The other night I had a nice visit with dear friends over a glass of wine on their porch. We never lack for things to talk about and tend to bounce all over the place. One of the bounces revolved around this list: Rules to teach your son(s). Of course I have 3 of them, so I found the list interesting.
Although I don’t think these things pertain to just boys, it did give me a chance to pause and take inventory of those items that are important to me in the rearing of my kids.
In thinking about the items on the list I decided that I am old fashioned. I can’t help it. I like the courtesies that used to be offered up to women automatically. I like the door to be held for me and for men to stand when a woman walks into a room.
I am sure that some of you will tsk tsk me for feeling this way, but I do. And as the mother of 3 boys, I feel it is my duty to teach them these things as well. I want them to learn the courtesies of years ago, not just to be given to women, but humans of any age, race, or orientation.
In a world that seems to have dropped many formalities and etiquette standards, I find it to be a breath of fresh air when I see these gestures.
Most of these items on the list are about courtesy and about being a thoughtful person. A reminder that although some of these may seem out-dated, they are nice acts of kindness that make the person on the receiving end feel special, considered.
Here you go, here is the list. Feel free to shout out some additions. I took some off, that didn’t quite apply and didn’t resonate as much with me.
- Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.
- Always hold the door open for others.
- Learn how to grill well.
- In a negotiation, never make the first offer.
- You may eat once everyone is seated at the table and the cook has lifted his/her fork off of the napkin.
- When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
- Hold your heroes to a higher standard.
- Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.
- Play with passion or don’t play at all.
- When shaking hands, grip firmly and look the person in the eye.
- Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.
- If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.
- Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your back pocket is for you. The one in your breast pocket is for her.
- You marry the girl, you marry her family.
- Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like crazy underneath.
- Take your hat off when you enter the house.
- Never be afraid to ask out the best looking girl in the room.
- Never turn down a breath mint.
- A sport coat is worth a thousand words.
- Hold the umbrella and offer your arm.
- Thank a veteran. Then make it up to him.
- Eat lunch with the new kid.
- After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it.
- Ask your mom to play. She won’t let you win.
- Manners maketh the man.
- Give credit.
- Stand up to bullies. Protect those bullied.
- Write down your dreams.
- Always protect your siblings (and teammates).
- Be confident and humble at the same time.
- You’re never too old to learn something new.
- Make your bed.
- Open the car door for your passenger.
- Always offer to pay, and be ready to pay.
- Ask if you can help.
- Always say thank you and write a thank you note.
- Never be too busy for a friendly visit or much needed ear.
- Be big enough to recognize when you are wrong, and humble enough to say you are sorry.
Happy weekend before the 4th of July! It’s going to be a quiet week around here, I hope you are all going to be able to put your feet up at some point over the holiday with friends and family!
Happy Birthday Uncle Sam!