raising gentlemen

June 15, 2014

a repost in honor of father’s day

{written October 3, 2013}

This topic has come up over the years, this idea of raising gentlemen. And I have often said (and written) that my sons are just that – gentle little men. But, it is not to my credit. In fact, quite the contrary! It is of my husband’s doing, and his alone, that they are kind and considerate and chivalrous young men.

It’s almost as if they are completely uncontaminated by my parenting.

Don’t get me wrong, I know they are still young yet, and that they’ve not fully developed the character and wisdom that only comes with life experience. I know that they’re not anywhere close to done with being parented, and that many things eventually contribute to the evolution from boy to man. But what is in their core, their inherit nature, the foundation from which we build our parenting, and the substance that will remain long after phases have passed – it has been carefully cultivated since birth.

Long before they’ve developed the receptive vocabulary to grasp what he is saying, my husband will often tell our daughters, in front of our sons, “you don’t need any man but your daddy and brothers…” And in turn, he will tell our sons, in front of our daughters, “you always take care of and look out for your sisters…”

Dhimas and Mia.pool edge.SofiasIdeas.jpg

“Why don’t you hold your little sister’s hand?”

… make sure your siblings are always safe.

“Why don’t you check in with your brothers & sisters?”

… let them know where you are, and that you’re there for them, should they need you.

“Why don’t you quietly remind your brother/sister of what the right thing to do would be, instead of tattling?”

… be a good example, be a loving guide, be protective, be on each other’s side.

And these are just some examples of the values he instills, reinforces, nurtures, and cultivates as part of his natural, uncalculated interaction with them.

Mia and Dhimas.sunbathing.SofiasIdeas.jpg

I’ve learned a lot about parenting by quietly observing my husband, from the time we were expecting our first. In fact, only second to my mother, he has been my largest influence. He is openly affectionate and attentive, he is patient and persistent, and he focuses on the content of their character and confidence above other things. 

And it is because of this, that by the time they learn to stand, they know they will always have at least one person who will stand by their side…

siblings.side by side.SofiasIdeas

And it is because of this, that by the time they learn to walk, they know they will always have at least one person to hold their hand, to guide them on the right path…

Brixton and Mia.holding hands.SofiasIdeas.jpg

And it is because of this, that by the time they learn to swim, they know that they will always have at least one person to help them keep afloat, to keep them from going under… or to be an anchor if they are feeling adrift…

Dhimas and Mia.pool.SofiasIdeas.jpg

they will always have at least one person who will have their back…

siblings-back-to-back.SofiasIdeas

who will catch them before they fall…

Dhimas-catching-Mia.SofiasIdeas

or simply give them a soft place to land if they do…

sisters snuggle.SofiasIdeas

And it is because of this, that no matter who, what, when, where, or why… they can count on having at least one person who will stand up for, or to them, when they need either one.

siblings-opposite-side.SofiasIdeas

So, it is because of him that our sons are kind, considerate, and chivalrous young men. It is because of him that they offer to carry books and bags, that they habitually hold open doors, and add a cheerful “ladies first!”. It is because of him that they are courteous, polite, and respectful of themselves and others. It is because of him that our children are (for the most part) very good to each other, the girls and the boys. But then again, it is because of him that we have six kids in the first place. *giggle*

I’m really proud of my husband, and very grateful, that he is raising gentlemen.
But as for me, and raising young ladies? Well, I just might need to work on that.

 

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