Feb2012ParentsPerch

This month we will focus on the powerful word; “loyalty.”

Loyalty is a complex word. It means being faithful, steadfast and true to someone or something, however, it doesn’t demand silence when we feel that somebody or something is in the wrong.

This concept can be confusing to children and teens who may be navigating complicated feelings and relationships for the first time. They may think to themselves; “If I don’t agree with my friend, my teacher, or my family is it OK to speak up? Or, is that being disloyal?” The same can be questioned
when they find themselves disagreeing with the general culture of their school, the policies or their community, or the leadership of their country. Of course as adults we know that speaking up and being true to one’s values does indeed show loyalty.

All relationships require loyalty to work. Whether these relationships are family-based, friendship-based, or work-based, being true and supportive is expected. The breakdown of loyalty can seriously
compromise friendships in children and adults. It is also not easily repaired.

A recent study out 3 months ago in the journal Child Development, shows that when loyalty is breached in friendships, pre-teen girls may not be any better at friendships than boys, despite previous research suggesting otherwise.

The study suggests that when more serious violations of a friendship occur, children struggle. In fact, both girls and boys claimed that they would seek revenge, verbally attack, or threaten divulging a secret if a transgression occurred. Girls also reported more sadness and anger when presented with the breach of loyalty scenarios. This may be due to high standards in friendships.

“Loyalty” should create some interesting discussions! I hope you will continue these discussions at home and while in transit, in order to help the children understand this multifaceted powerful word.

Thank you for your support. You are pivotal in helping to make our school one of the best personal development centers in the world.

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