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14. Practice

Teaching boys to be gentlemen involves not only modeling and explicit teaching but also providing opportunities for them to practice their skills. Boys may need direction and guidance as to what to do, but allowing them the chance to put their thoughts into action is important for their growth and development.

When boys reach the dating age, it is especially important to remind them of gentlemanly ways. They need to understand that when they are going on a date, they should pick their date 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. By doing so, they are demonstrating respect and consideration for their date’s feelings and needs.

It is also important to provide feedback and guidance when boys make mistakes or miss opportunities to practice gentlemanly behavior. For example, if a boy does not help his date get into or out of a vehicle, parents or guardians can explain that this is not how to treat a lady and provide guidance on how to do so in the future.

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