Recently, an older Southern woman (we live in Atlanta), stopped my nine-year-old son as we were heading into a business. She touched him on the shoulder and said, “Son…as a proper, young Southern gentleman, you should be opening the door for your mother. You should be doing this everywhere you go.”
I realized how often my son runs ahead of me and leaves me standing there to open the door for myself. I find myself frequently telling him to open the door for me and others in the spirit of being polite so I was actually happy to have a little reinforcement.
Since then, he has been great about opening the door for me, his sisters and even others on occasion. I love it and I love that I am doing my best to raise a polite child.
My advice and the things that I am trying hard to teach my son are the following:
To say please and thank you.
To open the door for his mother.
To speak up and to look people in the eye when talking to them.
Doing these things, gives my son confidence and makes him look well mannered. Eventually he will just be well mannered, right? I keep hoping that’s what happens.
Here is some advice from other moms on what they think all moms should teach their boys:
“Stand up for what’s right no matter what and always be willing to do what’s not popular if it means preserving your integrity. My son is only ten but because of how engrained these things already are in him, we can already tell by his personality he’s going to be a wonderful man someday.” ~Kat
“To spell and write well. Nothing like a man who can spell and takes the time compose a complete sentence.” ~Jenny
“They need to teach them that girls that have no respect for themselves are hurting and that class and intelligence is the definition of sexy no matter what Hollywood says.” ~Elizabeth
No means no. Seriously, the most important lesson I think boys need to hear, because everything else in society says different. ~Cecily
“To always tell their mom she is beautiful.” ~Tina
“Respect for women. Simple as that. Had I paid better attention to that with how my first husband treated his mother and only sister, my eyes would have been more fully open.” ~Rajean
“Pretty is as pretty does. Just because she may be beautiful doesn’t mean that she is kind in the inside and personality matters. Looks can fade, but personality generally stays the same.” ~Teresa
“A man who doesn’t work doesn’t eat.” ~Kat
“How to be thoughtful because the little things go a long way whether it’s opening a car door, kind words to a friend, sending a thank you note, or doing the unexpected. And yes, my 5 year old writes thank you notes! ” ~Leticia
“It is ok to cry (or show emotions), it does not make you weaker. Because you possess physical strength…you should use it wisely and fairly.” ~Niri
WHAT DO YOU THINK MOMS SHOULD TEACH THEIR BOYS?
Read more from Stacie on her blog: The Divine Miss Mommy.
Photo Courtesy of Microsoft Free Images