Males are portrayed as immature and incompetent in current pop culture, instead of the dashing men from "the good old days". I worry about being able to raise gentlemen who will defy society and treat people with respect and kindness.
After researching and talking to several mothers who raised sons I respect, a list of five guidelines for raising boys who would grow up to be gentlemen came to mind:
1. Let them share their emotions
In the media, men are often demoralized for showing emotion. However, gentlemen realize how powerful they can be if they don't feel embarrassed by their feelings. By moving beyond society's expectation of male self-consciousness, gentlemen open up incredible doors to their own personality, and others around them.
"By heightening your level of consciousness, you'll see the brilliance of humanity in general, be able to relate deeper with others, experience greater joy and have enhanced ability to manifest the destiny of your choosing," said Benjamin Hardy, an author pursuing his PhD in Organizational Psychology.
Encourage your boys to ask questions, seek answers, feel the highs and lows of emotions (instead of pushing them aside), experience compassion and explore as they become more aware of the world around them.
2. Set high standards
All mothers want their kids to succeed - and you can help play a role in your son's success by setting high standards.
As parents set high but achievable expectations, their children will be pushed to succeed. They will feel accomplished and empowered by their success. Without these standards, your sons may aspire to grow up and live in your basement, never knowing how to provide for themselves or their future family.
Don't forget the importance of a merciful, loving and encouraging hand to pick them up when they fall.
3. Teach them responsibility for their own actions
Life is full of things we don't want to do but must. Teaching your kiddos to "step up to the plate" and not complain when getting a job done will teach them the powerful and rewarding values that come from being responsible.
In today's culture of instant gratification, it's more important than ever to instill i responsiblity and the ability to tough it out when life hands you lemons. Our boys need these skills. Responsibility will teach them to be good leaders, husbands, fathers and friends.
4. Develop healthy relationships
Establishing healthy relationships and friendships will teach your boys respect and to put the needs of others before their own. To help nurture healthy relationships early on in his life, find ways to connect and talk with your boy.
"Don't buy into fear of being too close to your son, no matter what his age," said Dr. Peggy Drexler, author, research psychologist and gender scholar. "Closeness and conversation lead to a natural and lifelong intimacy between mother and son."
When your son gets older, teach him how women will look at how a man treats his mother, to see how he might treat his future wife. Developing strong bonds and teaching the importance of relationships will prepare your son for unbreakable friendships with his future wife, children, coworkers and friends.
5. Love them
Unconditionally love your boys - fully and deeply. Nurture their strengths and encourage them. With the loving support of his parents, your son will want to grow up to be a respectable, loving, kind and compassionate gentlemen.
With these guidelines, bring up good, happy, mindful and kind gentlemen as you raise your sons. Women of the future are counting on you to raise their husbands-to-be.