Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Teaching Loyalty - Part 2

Writing on loyalty and the teaching of loyalty, Fenner continues, "Don't discuss family problems with others. Don't criticize your husband, wife, or children to outsiders. Always present them in the very best light possible. Teach your children similar behavior. Explain to them that you are happy to talk things over freely with them at home, but if they repeat what they hear outside, they prove they are unworthy of your trust and it will be withdrawn. Don't repeat your children's confidences to others, no matter how amusing or touching they may be. To do so proves that you are untrustworthy.

"If an outsider comes to you with a complaint about your child, hear his story fully and weigh it calmly. Do nothing about the matter until you have given your child a chance to tell his side of the story. Do not scold or punish him until you are sure that he was in the wrong. Uphold him and defend him whenever you can, so that he will learn that he can always depend upon getting fair treatment at home.

"Teach your children to be loyal to each other: not to carry tales, to defend one another against outsiders, to rejoice wholeheartedly in the honors brothers or sisters may attain, to sympathize with troubles. Encourage the boys to cherish and protect their sisters and the girls to look up to their brothers as their champions. Teach the older children to help the younger and the little ones to obey and respect the older ones."

Fenner, American Catholic Etiquette (1965), The Newman Press, p. 256.

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