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Ways Moms Teach Their Sons Manners

Chivalry Isn't Dead: What Moms Should Teach Their Sons

It's a modern world, but has chivalry died? Eighty-seven percent of LilSugar readers said it isn't so and that they are teaching their sons to be well-mannered men. We asked Lisa Gaché, the founder of Beverly Hills Manners, a company that makes learning fun for children, her thoughts. She said:

Chivalry never goes out of style, so moms take note! In fact, it is perhaps more vital than ever to teach these skills to today’s young men. With technology making it easy to text an invitation to dinner rather than picking up the phone or emailing a thank you note in favor of mailing a handwritten one, good old-fashioned manners have been slowly slipping by the wayside, much to our detriment. To combat this downward spiral, here are 10 ways to instill the importance of chivalrous behavior and turn these impressionable boys into true gentlemen.

Look the Part — First impressions mean everything and there is no better way to communicate confidence than through a young man’s overall presentation. Good posture gives the appearance of looking taller and stronger and being well-groomed displays respect for oneself. The challenge is to strike a healthy balance between caring about such things as personal hygiene and wardrobe selection without appearing too perfectly put together or looking like you made too much of an effort.

Hold the Door Open — In today’s world, young men are dealing with the delicate dance of knowing how to treat a lady without making her feel helpless. There are many ways in which he may demonstrate this behavior from opening a door for a woman, to helping carry heavy packages or assisting with putting on a coat. The understanding is that each of these gestures is made with the sole purpose of aiding the comfort level of his companion.

Walk Curbside — A gentleman makes sure his companion’s safety is attended to before his own. Walking on the curbside of the pavement is a practical measure to avoid any accidental missteps and also to protect a lady’s clothing from soiling due to mud or water erupting from drivers passing by.

To see the rest of Lisa's pointers,


Pull Out a Chair — The dining experience is crucial to the dating process as it allows the gentlemen plenty of opportunity to display chivalrous behavior. A true gentleman should let the maître’d escort his companion to the table first while he follows behind. Once at the table, he offers to seat his companion by pulling out the chair with two hands and gently pushing the lady in.

Stand for All Introductions — To show respect for others, a gentleman stands for all introductions as well as goodbyes. At a restaurant, he would stand each time his companion rises out of her chair to leave the table or returns to the table. In the workplace, he would stand to greet co-workers and clients.

Wait for a Lady to Extend Her Hand — The handshake is the most universal gesture for greeting another person. A gentleman always waits for a lady to initiate the handshake because he should never presume that the lady wishes to make any kind of physical contact.

Pay for A Meal — Whether inviting a companion to dinner or attending a dinner as a guest, a gentleman always pays and money is never a consideration. He is equally gracious and polite whether speaking to the wait staff at the restaurant or his invited guest. He is invested in the overall experience rather than scrutinizing each detail of the check with a fine tooth comb.

Make Polite Conversation — A gentleman easily makes pleasant conversation. He is cultured and well-versed to speak on a number of subjects. He shows interest in his companion by asking questions and being a good listener. He maintains excellent eye contact throughout their conversation making his companion feel like they are the only person in the room.

Show Consideration — A gentleman exhibits consideration for others by (a) using the words “please” and “thank you” liberally, (b) being respectful to women (c) being punctual and arriving on time to engagements, (d) refraining from texting, taking or making phone calls while in the company of others, (e) holding a door or elevator open for someone immediately behind them and (g) picking up and returning anything that another person has dropped.

Be a Natural — The gentleman displays the type of social confidence that is able to put others at ease while feeling completely comfortable with himself. He maintains a positive attitude and exudes a natural sense of calm and control. What makes him a natural is that he possesses a special magnetism that makes him at once exciting to be around and yet safe.

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Roarman Roarman 7 years
My plan is to raise my son and daughter to be decent, kind, and caring human beings. I don't change my expectations of them based on their gender.
Studio16 Studio16 7 years
My dad works in an industry where you absolutely need manners and social skills to succeed. He's always complaining about interns who chew with their mouths open, talk loudly in public, mumble, and don't show respect to anyone in the office. (They literally just hand things to secretaries and say, "Type this and send it out." Wtf?) Needless to say, I think some recent generations failed in etiquette class. These are all really great pointers, imo. I don't expect guys in my age group (college) to be Victorian gentlemen, though, so I do have to agree with Stephley, the whole "stand up when women enter and leave" rule is dated. I was taught that a man stands when a woman joins him or his group for dinner, and that's that. He only stands up again when everyone is saying goodbye.
stephley stephley 7 years
When my daughter was much younger, I had such a hard time saying ‘act like a young lady’ without worrying that I was going to teach her crippling stereotypes (like she was actually listening as she wiped her mouth on her dresses etc :oy: ). These recommendations sound a little too much like ‘how to be the socially dominant figure’ in any group – and a guy risks looking a little like a jack in the box if he stands every time a woman leaves the table.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 7 years
Stephley, yes!! I agree wholeheartedly. I'm trying to teach my daughter to be a lady (though at three years old, we're still on "Use your polite words first instead of whining" and "Wipe your hands on your napkin, not your shirt"). Also, to the last point, I'd like to add something: Some of us, no matter how hard we try, will NEVER be "naturals" in social situations. I don't know how to exude confidence or have special magnetism. I do, however, know how to fake it: eye contact, strong handshakes, polite words, a conscious effort to stop fidgeting, and some small talk to make when you're lost for words can all be taught.
stephley stephley 7 years
A) I hope we'll see someone advocating 'ladylike' behavior on Lil Sugar - there's no reason that girls shouldn't be taught to look the part, show respect for people she meets and concern for their welfare, make pleasant, inclusive conversation, be natural and respect others. B) Paying for A Meal when a guest is NOT required etiquette is not considered good manners by many etiquette experts. If someone asks to be allowed to host you at a meal, you risk appearing ungrateful and disrespectful of their wishes. A true gentleman knows how to receive as well as to give.
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