As the mother of a son, I am trying diligently to instill in him the virtues of being a gentleman. But, he is three, so my goal is more long-term. If I am diligent, then maybe by the time he starts dating, he'll be prepared for the rules of engagement with the opposite sex. Obviously, I want him to recognize that hitting and biting are not ok, and that (in spite of our cultural tendancy towards the opposite) he should let girls go first.
Well, I have proof that some of my training has at least begun to sink in. As you will see in a few minutes, however, a bit of additional instruction is needed.
Recently my son and his next older sister (who is almost exactly three years older) were playing in the living room. As normally happens, my precious six year old provoked her brother until he hit her. To hopefully discourage such behavior in the future, both children got in trouble.
As the three of us walked together into the kitchen for consequences to be administered, my son, who was in front, piped up. With pleading eyes and in a sweet, somewhat desperate though very sincere voice he said "Mommy. Mommy, wait...Ladies' first."
It was very difficult not to burst out laughing! The poor little guy was so sincere! And he really was trying to apply the lessons his mother had been teaching him. Something had sunk in. Obviously, however, we need to modify the training this future man has been receiving.