Boys will be boys.
Ever heard that saying? Has anyone ever said it to you? As a mom of two boys, I hear it quite a bit. But I have an issue with it…
There’s a big difference between little girls and little boys. I don’t think you need me to get into an anatomy lesson here. God designed men and woman to be different, yet compliment each other. I’m not the kind of parent who shuns the idea of a boy wearing pink or a girl playing with hot wheels. That’s not what I’m talking about. What I do have issues with, is when boys are given permission to do things like burp, fart and be generally rude in their language and behavior because they are boys. Uh-uh, not cool, and it’s not how I’m raising my kids! They aren’t getting a free pass because they are boys.
Many years back, I was visiting a friend who lived in another country. The moment I walked in the door, her teen-aged brother (who was maybe 15 at the time) introduced himself, shook my hand and offered to carry all my bags upstairs for me to my room. He was also extremely respectful of his mother, sister and I at all times during my visit. This was his home, his place of comfort, but he understood the importance of being a gentlemen. I had never witnessed this kind of behavior before and was blown away by it. After seeing that, I promised myself that I would raise my own sons in a similar fashion one day.
Today, I was reminded of how unmannerly some men can be. On my walk up to Starbucks with my two children in a stroller, I had a man slow down his vehicle and holler at me out his window. Was I suppose to feel complimented by this? Because I felt anything but. Instead, I prayed the light up ahead would remain green so that I wouldn’t be forced to be at the same red light as him. Then, once I reached my destination, I had that fun task of maneuvering a large stroller through a tight doorway with no automatic opener. There were three men in their 30’s sitting right beside the door and they watched me fumble, re-adjust, get stuck on the doorway and then finally push my way in. Not one of them got up to help me. They were still there on my way out, but this time a female in the shop got up to help me. It wasn’t surprising really, but it does upset me.
I know not all men are like this. I know there are many gentlemen out there who would have opened the door for me and wouldn’t disrespectfully holler out their window at a woman walking by with children. But what I am saying is that we Mothers (and Fathers!) of boys are the ones who need to make conscience decision on how we raise them. We need to lead by example. Teach them. We need to raise them with purpose and with intention. Manners go a long way and it’s not going to kill our sons to say ‘excuse me‘ when they pass gas. It’s not going to kill them to let a female walk through a door before they do. It’s not going to kill them to be polite!
So, my dear sons, know this. You aren’t going to get off the hook around here. I know you can do better. You were made to be better. I hope that when you one day hear your peers talking about woman as nothing but a body, that you remember that they too are a child of God and deserve your respect. They deserve honor. They deserve to be cherished. I pray you will be kind and helpful of all those around you. I pray that you will be different.
And to my sons’ future girlfriends, you fully have my permission to rat them out when they don’t do these things 😉