Last week I took the kids out to lunch after we’d spent the morning at the dentist’s office. When we were walking in my big kids got in to a bit of a disagreement about (of all things) who needed to open the door for whom.
Kaylee: Kolton, you have to hold the door open for me, I’m a lady.
Kolton: You can open it for yourself.
It was interesting to me that Kaylee was being so indignant about Kolton holding the door open for her. She’s never made an issue of this before and she is certainly more than capable of opening it for herself. This got me thinking about the differences in raising boys and raising girls. Because I have both sons and a daughter I sort of straddle the line between a boy mom who knows all the backstories of The Avengers and Star Wars, and a girl mom who can do nail art and knows that everything is better with a little sparkle. Since last week this little argument has been in the back of my mind, and I couldn’t help but think about what I wanted to teach my kids about manners and respect.
I certainly do want my boys to learn that opening doors for people, not just ladies, but for everyone is polite. I want both of my boys to grow into gentlemen. I want them to be the kind of men that will offer their seats to ladies, and the elderly, and kids when they’re on a train or a bus. I want them to be strong, emotionally. I want them to be caretakers. Above all I want my boys to show respect for people of all types. I’m doing my best to teach them to be good and decent citizens of the world.
It’s not that I don’t want Kaylee to have those same manners, but for my daughter, I want to teach her so many other things too. I want her to be independent. I want her to know that just because she is a girl, there isn’t any limits on what she can become in this life. I want her to know that being a girl and someday a woman is not a burden but a gift. Women are quite literally the life force of this world and she should be proud. I want her to know that it’s okay for her to expect people to treat her with respect and if they don’t than she doesn’t need them in her life, because she is a strong and independent young lady.
I want so much for the three little beings that have been intrusted to me. Sometimes it’s hard to balance the boy mom/girl mom sides of myself. I just hope that they all turn into well rounded, accepting, helpful, loving ladies and gentlemen that make a difference in this world.