By Kidz Matter
This month we will take a quick look at the life skill of LOYALTY. Loyalty is all about dedication to specific things or people. Like most life skills, loyalty is best achieved by setting a good example. Telling them about loyalty is not enough. They need to see it, feel it, and experience it. Loyalty is not as easily defined as other recent life skills we discussed – goal setting and courtesy, however, it is as easy to teach if you follow a few examples of loyal behavior.
Do not criticize anybody, especially your family and friends in the hearing of your kids. Kids will not forget this behavior, and they will also do the same to their family and friends.
Be true to what you say. Teaching loyalty is done by showing children that you are true to our words. If you make promises or commitments, you must keep them. If you discuss certain values or opinions, be consistent with those values all the time.
Don’t jump to conclusions about a family member or friend based on limited information. If something unexplained happens, remember not to assume the worst, or make any negative comments about that person. Assume the best, and verbalize that you are sure it is an explainable circumstance. This shows loyalty to the family member or friend.
Talk to your child about why it is wrong to leave one friend out just because other children are treating him/her poorly. Your child should know that “taking sides” with the one child that is being left out will show what a true friend is. Encourage them to support and stand up for the one child who is getting picked on. This shows dedication and loyalty. Your child will be one of the most desired friends throughout his/her life because people treasure someone who is a loyal friend, not just a friend when everyone else thinks it is okay.
Tip – create a simple sign that reads LOYALTY and post it in your home. This will remind you to discuss this life skill with your child. It will also be a great reminder for you to display your own loyalty for them to see.
Lastly, if you made a commitment to teach your child about GOAL SETTING and COURTESY (January and February issues), revisit those life skills and follow up with consistent encouragement. Be loyal to your dedication to helping your child develop these important life skills.