Raise the bar and boys will reach for it.
So, I have these four punks that call me mom. Sometimes, I don't understand them. I wasn't the girliest girl, but I still struggle to understand ten year old boys. I mean, I do not get their humor. Not even the humor that doesn't involve bodily functions. Thankfully, they have a dad who... I also sometimes don't understand. HA! So, at least I can assume they are normal boys. Well, normal for this family.
I have a couple of guys who love to be helpers. They like to hold doors open for people. They carry groceries from the car. They will even fight over who gets to be the helper. Hey, they're a work in progress. Even though I think we're managing to teach some niceties to them, I really want something that is more intentional than holding doors and saying excuse me after the burp.
Recently, I was invited to read Knights in Training: Ten Principles for Raising Honorable, Courageous, and Compassionate Boys. The author, Heather Haupt, is raising three knights of her own, as well as a princess. I've really enjoyed the book and I have so many ideas now for guiding these baby men of mine.
The book is divided into several sections.
- The Boy-Raising Adventure
- The Chivalry Challenge
- Continuing the Quest
In The Boy-Raising Adventure, Heather talks about just that. Being counter-culture at this time is frowned upon. But there's no reason to fall into the trap of modern boyhood, with it's unhealthy and sometimes inappropriate media addiction, rampant potty humor, instant gratification, and the desire to extend adolescence far into the 20s and beyond. Teaching our children to be independent, to care about others, and to strengthen family relationships are some of the most important lessons we can provide.
Heather "throws down the gauntlet" and invites us to take the chivalry challenge. Here, she covers the components of The Knights Code.
- Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
- Obey those in authority over you.
- Stand against injustice and evil.
- Defend the weak and protect them.
- Respect the honor of women.
- Refrain from wanton giving of offense.
- Speak the truth at all times.
- Be generous and willing to share.
- Persevere and finish the task at hand.
- Pursue excellence in all you do.
Now, our young men are well on the way to becoming a knight, or are they? Becoming a knight took many long years of intense training starting when a child was about six years old. This is a long term project that will require commitment of you as well as from your kiddos. You'll see them grow beyond the limits you imagined, if you can give them something to really strive for. We are creating a movement, a future full of chivalrous young men, doing what is right and good.
Heather has included a book and resource list for further general study and also for each specific tenet of the knight's code. It contains picture books, chapter books, film, and audio dramas. Some of them have certainly been enjoyed in our home already. Being intentional, while we savor them again.
When we see young men behaving abhorrently, or particularly kind, I try to point that out to the boys and get them mindfully thinking about the kind of men they want to become. They need to hear, "Do!" and see positive examples as much or even more than having poor examples pointed out. I like to try to get them thinking critically, as well, by asking a better way to handle certain situations.
I'm already planning out a curriculum for my kiddos and thinking about inviting other guys over to join them in becoming modern knights, doing chivalrous deeds, having honor and respect for others, and setting their eyes on God. I hope *you* will join the chivalry movement!
About the author:
Heather Haupt is the mother of three knights-in-training and a spunky little princess. She wants to be intentional during these years of parenting and raise children who will make a difference in this world. Heather is an educator, writer, and popular speaker. Recognizing the brevity of childhood and the power of a parent’s influence, she encourages and equips parents towards intentional parenting, pursuing God, and delighting in the adventure of learning. She is the author of Knights-in-Training: Ten Principles for Raising Honorable, Courageous, and Compassionate Boys as well as The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks. She writes at www.heatherhaupt.com.
Read our author interview.
You can find Heather Haupt on social media.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I was not required to write an honest review nor was I compensated in any other way.
All opinions I have expressed are my own.