4 Lessons in Chivalry I’m Teaching My Boys

boys and dad
Image via Angela England

It's common for parents to worry about teaching their children good manners. After all – if kids don't know the basics of being well-behaved we tend to blame the parents. But do you teach chivalry to your children, especially your boys, as well? 

It's not  a “be a knight in shining armor” kind of thing – it's just about defending those who aren't in a position to defend themselves. I've been in situations where someone had my back and it made all the difference. 

I should have realized that with three boys we would spend some time teaching gentlemanly manners in addition to please and thank you. Did you know there's a trick to opening the doors so you don't muck up the flow of traffic? Especially if your mom is pushing a stroller full of babies? 

Here's my list of top chivalrous manners that we are teaching our little boys:

strong boy
Image via Flickr/Jason Lander

1. Use Your Strength to Be Helpful. 

While this may not be true in each and every case (we all know women can do the tough stuff too), generally speaking the average male is stronger than the average female. And at my 5'4″ 125lb build that is certainly true in my family as well. My oldest son is on track to top 6 feet and nearly outweighs me – so I want him to use that strength to jump in and be helpful where he can.

He WANTS to move, challenge himself, and tackle tough projects. So we harness that drive and energy in really positive ways that are productive and helpful and it has made him a better person as a result. This is not to say that young girls shouldn't be taught to tackle the tough stuff as well, but as I raise my boys – teaching them to use their strength to be helpful to others is important. 

boy opening door
Image via Flickr/redwood photography

2. Open the door for others. 

This is just polite. I once had a baby on hip, a toddler in hand, and three packages in my arms as I headed into the post office and a man in front of me let the door slam shut right in my face. It was awful and humiliating and there was nothing I could do but wait for someone to come out so I could get in with my load full. My son will never, EVER be that man. 

ADVERTISEMENT

girl boy playing
Image via Flickr/Simon Blackley

3. Don't Hit Girls. 

And don't hit anyone, for that matter unless it's a game like football, for example. It's also important they KNOW they are playing the game. You'd think you wouldn't need that rule but you do – trust me….mom of three boys here remember. “But mom I was just playing!” “Did they know you were playing?” “Well no, but….”

Just trust me on this one. Boys play rough. It's important to make them aware of their tendency to be rough and tumble and work to keep it in check. 

boy being bullied
Image via iStock

4. Protect the innocent

This is a big one for me. I cannot stand to see people sit back and let innocent people suffer and be harassed and everyone just stand around and let it happen. Too many people choose not to speak up, which allows the jerks to continue on being jerks. I teach my children – all my children – to speak up when someone is being bullied or harassed and I think it's an important skill they need to learn. 

It's not  a ” be a knight in shining armor” kind of thing – it's just about defending those who aren't in a position to defend themselves. I've been in situations where someone had my back and it made all the difference. 

What do you teach your boys about chivalry and manners? 

MORE: When Your Kids is “the Big Kid”}

Read More

What do you think?

4 Lessons in Chivalry I’m Teaching My Boys

Angela England is a renaissance woman who doesn't let five children stop her from many pursuits, interests and tasks. Angela is a freelance writer, professional blogger, speaker, labor doula, massage therapist and can usually be found with a coffee nearby. Angela recently published her first book, Backyard Farming on an Acre (more or less) and has since published her first Untrained Housewife Guide - Getting Prepared. ... More

Tell us what you think!

17 comments

  1. Alanna says:

    I’m having a little boy and he will be a gentleman just like his daddy.

  2. Jesse says:

    I agree with this, its very important for boys to learn young.

  3. Erica says:

    Rather than “don’t hit girls” I think the rule should be “don’t hit anyone.” Violence is for when we have exhausted all other means of communication, and therefore, a result we are likely to never need to use.

  4. I will be teaching my daughter these lessons!

  5. Darla says:

    Yes! Angela, this is right on! Perfect! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard parents say, “If a girl hits my son he has the right to hit back.” Oh no he does not. And how fast do you think your child will be expelled from school? No one has the “right” to use physical violence. And your last example of chivalry is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. I wish more parents put this much thought into the lessons they are teaching their sons.

  6. Marilyn says:

    I love that I am no the only mother teacher her son these great lessons. Children need to be taught these things by their parents. There are many things that fall on the parent not their school, yet many don’t step up and do it. I enjoyed reading this blog entry! Good job Mom!

  7. I’ll definitely keep these great tips in mind, Angela. They could perfectly apply to boys and girls!

    • Definitely! My daughter – the 7 year old at least – will help hold the doors when the opportunity arises. Courtesy isn’t limited to boys or girls but I see too many parents neglecting some of the “old-fashioned” courtesies that used to be common place.

  8. Phammom says:

    Very well written.

  9. sayhola says:

    I can’t believe how many people let me struggle with the door myself when they went through just before me – they never even looked back. Granted, I’m ‘just’ 6 months pregnant and was pushing a toddler in a stroller – alone – but still, it was pretty shocking. Then, there were bystanders that weren’t even going through the door that offered to help. So odd the range of things I witnessed just today. Great list to keep in mind for all the boys in the world. Chivalry is NOT Dead! 😉

    • Well ten year’s from now my boys will have you covered! 🙂 Seriously though – that makes me sad to hear. It’s not demeaning to women – it;s common courtesy. Or at least….it SHOULD BE!

  10. Dario says:

    If she comes out to be a boy instead, i’ll be teaching him these things. They’re good to know.

  11. Dario says:

    If she comes out to be a boy instead, i’ll be teaching him these things. They’re very good to know.

Advertisement
[x]
×

EverydayFamily.com Week-by-Week Newsletter

Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year! Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year!

Due Date or Baby's Birth Date


By clicking the "Join Now" button you are agreeing to the terms of use and privacy policy.

Send this to a friend