Hey there mama, My name is Heather Haupt and I write and speak to families about living cultivated lives as we embrace intentional parenting, inspired learning opportunities and the need to live integrated lives where our beliefs, our passions and our values intersect with how we walk out real life. I’m a homeschool mother to 3 knights in training and one spunky little princess and now the author of the new parenting book, Knights in Training: Ten Principles for Raising Honorable, Courageous, and Compassionate Boys.
This new book provides a roadmap to equip parents to inspire this generation of young boys. Despite a culture that appears to breed brats, bullies, and boys entirely disengaged from the realities of life, we aspire to better things for our sons.
So, is it possible to raise these boys of ours to be confident and yet kind? Is it possible to capitalize on all the energy and drive of young boyhood to captivate their imagination as they are propelled toward adulthood?
Enter the world of knights. They’ve mesmerized boys ever since medieval times, when real ones roamed the land. And my boys were no different. If it’s possible to be both starry-eyed and stoically focused, this is how I would describe my boys when we first delved into the history of the Middle Ages. This is when I read about chivalry for the first time. What I learned surprised me. I’d always thought of chivalry as merely how a man treats a woman. But it’s far more than that. It’s an entire code of conduct. As my boys waged imaginary battles all around me, I read and was filled with the vision of raising modern-day knights.
I desired to raise my boys to treat others with respect, to fight for what is right and good, to stand against injustice and evil, to defend and protect those who are weak. Although the culture at large increasingly demeans women, I wanted to raise strong sons who would show thoughtfulness and care, not only for the women they encounter each day but for 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, I wanted to emphasize loving God first and from there loving 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 my boys became. They wanted to emulate knights in every way. Why wouldn’t they? A knight’s life is full of adventure. Knights are respected and admired for their heroic bravery; they are called on in the time of need, and they rise up to rescue and help others.
This was my lightbulb moment! Why not “train” these boys to become knights? Whoops of delight and resolve met this announcement as they were eager to start. This first foray into knight training, complete with mock battles and issuing our boys the chivalry challenge has forever altered the way we relate to our boys. It’s given us a common language as we embrace their battle mindset and give them a purpose to aspire toward.
They are learning what it means to live according to the historic ideals of chivalry that are increasingly counter-cultural today and include the following 10 elements:
1. Love the Lord your God with your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
2. Obey those in authority over you.
3. Stand against injustice and evil.
4. Defend the weak and protect them.
5. Respect the honor of women.
6. Refrain from wanton giving of offense.
7. Speak the truth at all times.
8. Be generous and willing to share.
9. Persevere and finish the task at hand.
10. Pursue excellence in all you do.
Boys long for adventure. They want to be the hero. With knight training, we have a unique opportunity as parents to captivate their imagination. We have an opportunity to make that tangible and practical when we issue them the challenge to live out the code NOW in their lives as boys and give them a vision for what modern-day masculinity can look like as they take on the mindset of a knight who is always on the lookout for how he can help others.
And I make it easy for you as parents by reminding you why this is so important, pointing out how chivalry was lived out by the knights of old and why it is vitally important today. At the end of each chapter in the book there is a “Throw down the gauntlet” section with ideas for conversations we can have with our kids, books to rea, ideas for play or games that encapsulate each aspect of the code.
Our boys are ready for the challenge. They long to live a life of purpose and adventure. It is our job to train them well and theirs to follow. Embracing knight training can forever alter the way you and your children view these years of childhood and prepare them in exciting ways to be ready to move out and make a difference in the world. Our culture is hungry for a change in the status quo. They are ready for a return of civility. So I invite you to join this new #ChivalryMovement and lead the way as we raise up this next generation of boys!
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.