Tuesday, March 16, 2010

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Molding my Baby Boy Into a Man - Why Wait?

I often wonder to myself "is chivalry really dead?". There have been numerous times where a man cuts in front of me or pushes me out of the way just to get through a door first. What's worse is that it happens even when I am holding my son. How rude! I am very lucky. I am married to a wonderful man with whom chivalry is still very much alive. He opens the door for me, always lets me go first, and carries stuff for me so my hands are free. Even when we're out in public, he holds the door open for other woman, and always helps my mom or grandma out by taking out the trash, or reaching something that's up high.

An incident happened this morning which really made me angry. I was walking into the mall with my son, I am about to step through the door when a man walks out of it, pushing Logan and myself out of the way. I said "wow, what a jerk" without even noticing I had said anything. I turned around and noticed him looking back at me surprised, like I had done something wrong. I looked at my son, who will only be 2 in June, and said to him "don't ever be that man". Where did that man's parent's go wrong? Does no one teach their sons how to properly treat a lady anymore? I get so sick of it! So we stayed at the mall for a bit while Logan got to play with his cousin Emily and another little girl we had me at the play area. Then it was off to run errands.

We were about to walk into the 99cent only store when I saw one cart left that wasn't a mile away to get to. Normally I wouldn't mind the walk, but I don't like walking through a parking lot holding the hand of someone tiny who can't walk very fast. I then saw a man walking towards the one cart I had had my eye on and figured he'd take it. I was so annoyed, I knew he saw me, what a jerk. But then, to my amazement, he brought me the cart and said "ladies first". Wow, this made my day. Something that small totally made my day. This man's parents taught him right. Which lead me to think about my own son. Is it ever too early to teach them about how to treat girls?

Logan is only 2, so right now he's still learning the basic boundaries and right from wrong. I want to teach my son that even though we live in a feminist world, there is still a difference between men and woman. I want him to know that even though a woman may be completely capable of carrying that heavy box, it doesn't mean that he should sit there and watch. I'm always grateful when someone offers to help when I am struggling with something, though it rarely happens. In fact it's usually my husband that offers to help. I am looking forward to seeing the man my son will grow to be. Though I know this is not a task I can take on myself. I am his mommy and great one at that. But daddy is going to have to show him the ropes, daddy is the one he will look up to, the one he goes to for dating advice, the one who will have to show him what being a man is all about. But, just because daddy has this huge responsibility, doesn't mean I can't start putting my two cents in right now. I want to help mold my little boy into the man he will someday be. It's never too early to start.


Becky said...

My husband (Trevor) is the same way and I love it! When we became parents and one of us was always putting our son (Declan) in the car first, the door opening kinda slipped away. But anytime we go on dates, Trevor will still open the car door for me! And when the three of us come home, Trevor always makes it a point to let me go first and explains to Declan that mommy goes first. We've even gotten to a point where we can say "who goes first" and Dec points to me! I love it! You are totally right, chivalry is certainly lost, but obviously not completely dead! :)

American Mom said...

Wow, I could have written this! I totally agree with you. I hope we can raise our sons to be strong and respectful men who believe in manners and chivalry. Little acts of kindness like this can go a long way.

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

agreed. i want to teach my son the same things you do! and thank goodness your hubby is modeling chivalry for logan!

Debbie G said...

If you think about it Jana, it is the mothers of sons as well as their fathers who teach them how to treat ladies. A lot of women spoil thier sons and do everything for them. Boys and girls also watch how their fathers (or father figures) treat their mothers (or mother figures), and unfortunately a lot of women allow men to treat them badly. We teach people how to treat us and little eyes are always watching. Also, I believe that kids want to be taught manners. Back before we tested our students to death, I used to teach manners to my middle school students. They were always eager to lean and asked a lot of questions. Even thought I no longer have a lot of time to work on manners, I take away a treat if I don't get a "thank you" in three seconds and if they ask for a treat, then I simply say that I don't reward rude behavior. It is sad that a generation of me, me, me has grown up and are now reproducing. BTW, I already brag about how well behaved your son is in public and how hard you and your hubby work on his manners even though he isn’t even two years old yet.

Maman A Droit said...

Great post. I think a lot of guys are afraid to be chivalrous because they will offend a woman and be thought of as sexist. So it's good to teach your son that at least some girls, like mommy, like it when boys treat them nicely. I hadn't even thought of it, but I'll have to be sure to point stuff like that out to Baby when he's a little older (right now he's still figuring out what a door is, so we aren't quite ready to talk about who is opening it!)

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