Raising your Boy to be a Gentleman
Raising your boy to be a gentleman is not a toss in the wind, it is intentional. Parenting is hard and exhausting but it is not something that happens on its own. When Hillary Clinton coined the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child”, I really didn’t like the saying. I was a parent at that stage of life that I thought I had it all covered. Oh boy, was I wrong and thankful it wasn’t long that I realized it takes many investing in the life of one to raise them.
Besides the fact that my son has probably the best father to teach him how to love and respect others, he has grandfathers that invested in him. My father plays a huge part in my son’s life still to this day as a mentor. Through the years I have learned a few things about raising a son and seeing my son turn into a gentleman that I am super thankful for.
Let me share what I have learned over the past 24 years.
- Teach him respect and then when he starts to become a young teen show him the respect he desires and is seeking. Men thrive off the fact that they are respected. Especially from the people they love the most. This starts to happen at a young age. Pre-teen boys need to feel respected and listened to. This doesn’t mean that he rules his life and you are finished with parenting. This means you start giving him the respect by listening to his thoughts and needs and then talking through them in a way that they work through the problems. Be careful not to sear his heart by giving the appearance that you don’t trust or believe in what he is trying to say. He want to earn your respect. It is built in him.
- Give him responsibility that is more than taking out the trash or cleaning their room. Each one of these is good and they need to be done but give them the responsibility that involves taking care of others. It might be checking on a sick grandparent each week, washing and cleaning out the family car because Dad uses it to go back and forth to work and drive clients around. Have him help prepare the food for the family and talk to him while doing the food prep. Require him to volunteer somehow in the community. The boys need responsibility and this can start at a very early age. The responsibility needs to be something that is helping and impacting others. They will see the power of the gift of service.
- Guard his heart and eyes. You don’t have control over things in the world when he heads off to college or the world, but you do have control over the opportunities that he has in your home and family events. Guard them. The prayer that I have prayed for my son ever since I knew I was having a boy was, “Lord, protect his eyes”. I can’t be a mom that micro manages and guards my son. That is not something that is healthy. It will stifle the relationship. But I can make sure filters are on the internet, tv channels are blocked and positive music is playing and encouraged in the home.
- Preparing him for his future wife and family. This is something that I talked often about. I would often tell my son, “treat your girlfriend well. You have the power to break her heart and she might not be able to recover from it.” I also was very frank about his physical relationship with girls. I would tell him that he needs to protect her heart and not scar it because you don’t know if she is your future wife or someone else’s . I wanted my son to see that he can impact a girl’s view and could abuse it but also I wanted him to see that a girls heart is fragile and not just a toy for the present. Every relationship that he has is molding the view of girls and a molding view of guys for the young lady . How does this play into preparing him for his future wife and family? It teaches him that his future wife is a very precious gift and as he is spending time with a girl it is teaching him that girls are tender, desire protection & love and that he has the choice to make of caring for the heart or scaring it.
- Hiding the words of Christ in his heart. When we were driving to WKU a little over 5 years ago Ryne rode 1/2 way with me and then jumped over in the truck with his dad to go the rest of the way in. The second half of the trip was so peaceful. I got to spend those last few moments talking with Christ. I got the peace that only Jesus can give to a Momma. I was blessed for 18 years to raise a young man. I didn’t do it perfectly and there is many things that I wish I could change but that day Christ reminded me and assured me that he had the words of Jesus in his heart and the Holy Spirit was with him and would convict and guide him. At that time as joyful as it was to hold Ryne for the first time in my arms at his birth, it was joyful to say that I trust God and I trust that the words of Christ will guide, comfort, and convict my son.
This doesn’t start the senior year of high school with your son. This is something that is a lifestyle. It is talking and reading the Word in your home. Putting people in their lives that will invest in them that holds the values you have. It is getting a mentor for your son that is a little older but is someone that you would love for your son to grow up and be like. You are important in raising your son. You are the one that has the most influence.
Choose today to help your son become that gentleman. We need moms and dads to step up and help this next generation of men know how to be a gentleman.
Photo credit is Firm Anchor photography. They Rock!