Mothers and Sons: How to Raise a Gentleman

How to Raise a Sweet Son in an Era of Angry Men
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She deserves to be shown much more respect than a honked horn! Beyond just the benefit of chores for kids , teaching your son to look for opportunities to help others every single day is a way to help him learn to look outside of himself. This teaches him that the world does not revolve around him, and that when someone in his path needs help, it is up to him to step up. This one is quite simple. A boy should offer up his seat to a girl, an elderly person, a pregnant woman, or someone who obviously looks like they would need a seat more than him.

This is basic courtesy and is another way to demonstrate concern for others. There have only been a few times where my son has had a chance to do this, but school, sporting events, or even benches in a public setting always have the potential to present this opportunity. Around this topic, we tend to think about knights in shining armor valiantly coming to the rescue of a damsel in distress.

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While that specific scenario is antiquated, boys coming to the defense of girls starts with their own individual acts of respect. Obviously, there definitely exists those situations where a gentleman would need to physically or verbally come to the defense of a lady.

However, demonstrating respectful speech, averting eyes when something is inappropriate, being mindful of spatial boundaries, and always asking before assuming are practical ways that boys can learn that respect for girls is not optional. While there are many family dynamics influencing ways for a son to demonstrate chivalrous and respectful behavior, setting the standard for lifestyles reflective of a gentleman is one way that we can raise a generation of truly honorable men. As parents know, our behavior is mimicked in our children.

Letise Dennis is a writer for Learning Liftoff. She has enjoyed writing since childhood, but has spent her most recent professional years writing website content and articles relating to her passion of fitness and nutrition. Having grown up in the south, she attended George Mason University and earned a degree in Communication, with a focus on interpersonal and business communication.

After graduation, she began her career at a national nonprofit organization and has been living in Northern Virginia since.


A happy marriage, what a joyful way to spend a life. To help them learn confidence in social situations, I give them a challenge when we are at church or when they are at school so interact with at least 2 adults and practice looking them in the eye and speaking up. I make sure when I see my boys doing something nice or polite to tell them how proud I am of them. Permalink View Cart. For tween and teen boys, some of the best conversations happen in the car. Later, when a cousin said he was small for his age, Caleb easily listed all the good things about being small!

When not writing for Learning Liftoff, she spends her time with her husband and three kids enjoying sports and the outdoors. One program brings babies into elementary classrooms , which has been found to increase empathy and decrease aggression. When possible, resist gender roles in housework and child care among parents. Also share some of the breadwinning. Men raised by mothers who worked for at least a year around the time their sons were teenagers were more likely to marry women who work, one study showed.

Another found that sons of women who work for any amount of time before age 14 spend more time on housework and child care as adults. Research at Arizona State University found that by the end of preschool, children start segregating by sex, and this reinforces gender stereotypes. But children who are encouraged to play with friends of the opposite sex learn better problem-solving and communication. Boys who have friendships with girls are also less likely to think of women as sexual conquests, Mr. Also, teach them the power of the word no — stop tickling them or wrestling with them when they say it.

Model healthy problem-solving at home. Say something when you see teasing or harassment, and role-play with boys so they can intervene when they see it, Ms.

Brown said. Expect more of them.

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King said. Same for sexist jokes. Be careful with subtler language, too. The research of Emily Kane , a sociologist at Bates College, shows that parents enforce traditional gender roles for sons mostly because they fear those sons will be teased. Stereotypes can become self-fulfilling.

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Mothers talk more with daughters than sons, according to a meta-analysis by Mr. Fight the stereotype by talking to boys, reading to them and encouraging them to read. Read about a wide variety of people, and stories that break the mold, not just those about boys saving the world and girls needing to be saved.

A guide to raising good men, by my mom

Why does a news photograph show all white men? For instance, all male mammals engage in rough-and-tumble play, Ms. Eliot said. So roughhouse, crack jokes, watch sports, climb trees, build campfires. Teach boys to show strength — the strength to acknowledge their emotions. Teach them to provide for their families — by caring for them. Show them how to be tough — tough enough to stand up to intolerance. Claire Cain Miller writes about gender, families and the future of work for The Upshot. She joined The Times in and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in for public service for reporting on workplace sexual harassment issues.

Let him cry.

Give him role models

Let him be himself. Teach him to take care of himself.

How to Raise a Gentleman (mom moment)

Teach him to take care of others.