raising gentlemen.

Having grown up with only sisters, I knew I was in for it when I gave birth to two boys. In today's society we can all agree that there is a severe lack in maturity, respect, and class with young people, especially boys. If Nick and I go to the movies (which is not very often) or if I'm ever at the mall with the boys, I am always surprised by the bad manners of today's young adults. 

Now that I am a boy mom of two, I have a huge responsibility to instill traits in them that will hopefully train them to be gentlemen one day. Boys are not born into being men who are humble, respectful and kind, it must be learned. The best way my boys learn is by example, and thankfully, they have a good daddy to look up to. Small things like Nick opening the door for me, taking out the trash, saying he loves me, going on dates, compliments, and saying "excuse me" go a long way. Even when I do not think they are paying attention to us; they are. I remember a time when Calvin saw a girl fiddling with her hair at a store and he said to her, "You are beautiful." I just about lost it. I don't want to ever force them into being polite, so seeing them initiate kindness on their own shows me that they are picking up on these things.

My good friend teaches her boys to say "Yes/No, Mam" and "Yes/No, Sir.'" Even though I was not brought up on saying Sir and Mam, I can appreciate the respect that it gives and how it teaches kids from an early age to respect their elders. Even though our boys have a long time until they are considered young men, saying hello to people and acknowledging that the world does not revolve around themselves will hopefully carry on with them into adolescence and adulthood.

I have a lot to learn but I'm up for this important challenge. Pinterest had some great posts on ideas to take your son out on a mini-date just to see how they might behave. It suggested that moms should ask them certain questions while out on the "date" (Ex: What does it mean to be beautiful/handsome?) and also to have open communication about respect for others.  

I want my boys to be marked as one of "the good ones." I hope they will be young men who will choose to give rather than receive, put others before themselves, be humble and not proud, and seek above all else to glorify God in all that they say and do. 

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
— Proverbs 22:6
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
— Ephesians 6:4

Sure, there's a bit of moralism in this video, but I still really love it's overall theme and message to young people. Give it a listen.

Are there any other boy moms out here who have suggestions on how to foster a giving heart? What other ideas do you have on how to train boys?