As a child my best-est friend in the whole wide world was Cookie, a little freckled face red headed spit fire of a kid. She taught me all of the curse words in 3rd grade and somehow managed to get me to watch an R rated movie at her house when I was in 5th grade, which left scars for a lifetime. Her parents worked so she was usually home alone with her older sister who of course did not really care what we did as long as we stayed out of her way.
Cookie also taught me loyalty. She was a friend that would throw down a fight for me if anybody looked at me funny. We had the heart necklaces from the state fair. You know the kind that says Best on one half and Friends on the other half, you put them together and they form the entire heart.
Cookie taught me many things in life. As a mom now, in retrospect, I learned from her circumstances I would be home with my kids after school no matter what it takes to do it. Because of everything we were able to do without any adult supervision. I have learned never to let my child go to another friend’s house unless a parent is present and to be more vigil about the home situation. However, the loyalty more than anything is what stands out to me now. Probably due to the fact that I was an entire foot taller than her yet in a second she would do anything to defend me.
Is loyalty one of your good traits? Where did you learn it? Was it from an older sibling? Or did you have a friend like Cookie growing up? Do you set the example for your children of loyalty? Do your children know that you will stand up for them? Do your children witness your loyalty for other family members or friends? Is this an important trait for your child to learn?
If it is then set the example. You can do it subtlety; you don’t have to throw down a fight. But let them know that you would lay down your life for them. From experience I have learned that you should not use those words to tell them when they are under the age of 9. All they can think of is the parent dying and the lesson is drowned by the thought of death. Actually explaining loyalty to them in their own terms is a great start. Talk to them about a situation at school and how they can defend another person’s character. To help others in this way and to stay true to what they believe.
Your child is never too young to learn how to be loyal – faithful to a person, ideal or a custom. We are loyal to many ideas in our lives. Many of us to the United States of America. Many of us are loyal to whatever religion we claim. Others are loyal to certain methods of education and others to people. It is a fine characteristic to teach our children. A trait that will serve our children well throughout his/her life time.
When you get a few minutes today sit down with your child and ask him/her about loyalty. Let your child know it is important to you. When you take the time to talk one on one with your child about anything that shows importance and even if it doesn’t sink in it is the beginning. Maybe if you do this and set the example your child will one day be like my Cookie, just the good stuff, standing up for others no matter what the situation because it is the good and right thing to do!