Boys Need Etiquette Too…
Whenever I mention that I teach etiquette…
I can almost guarantee you that someone will mention how they want their daughters, granddaughters or nieces to take an etiquette class.
Rarely do I get the same reaction or enthusiasm as it relates to our sons, grandsons and nephews.
It reminds me that although we would hate to admit it, there are still some ways in which we assign certain expectations of our girls to be sugar and spice and everything nice while giving our young men carte blanche to be…well you know what they say “boys will be boys.”
It is equally interesting to note how in casual conversation I hear how chivalry is dead or some other complaint about how the young men of our generation are lacking in respect or social skills. Yet the dots connecting manners for our male generation don’t seem to get connected.
As I reflect on my own sons, I saw how they seemed to inherently want to do things that were pleasing and chivalrous to me as their mom, and I realized that all we need to do is to teach them a few fundamentals that they can extend beyond the home and carry with them throughout their lives.
There still seems to be an unspoken rule that says our girls should exhibit one type of behavior while our boys another, I sincerely believe that there are some behaviors that are universally and unilaterally appropriate.
Consideration is one skill that we can instill in our sons. Consideration comes from having an awareness for those around us and adjusting our actions to accommodate those around us. It can be as simple as holding the door open for someone whose hands are full. It can be as simple as plugging in your headphones while playing a game so that you don’t disturb those around you.
Kindness is another skill that we can help our young men develop, it does not mean that we loose ourselves or be pushovers but something as simple as noticing a classmate sitting alone on a bench and inviting them to join your group of friends is an act of kindness.
Appearance giving our young men a basic lesson or reminder in having a pleasing appearance and getting them in the habit of dressing for various occasions will prepare them to present themselves well for different events throughout the course of their lives. Basic lessons can be taught regarding uniforms worn to school, clothing worn to a formal event such as a wedding and dressing for an interview.
Proper Dining etiquette is also something that can be taught to our sons, chewing with our mouths closed, and how to use our utensils are basic lessons that can be learned as a child and will continue to be valuable to them as adults.
Introducing our boys to etiquette does no have to present itself in a super formal and fancy way. Lessons can be taught as life lessons and demonstrated almost daily, during dinner time, while interacting with siblings, preparing to go out to church or other events that require a break from the normal dress code.
Give our young men access to the same lessons and information that will allow them to be prepared to represent their best selves to the world both as children and adult men.