CPR for chivalry: How to teach your teenage son to respect women
Where have all the gentlemen gone? Who can say, but if you'd like to see them make a comeback, then it's going to have to start at home. Here are some tips to help you set you teenage son on the path to chivalry.
Have you ever heard the phrase "chivalry is dead?" While this saying may not be entirely accurate, chivalry does seem to be going extinct. So how can we prevent this from happening? The answer is simple: we need to teach our sons the importance of respecting the opposite sex. At its core, chivalry is respect. If men respect women, then they should be excited about the opportunity to show that respect through their actions. So how can you teach your teenage son about chivalry?
1. Set a good example
The greatest way to teach anything is by example. When you open a door for your wife, help her into her chair at dinner or simply kiss her when you come home from work, your child is learning about chivalry. When a son sees his father showing respect to women, it goes a long way towards creating a similar behavior pattern in him. One other way to show chivalry is through the words we speak. Children will imitate what they hear. Unfortunately, much of what they hear at school, on TV or in music depicts women in an unfavorable light. If chivalry is to be taught, it must be taught at home. Setting a good example is key.
2. Be there
Along with being an example, being present is also important. Many husbands and fathers have to travel for work and are often away from home. Even when some men are home, they are not available. Teenage boys are very observant and need to have positive influences in their life, especially from male role models. When you spend time with your teenage son, listen to him, teach him and show him how much you love him and his mother. Talk with your son about the importance of showing respect to women.
3. Help him practice
. The only way to really learn something is through practice. Provide your son opportunities to show chivalry. One great way is to encourage mother-son dates. Have your son take his mom out on a date to get some ice cream. Teach him to show his love and respect through being courteous in his actions and conversation. It's amazing what can be learned and the relationship between your wife and son will benefit as well.
Whether you're a father, grandfather, pastor, teacher, friend or mentor, you should take every opportunity to teach. As teenage boys are taught the importance of chivalry and how to properly treat women, the world will become a better place.
Seth Saunders is an executive business consultant and leadership coach. Seth has been married 20 years to his amazing wife, Amber, and is the proud father of three wonderful sons. He is passionate about helping others succeed.