Raising My Sons To Be Gentlemen!

I’m sad to say it, but I do believe that chivalry is dead (for the most part). I think the feminist movement has morphed into little more than a political agenda – a far cry from the once great movement of fighting for women’s rights – or into a beast that has slowly devoured every last morsel of chivalry!

There was a time when I bought into the idea that men did chivalrous things in order to establish their dominance over the so-called “weaker” sex… In fact, when I first met my husband I was a “brash little hardass”  – his words 🙂 So much so that the first time he opened the car door for me, I asked him not to do it again!!

It took me a very long time to realise that him wanting to open the car door, pour my drink, pull out my chair, etc, was not because he thought of me as the “weaker” sex, but rather because he respected me, liked me, and wanted to show me that I was worth the effort! I had never experienced  something like that before, so I guess I should not have been surprised at the fact that I didn’t l know how to appreciate it for what it was.

Over the years I have come to realise that those little (and not so little) acts of affection mean more to him than to me at times. By allowing him to be a gentleman I am opening myself up to be vulnerable towards him and that touches him deeply. I know the way I felt the first time he was a gentleman towards me and how I still feel today!

And that’s what I want for my boys. I want them to be chivalrous, to always conduct themselves as gentlemen. I want them to see the way their dad treats me, and to always do likewise – because it will honour him, make me proud to be their mom (not only that), and show the women in their lives that they are indeed worthy.


Here are three things I want to do, in the hope that my boys will grow up to be gentlemen:

  1. I want to make sure they see me appreciating the little kind things, the chivalrous deeds, their dad does. None of us are perfect… sometimes he’ll forget to hold the door for me, and sometimes I will forget to say “thank you”… but in the best moments, I want them to notice how a gentleman should act by making sure the act is honoured.
  2. I want to give them opportunities to practice on me and their sisters. It is so much easier to be a gentleman to a stranger – the real test lies in being a gentleman to the woman who disciplined them 5 minutes ago, or to the little girls (brats) who ran away with their toys last night. If they can do this, then they’ll be gentlemen to their wives and daughters one day too.
  3. I want to read them stories of knights and princesses, of tales from long ago when chivalry was the mark of manhood. Sure, teenage mutant ninja turtles are fun, and I laugh just as hard at movies like “The Secret Life of Pets”, but I want them to read and watch stories like “King Arthur” too – you know what I mean.

I believe that all moms want their sons to grow up as gentlemen, to be the generation of men that resurrect chivalry, these are three things I do (or try to do) in order to help my boys do that… I would love to hear from other moms out there; how do you so it?

With Love

One Messy Mama



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49 Comments on “Raising My Sons To Be Gentlemen!”

  1. My partner is always a gentleman not just to me but to all women, he will hold the doors open or offer seats. I hope my sons follow in his footsteps as I’m sure they will #globalblogging

  2. This is such a beautiful post. You are right about it all being respectful and loving and not a sign that they think it is because we are a ‘weaker’ sex. I also hugely agree about feminism. It has taken itself down the wrong turn!

  3. I fully agree! On the other hand though I also think its important to teach the girls not to expect to be treated as little princesses. You get what you give, so if you’re being a rude b**** you’re not likely to attract the gentlemen, and vice Versa 😉 #globalblogging

  4. Love this post! I’m also a mummy to a little boy and would love him to grow up to be a gentlemen.

    I think he’s off to the right start though… Today he was at a nursery settling in session and I was so proud of him. At 17 months old, he was drawing on a chalk board when a little girl tried to snatch the chalk off of him. He pulled away and carried on drawing, only for the little girl to have a full on meltdown. What does he do? Turns to look at her, hands her the chalk, and steps away from the chalkboard to pick up a different toy! 🙂 Definitely a proud mummy moment #GlobalBlogging

  5. Your second point is SO true. It is much easier to be polite to strangers. I like that you’re conscious of these ideas. I’ve jokingly said to my husband that he must be lovely to me all the time so our daughter sees and knows how she should expect to be treated in a relationship. But yours is much more thought through. Great post #GlobalBlogging
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    1. I think it is almost expected that our kids be polite to others, but so difficult to be kind to people who might get on our nerves (haha) .. Sounds like your daughter has a wonderful example! x

  6. It’s so sad to think that most children (adults in future) probably won’t know much about chivalry. So good on you for raising your sons to be gentlemen 😉 #GlobalBlogging

  7. As a single mum I might have a harder time with this as my son doesn’t live with a male role model. I will just have to find a really good way of explaining it to him as he grows up. Couldn’t agree more though, it’s important they are respectful.

    1. Oh I can definitely relate! I grew up in a single parent household, but I do remember my mom always explaining to my brothers that girls needed to be respected. ( Everyone actually) It was always about kindness. Good on you Mama!

  8. Hubby maintains he will always pay for things when we’re out together- even though it’s a joint account. He loves the idea of treating me and that is his way of doing it. He always opens doors and is such a gent. One thing I insist of passing down to Ben.
    I don’t think it’s weak to be open with emotions and respecting women- it’s brave and just the way it should be! #globalblogging

  9. so very true, chivalry has been killed by feminism….with four boys of my own this is something i struggle with too. I want my sons to be gentlemen, to open doors and say ladies first…#globalblogging

    1. I find it so sad that Chivalry is seen as old fashioned or demeaning to woman! I just see it as a glamorous term for respect!! Which we should all be able to give and receive! Thanks Brandi!

  10. I completely agree with you I will also be trying my best to make sure that I to bring up my little boy to be a gentleman and respect women. #globalblogging

  11. Great post. I have a son too, so I def want hm to be a gentleman when he grows up. And it’s already showing that he will be amazing. I just hope it doesn’t fade when puberty kicks in:))

  12. I think feminism is a positive thing. As the parent of a boy I like to think I am raising him to be a feminist. To me this means raising him to see both sexes as equal and to be respectful towards both. Chivalry for me is just good manners and applies to both sexes. As the commenter above said, it’s nice to be nice! #GlobalBlogging

    1. I agree with your view of feminism. Sadly however I suspect that for many of those involved in political discourse and social commentary these days, feminism has become just as aggressive as the masculine dominance that it once sought to address. Good for you for raising your son to view both sexes as equal!! Thanks for the comment. X

  13. I love this. I have two boys and very firmly believe in raising them with ‘consent culture’ and ‘equality of the sexes/races/sexualities etc’ as the norm. I love when someone holds a door for me because I see it as a basic human kindness, it i being considerate, nothing more. I always hold the door for anyone who happens to be coming up on it behind me, just because it is the decent thing to do 🙂 x #stayclassymama

  14. What a gentle and wonderful post. I love what you have listed as things you want to do with your boy and I hope to include them in my own life with my son. It is one thing to read into this post and chivalry in general, from a feminist’s perspective and a whole entirely different one seeing it from the perspective you present. Love the insight. #globalblogging

  15. This is lovely, there are so many opinions and agendas these days about gender and being gender neutral – I find it quite confusing! My husband is similar to yours and I hope my son takes after him #stayclassymama

  16. Totally agree. I want my son to grow up and know how to respect women, it’s so sad when this doesn’t happen. I need to remind my husband that the little one is watching! Haha he’s just starting to take notice of everything ; ), #globalblogging

  17. BEAUTIFULLY said. It’s not because a woman is “weaker”, but because they are respected. Love this post. I’ll always raise my little guy to be thoughtful & caring toward others. Man or woman. Thank you for sharing this great post.

  18. I love that you teach your boys to be polite. While I class myself as a feminist, to me that means I want equal rights and an equal voice – it doesn’t mean I’m going to have a hissy fit because someone held a door open for me. I think its definitely possible for a man to treat you as an equal and respect your opinion and still be able to pull your chair out for you. And I think its important that women are able to accept that both of these things can be true.
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂
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