Thursday, September 9, 2010

Chivalry: Are You Raising A Gentleman?

During one of my weekly escapes to the grocery store, I happened to hear part of a conversation on the radio about today's children - particularly teenagers and the "lost" group that are heading into their 20's. The guy on the radio station was talking about how the "gentleman" in this world are quickly becoming extinct. Commentators were calling in and announcing their beliefs and the majority of opinions were strongly (and sadly) suggesting that we're not raising boys to be gentleman anymore.

This generation has yet to be named...following the Baby Boomers (Generation X) and the Echo Boomers (Generation Y-that's me)...I think we're still stuck wondering what the heck this generation should be named. And, unfortunately, there are parents out there that are not giving this upcoming generation a fighting chance at being the decent, hard-working and courteous people that a lot of us were (supposedly) raised to be.

Disclaimer: I'm Not The Perfect Mother

Of course, I'm not the perfect mother (are you?), however I can proudly say that my boys (and, in case you haven't been "following" me for long, I have 5) will kindly open the doors for me and other people at restaurants, school, and the various places that we visit during our hectic lives. Opening doors for other people has become an automatic habit, and because they get praised so much for it, I often find myself breaking up the instant arguments that occur and delegating whose turn it is to open and hold the door each time. 

The Expectations Haven't Changed, Why Have We?

Women still expect to be treated like queens by their man, and that's probably never going to change. So, why have we relaxed the values that we teach our children? "Boys don't hit girls", put your coat over a puddle so that she can save her favorite heels, open doors for people...the list goes on and on. Are we still teaching our children these "old-fashioned" values that never diminish with the evolution of time? It seems we are not.

I say that the expectations are still there because I found statistics from a study that was documented by Fooyoh Entertainment that stated 56% of us women would be pretty upset if the man in our life Tweeted or FB'd us in lieu of purchasing a Hallmark card for Valentine's Day. Do you think he even knows that about us? Do our sons know this? My kids love to make cards. If there's an occasion, there's a card to give. Why not continue to teach our children the heartfelt value of a handmade (or store bought and specifically hand-picked) card?

It's Just the Little Things...

If we impress upon our sons of this yet-to-be-coined generation that it is mainly about the little things in life, like being kind and...well, what other way to say it than: "treating others the way that you want them to treat you", and mean what we say by showing them with our own actions, maybe we can change the generation around. Keep reminding them: No hitting, no fighting, no doors for people to show how courteous you can be and, most importantly, make sure to buy the women you love (or, better yet - hand-make them) an appropriate card for all of the special occasions in life.


  1. I am proud to say that my son holds the door open for me and others, calls women Mamm, and men Sir. I am not quite sure how it stuck but I started "trying" when he was little to teach him by example.
    Thanks for bringing it to our attention again, we need more moms to get on board and not hope that they learn it from their dads.

  2. I honestly hope that the Dads in this world are promoting these "chivalrous" behaviors with their OWN actions, however I think a great deal of these behaviors will stem from the relationship between the Mom and the son...if there is mutual respect and love within that relationship (and nurturing guidance as well), the little boy will learn how to adopt these "gentlemanly" behaviors as he interacts with his mother and carry them on throughout life in his future relationships.


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