina @ Life Without Pink March 12, 2013 at 7:29 am

Yes of course, thank you!
Tina @ Life Without Pink´s last blog post ..An Embarrassing Moment as a Boy Mom


17 Racheal April 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm

I was leaving our bank and stopped at the door so my 9 year old could open the door for me. He wasn’t paying attention to the women walking toward us and let go of the door. I was telling him to make sure nobody else is close before he stops holding the door. As we entered our car I reminded them that we are raising gentlemen. There was an older women sitting in the car beside us, I heard her chuckle as I said that. I tell them frequently that we are raising gentlemen, husbands, and fathers!


18 Life Without Pink April 14, 2013 at 7:28 pm

You are so right!


19 Alyssa April 14, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I have three boys, three and under. This post was a good one to remind me the responsibility i have ahead of me with these little guys. I read it out loud to my 3 year old. I have just started letting him earn one penny for every dandelion flower he picks (to keep them from seeding all over my gardens) and then we will take his pennies to the Five and Dime nearby to pick something out and to practice the work/money relationship. I love my little princes, but if I want them to stay that way, it takes consistency and work!


20 Life Without Pink April 14, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Love this…and you are so right!


21 Stacey May 16, 2013 at 12:50 am

I think this goes for girls just as much if not more so. They’re going to be Moms one day.


22 Peggy Knock June 8, 2013 at 8:43 pm

I teach preschool in a center and encourage and demand that the children all have manners. Last week we were going on a field trip on the city bus, one of the boys said”Peggy I took my hat off!” ( I know a bus is not really indoors, but I’ll take what I can) I replied ” Thank you for remembering to take your hat off , you are being a gentleman.” After that 2 grown men took their hats off.LOL


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26 Nancy June 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Thank you for this! I completely agree!!

I am blessed with 4 boys under the age of 8 and I work hard at raising them as gentlemen every. Single. Day!! Such a dying art. I will always point out other gentlemen/women I see doing something kind (holding a door for us, offering to help us, etc) to help lead by example. I truly hope it begins to stick and they begin to do these things as second nature. Kudos to you for seeing these traits as important.


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