Updated: Oct 2, 2018
In one easy step.... (Sorry, long title.)
The other day I had to take my youngest to the dentist to get a tooth pulled. When he was finished, the dental tech walked him from the back room up to the front waiting area where I was watching my heart rate skyrocket - because...dentists. Anyway, separating these two areas is a door and when my son (12) reached the door, he opened it and motioned for the tech to go through first since he knew she was coming to the waiting area to talk to me.
And she almost fell over from the shock of it.
With large eyes she looked at me and said, "What a gentlemen you have!" Her words were simple but her voice was filled with so much awe she may as well have said, "holy fricking moly, I cannot believe what just happened!"
Now, this not the first time since becoming a mother of boisterous boys that someone has made comment or reference about one or more of my sons acting in a gentlemanly like manner and then followed the comment with something about the rarity of that behavior.
But before I offer my tip, I would like to state that for the record, I know a slew of boys that are friends of my sons or were my former students that act like gentleman. I know boys that speak more foul than I do (how's that now??) on the court or around their friends but refer to me as Mrs. Hanson. I know boys who don't hesitate to open a door and hold it when they see me coming or offer to help when they see I'm (like usual) carrying more items than a pack mule in the Grand Canyon. But as I sit here and think about these boys and my own darling demons, I keep coming back to one common factor...
Therefore, I feel pretty confident in offering you this post. How To Raise A Gentleman in One Easy Step: demand no less from him.
Every male kid I know who has made me proud because he acted chivalrously or respectfully in a moment where it counted (no, not just in front of people, to sincerely be nice to a person or people) has behind him one parent, two parents, four parents or a mom and a grandma or some combination of people he lives with and looks up to that would absolutely bust. his. chops. if they found out he was acting any differently.
So, fellow mamas - if you catch your son being a pint-sized jackass - this is on you. You own his world and what the mama giveth, the mama can taketh away.
Start where it'll get him/them the most. Remember, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. In this case, you get to be the hell. You get to be the fury. This is your starring role - you were made to play this part the second that little monkey face claimed your heart as your kiddo.
Best example I can give? The scene from The Blind Side (yes, one of my all time favorites - if you haven't seen it, enjoy this clip.) Classic mama mode. Classic I-will-bust-your-chops. Classic example of how to raise a gentleman - expect it.