You know that nasty neighbor next door? Remember that waiter who seemed so unpleasant to you the other night? They were once young, adorable boys like yours.

Now, take a long look at them! If you want your boys to grow up to be gentlemen—rather than adult examples of bad parenting—take a look at the following tips. After all it’s our job as moms to see that our sons grow up to be gentlemen.

Always say “please” and “thank you”. It doesn’t matter where, nor in what situation, this is what your kids should always say when requesting or receiving something.

You must explain to your children there are some things they should never do in public. No matter how funny burping after drinking a soda may seem to them, it is not polite. Don’t ever laugh when they do that. Ever.

Kids tend to pick their noses, bite their nails, or indulge in some other unpleasant habit. Remind them not to do it. Be gentle but persistent.

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Watch your own language and outbursts. Children will imitate you. If you want your boys to behave like gentlemen who can engage in conversation and express their point of view in a proper and articulate manner, you must do the same. You cannot shout at them and then expect them to behave differently.

Instill in your kids the values of compassion, generosity and empathy. If they are able to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, they will better understand and respect diversity and differences.

Have your boys help you around the house. They can just as well give you a hand with vacuuming as with fixing a leaky pipe. Show them that there is no such thing as boy chores and girl chores.

Teach your children to listen. Again, lead by example. Kids’ explanations are often long-winded, but don’t interrupt them. Then request that they be patient and listen to others too.

Do not allow your children to use violence or threats under any circumstances. Never rudely reprimand them in front of the others, do not make fun of them or insult them, or display any type of mean or aggressive behavior. This will rub off on them and they will respond in kind.

Explain to your boys that they must respect your privacy. In return, always respect their privacy, but don’t confuse that with lack of supervision or parental guidance as appropriate.

Show your sons that Mom is not just a person who loves them and takes care of them. Let them know about your work, what you like and dislike and all those small details that make you a fallible human being.

Teaching your sons to be gentlemen means more than just teaching good table manners or etiquette. Being a gentleman implies having high self-esteem, a capacity for empathy and solid moral values. If in addition to that they behave like noble princes, all the better!