By Denise Heidel, project manager for Forsyth Family magazine

My son just turned 16, which means a couple of things: 1) He thinks he knows everything and 2) He’s totally girl crazy. Actually, the latter really isn’t new. This boy has been girl crazy since he was… oh… let’s see… born. Any form of estrogen that walked into a room, and he would bat his eyes and lay on the charm like nobody’s business. At our house, girls never had cooties and he experienced his first broken heart at the tender age of 5 when the little girl he had a crush on didn’t reciprocate. His favorite playmates were always girls, and when he was about 10, I cracked up when I overheard the 10-year old equivalent of a pick up line when he asked a former (girl) classmate, “So…you still playing with Power Rangers?”

But now that he’s 16, his girl-craziness gives his mother many sleepless nights. So, to my fella who thinks he’s ready to take life by the horns and thinks he knows all about girls, let Momma clue you in on a few things…

1. Any girl worthwhile is worth waiting for. And I don’t just mean physically. I mean that any girl who has her head on straight and has hopes and dreams she wants to make a reality – she deserves the time to make those things happen for herself. Don’t make her choose between you and her goals. She should be able to have both. And if she’s worth it, she’ll be worth waiting for while she pursues her dreams. And bonus – it will give you time to pursue yours.

2. Any girl worth having will respect herself more than she will care about “keeping” you interested. In other words, she won’t be easy.

3. Look for a girl who takes pride in herself, without looking fake. Most teenage girls like to wear make up as it makes them look and feel older, but there’s an art to applying make up in a tasteful way. Make sure she knows she’s beautiful to you no matter what. Make sure, that above all else, you appreciate a girl for her natural beauty.

4. Speaking of natural beauty, the girls in the movies and in magazines are not real. That’s not real beauty. That’s called Photo Shopping. Learn the difference and appreciate what is true.

5. Make eye contact with girls. Enough said.

6. If you want to really impress a girl, then be genuinely interested in her thoughts and ideas. It may not seem as manly to listen to her talk about her love of beading, but if it’s important to her, then demonstrate that she is important to you by listening…again, by making eye contact.

7. Your job, as a guy, is to make other girls jealous of your girl, because of how great you treat her. It’s not your job to make other guys jealous of your “trophy.” She’s not your arm candy.  Treat her like a lady.

8. They say chivalry is dead, but prove them wrong. Hold open doors for your girl and let her walk in first. There’s a reason I stop in front of doors and wait for you to open them. I’m teaching you to be a gentleman. Use your manners.

9. Before you open your mouth in anger, remember the women in your life who you love… me, your grandmother, your great-grandmother… how would you want someone to speak to us? Speak to the girls you date in the same kind of manner you’d want someone to speak to the women who mean the most to you.

10. All girls dream of a Prince Charming or a Knight in Shining Armor. Don’t let me down. She’ll have to kiss enough toads in her life. Don’t you be one of them.

This article has been reposted with permission from Forsyth Family magazine