We have 2 boys and 2 girls. I myself am blessed with a husband who is a godly man who loves the Lord and our family. When I think of my kids growing up I think of 2 things:
1. I don’t want to screw them up royally.
2. They are godly, respectful, kind, generous, loving spouses and are a blessing to their families.
Be honest, you know in the back of your mind you have goal number 1. I mean, for real. And goal number 2, it’s broad. It’s all-encompassing. It’s all important. So with 2 boys getting older, we have been focusing on chivalry. Let me tell you, this so called training is not for the weak.
In lieu of this, I have come up with 5 way to teach chivalry to your boys. Or if you have girls, what they need to be expecting (Hint Dads, you are prime examples for them to look to.)
So, here are 5 ways to teach your boy chivalry.
Opening Doors- It teaches chivalry, but it is just helpful. When I am walking carrying all of our “luggage” I need help. (If you are a mom you know that when you have kids you feel like you are literally moving every time you leave the house). When my boys gets older, I want them treating their wives with respect and her never having to touch a door. It’s one small way to say “I love You” and to be helpful
Here is a real life example:
As we are walking into church I am carrying the baby, a diaper bag, a purse, and food for our Sunday School. As usual, my boys run on ahead…a perfect time to open the door for me. I remind my second born of this fact. To which he opened the door, ran in, and looked out at me as I was scowling. Parenting never ceases, even when at church. Sigh.
Then, I kid you not, as we are LEAVING church, he beats us to the door again. And this time, we are walking out with friends. Do you know what that boy did? Of course, he had his little halo on and held the door for everyone. They even complimented how kind he was!
Update: Tonight he ran out in front of me, turned, saw me coming and GRABBED the door open for me.
Yep, almost fainted.
And kissed him right there in front of everyone.
Tip #2: Don’t hit girls.
And you may be thinking? WHAAAAA?
I know, feminism in our culture now is all so,” you have to treat boys and girls the same” yada yada yada. But, with two boys and two girls in our house, well, this is inevitable. But the boys are stronger in our house, for one they are the older set, and two, males are just made that way. Don’t argue with me, take that one up with God.
This tip is not to make girls a sissy or the boys always in trouble. These two two girls of mine, they can hit with the best of them. They know how to sword fight, they know how to work the boys Fart Gun( yes, thank you Mams and Pops, this is probably the favorite gift my boys have received at any Christmas so far), they wrestle them, they yell at them, they slam the door at them, they scream at them, they laugh with them, they cry with them, they jump on top of them. But for the boys, it’s a big offender in our house. We are teaching them to treat their sisters, and women, with gentleness.
The hubby is great with this. He’s an awesome dad and is often found wrestling with the kiddos and doing things that make me inwardly cringe. But when it comes to wrestling with me, jumping, or anything too physical, he jumps in and tells them like it is. You don’t do that to Momma. Not because I can’t handle it (But please don’t tell them that, because these boys of mine, they are getting big), but because I’m Mom.
You just don’t do that to Mom.
Or the girls. (I’m so thankful God has blessed us with our own practice field right here in our own home 😛 I’m sure they are so thankful of that too. hehehehehehehe)
Once again, I’m the Bride. The Bride of Christ and the Bride of my hubby. And when you hear the word BRIDE you just don’t think of hitting, or wrestling, or tooting in their face (they haven’t quite gotten that one yet).
Tip #3: Build them up with your words.
Not flattery. Mercy no. But we live by this verse in our house:
Now, they have to talk like this to everyone. Not just the girls. But, we make special attention to what is talked about towards the girls. The boys are NEVA-EVA to mention a girls weight, size, or beauty. They may compliment but they are never allowed to make a negative verbal judgement on a woman or their sisters. I have always struggled with my weight and self-esteem a lot of life. It’s there. And in some way, for most women it’s always there. There is something always that is Imperfect in our eyes. But our boys, they are not to draw that out. They are only to build each other up with their words. Does that mean they can’t speak the truth lovingly? Of course not? But there is a way to speak the truth IN LOVE and there is not. We focus on speaking the truth in love.
If you haven’t read any of Gary Smalley’s book on the 5 Love Languages then you need to check them out. One of them, that happens to be one of my main ones, is Words of Affirmation. Using words to Affirm others, to build them up, to encourage them. One word of encouragement can go a long way. Not only does it show others that you think highly of them, it shows them that you care and that they matter.
That’s big in anybody’s book.
Tip #4: Give them responsibilities.
Responsibilities? What does that have to do with chivalry? The man is to be the provider of the family. With that comes loads of responsibility. If I don’t give it to my boys, they will never learn the importance of it. I don’t want them to learn the hard way, so I’m going to start them off with it.
Now I’m not talking huge responsibilities, but age appropriate responsibilities. It’s the simple, little things that you start out with.
Some ideas include:
- cleaning up the table
- putting up laundry
- helping clean the bathrooms
- helping their sister down the steps (the baby can’t get down the stairs yet thank goodness)
- verbally telling them and expecting them to “Keep an eye out for your sisters” in a crowd or group of kids playing.
You’d be surprised, but even this type of wording creates in our boys a sense of responsibility. Countless times, I’ve seen them pick up their sister and move her out of a group of boys playing rough, or pick her up and take her down the stairs with them to play, or help a sister play Legos (even though they are PINK). It’s the little things that teach them responsibility and good character to be chivalrous.
Tip #5: Teach them to be servants
This one pretty much sums it all up. We are ALL to be like Jesus. and Jesus didn’t come to be served but to serve. As a boy who is growing into being a man who is gentle, kind, loving, chivalrous, a servant is an important characteristic. All of these little things of helping others and being servants, it shows respect. A man doesn’t have to prove he’s a man by strength, or tone of voice, or command, but he proves he is a man by being a servant. When you become a servant, well Jesus said it best: whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant. (Mark 10:25).
A way we have done this recently is on Valentine’s Day. Just this past Sunday we had the boys…
SERVE the girls their lunch.
On fine china.
Let me tell you, this was hilarious. As you can imagine, I got a few “protests” from the boys when they first got wind of this plan. But, once they realized the lesson I had them to learn (and the fact that Daddy was in on it, too) they quickly jumped at it. For one, they got to be the special helpers who carried the china. And two, they knew they were going to get to eat (after I reassured them…this was after all, their main concern). Ya’ll, this was ingenious. Let me tell you. My oldest, he’s one of those who naturally thinks of others, he even cleared the table for others without me even asking. For his sisters. Like, Holy Cow.
It was AWESOME.
Now, please don’t go jumping to this false conclusion that we had it all together and lunch was this fabulous meal with this perfect family sitting together on Valentine’s Day with the boys happily bringing their sister’s food on fine china… take a look at this picture:
Do you notice something? Yes, the 4 year old had been screaming, the baby didn’t care who was at the table she had already started dumping out her juice into the spoon, and the 8 year old has a look.
Perfection…far from it. Lesson learned…Lord I pray so.
Nothing like having Valentine’s Day lunch in your pj’s! The meal may have started off with a little bit of crying, but by the end everyone had such a good time and the boys loved getting to be the servers at our meal. A practical way, literally, of being a servant!
Chivalry, an important characteristic for all boys. Not only to teach this characteristic to our boys, but to teach our girls what to expect in a future husband. All things I pray about for my kiddos..literally, today, on. Holding doors, not hitting, using kind words, responsibilities, and being a servant are all ways to teach our boys to be chivalrous. Easy, sometimes take just a little bit of planning, but easy ways to teach our boys chivalry.