Restoring Chivalry and Civility {free printable}

Chivalry is far more than merely how a man treats a woman. It is a whole code of conduct and it is inspiring! Free printable and training log for Knights-in-Training, a boys chivalry challenge!

My book, Knights in Training, inspired from this foray into the realm of chivalry comes out on May 30th, 2017! Find out more HERE

A couple of months ago, a reporter from the New York Times contacted me because of a free printable I offered. She wanted to interview me for a piece she was writing on chivalry.  That article finally came out today which of course had me thinking with fond memories again of that season nearly 5 years ago when we embarked on Knight-Training.  I’m thinking about pulling it out again, especially since Trey missed out on it last time around.

We live in a day and age where our culture is anything but civil.  It doesn’t take more than 10 minutes on Facebook or even less time at a school recess yard to recognize that.  As parents, however, we have the power to shape the culture of our home.  We can set an example in how to show care and respect for others.

Years ago, when we were learning about the Middle Ages, I read up on chivalry.  What I learned surprised me.  I had always thought of chivalry as merely how a man treats a women.  But it is far more than that.  It was an entire code of conduct.  As my boys waged imaginary battles all around me, I read and was filled with renewed vision.  I desired to raise these three boys to treat others with respect, to fight for what is right and good, to stand against injustice and evil, to defend those that are weak and protect them.  When the culture at large proceeds to demean women, I wanted to raise strong sons who would show thoughtfulness and care, not only for the women that they encounter each day, but EVERYONE.  I saw an opportunity to inspire my boys to seek to build one another up instead of tearing others down.  In a ME-focused culture, we desired to focus on loving God first and then others.  So as we learned about the history of the middle ages, we delved into character development too.

The deeper we delved, the more inspired they became. They wanted to emulate knights in every way…  So I decided to have them ‘train’ to become knights.  The training was rigorous (for little boys), including daily running, archery practice, sword fights, stick horse rides to the park (in full armor – you should have seen the curious looks of our neighbors!) to stage mock battles and learn the art of warfare (high ground is a plus), jousting practice, shining my silver (since their armor consists of cardboard, foam and paper mache), etc.
But we didn’t stop there…  No, I decided in the name of seeking to raise modern-day knights, that I would introduce them to the idea of chivalry!  As I expected, my boys were drawn to this too and so we decided to take some extra time in their knighthood training to include talking about, practicing and rewarding chivalrous behavior!  I was amazed at all of the opportunities they had, even as young boys to implement the code in their own lives.
Knights-in-Training - inspiration to train your young knights in chivalry {free printable}
I printed off the list on paper, burned the edges to give it an ‘authentic flair’ and posted it up so we could review it daily!
Chivalry code of conduct and Knights Training Log {free printable}
My boys were also big chart kids.  They just loved to chart progress and see it visually, so we printed off charts for the two older boys.  Stars were bequeathed when I spotted heroic feats of chivalry!  It was fun to watch them step in and defend their baby brother against ‘injustice’ (warring other brother), see my boys race out to open the car doors for Aunt B, see the son who has been struggling with lying, fess up and speak the truth (even though it meant facing consequences – a true sign of bravery and strength I told him.), and have boys eager to carry groceries to the car and then into the house!
Even after we moved on from that unit on the middle ages, they were still eager to grow in strength and valor on these areas.
Knights-in-Training - inspiration to train your young knights in chivalry {free printable}

At the end of our unit, we had a dubbing ceremony where the boys were each knighted by the ‘king of the house.’  They were quite serious about it all, preparing the throne room and kneeling so reverently.  Even the three year old slowed down from his frenzied running (that is the norm at the end of the day) to watch and participate.

I’ve come to realize that this training in chivalry is only the beginning.  I pray they will continue to grow in strength, love for the King of kings, defending the weak and taking stands for what is right and true!

If you would like to engage in some Knights Training of your own, I’ve included the printable Knights Code of Conduct as well as a Chart to mark your progress.  Now that I have a little girl in the picture, I’m going to have to give some thought to how I want to do this with her.

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Related Post: Knights-in-the Making
King Focus

Day1-Medieval Castle Comparisons

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Comments

  1. Love it! I need to print this out because my boys would love it.

  2. lyndy worsham says:

    It’s nice to see someone putting an effort into teaching “old fashioned” values. Kids these days are so rude and disconnected with one another, which is ironic because they are all connected through social media.

  3. Dear Heather,
    I love your Knights idea, so refreshing to hear about the importance of good manners and not only good grades!
    My question is, how about girls? I an the proud mum of a teenage “princess” and we live next to a secondary school. I see every day how good manners are just simply uncool, perhaps in a different way to the boys, but still, girls these days swear, belch and behave unkind toward each other, and -silly, but I think important- they don’t cross their legs when sitting wearing short skirts. Everything is “I don’t care” or “It doesn’t matter” “Duh”. . Girls also need princess training, from a very young age…
    Best wishes from Amsterdam, Netherlands.
    Montserrat

    • I hear you. When I developed this I only had three little boys. Now that I have a little girl who is 4, I’ve found myself thinking about this. We’ve already started discussing many of the things you’ve mentioned.

  4. Amazing! Happy to hear a reporter is taking interest in such an important aspect that should be current in it’s practice! Thanks for the printable again. You are a light in this world, friend 🙂

  5. Heather, have you read Beowulf to your children? The 2007 illustrated version by James Rumford is a classic at our house now – they ask to read it over and over. I thought it would go nicely with your knights training. Hope Texas is treating y’all well!

  6. Love this post! What a sweet way to instill character traits you want to see develop….so wonderful! Your family is blessed to have you. Hugs, Camille

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