How to Teach Boys to Be Gentlemen

Jan 26, 2017

Remember the days when men would hold a door open for you as you walk into a store, or open your door to the car for you? I remember in my dating days, and I hated that! I could do it myself, but as I have matured and have two boys I am now raising, I see the importance of boys growing into gentlemen.

Boys need to understand that others should be treated with respect just as they would want to be treated themselves. Teaching our boys to become gentlemen also prepares them for their future marriages. There just are not enough gentlemen in our world, so it is our job to teach them well. How do you teach boys to be gentlemen? Try these ideas.


Anytime we teach children, we should first model the behavior we would like to see. We need to show our boys that when they open doors for others, not just girls, people feel valued and respected. We can also point out good examples from others when we see them. Boys should understand that the action they do expresses a message to others.


After modeling has been recognized, explicit teaching can come next. So, for example, if you point out how a young man offers to help an elderly lady with putting her groceries in her car, explain why that shows him being a gentleman and what the lady probably gains from that action. Discuss what she might be feeling at that moment.

Read also – Your Parenting Guide to Raising a Strong-Willed Child


Provide opportunities for boys to practice being a gentleman. They may need direction and guidance as to what to do, but allow them the chance to put the thought into action. When boys reach the dating age, they should be reminded of gentlemanly ways.

They need to understand that when they are going on a date, they should pick her up at her front door, meet or talk with her parents, open all doors for her, pull out and push in chairs, and bring her home at the time she is expected to be home.

My son’s first date was waiting outside for him, and he did not help her get into or out of his lifted Jeep. She had to practically jump in. Needless to say, his dad and I explained that that is not how to treat a lady. We should have told him beforehand.


Mastering comes after tons of practice and reteaching. If a boy misses his chance to prove how much of a gentleman he is, he needs to be retaught. Ask him what he could have done differently and then explain why it is important to practice. Mastery is reached when the action is done automatically and without thought or hesitation. I love it when I see my boys opening doors for others.

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I believe that our society is so self-centered nowadays. We need to spend time teaching each other how to treat others. We need to help our boys see that being a gentleman is honorable, respectful, and needed to help others feel valued and respected.