Teaching Your Child about Loyalty

Loyalty is the Kiddie Academy Character Education trait for the month of August. As with all our featured traits, loyalty is an important lesson to learn. But sometimes circumstances can make it a complicated quality to teach.

“Loyalty is the feeling of devotion or faithfulness we have toward our family members, friends, country or cause in which we believe,” said Richard Peterson, our Vice President of Education. “Being loyal means that we’re committed and being committed means that we make promises and keep them. We do what we say we’ll do for the people we care about. This means that we stand up for the people we care about. We support their decisions and show them love and respect, even when we disagree with them.”

“…even when we disagree with them.” This is where loyalty gets tricky. It’s easy when you root for the same team or believe the same things. But when there’s a difference of opinion, your sense of loyalty can be tested. If a friend likes a different baseball team than you do, does that mean he’s being disloyal to you or your team? If the friend does or says something you don’t agree with, are you being disloyal to him?

Being loyal doesn’t require us to like or believe all the same things. When you’re loyal, friends feel they can trust you and that you won’t betray them – even if you disagree with them. The key is to separate the person from the action or belief. If you’re loyal to another person and trust them, you can talk to one another about your differences and develop a deeper understanding and stronger relationship.

Here are some questions you can use to have a discussion about loyalty with your child:

  • Describe a time when someone was loyal to you.
  • How did it make you feel?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you were loyal?
  • If a friend said something you disagree with, would you stay loyal to them?
  • What could you say to your friend in that situation?

Here are some books about loyalty recommended by the Kiddie Academy Education Department:

Chicken Sunday” by Patricia Polacco

Horton Hatches the Egg” by Dr. Seuss

Amos & Boris” by William Steig

The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams

Best Friends” by Steven Kellogg

Frog and Toad are Friends” by Arnold Lobel

Chester’s Way” by Kevin Henkes

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