Crikey, where do I start?! This subject is huge in my eyes and is something that I have tried to maintain in myself throughout my life and, in turn, teach to Grace. I love quotes and this is one of my favourites:
To really understand loyalty and fairness, there are many lessons that we need to help teach our children in a build up to these qualities. As soon as Grace was born I started to teach her manners. I think that this is a good place to start. Firstly I did it by setting an example and then, by making sure I said ‘ta’ to her whenever I gave her something so that she started to understand ‘thank you’. Then as she reached for things, I would repeat the word ‘please’. Now she is 7 she gets many compliments when we take her out for how polite she is.
Next it was teaching her what is right and what is wrong. There is a number of instances I can recall.
The first one was at nursery. Grace was 4. She and another child decided to disappear into the toilets and take the blu tack off the walls! She got reprimanded and, unlike the other parent, when I came to pick her up I supported the the teaching assistants in what they had done. On the drive home I asked her why she had done it and discussed why it was wrong. She told me that the other child had made her. I didn’t tell her off again, the nursery had done that, but I did want her to understand what she had done and what it would have been better to have chosen to do.
The second incident was a little worse. She bit another child when she was in reception. I didn’t know until the morning after when, as we were walking into school, she told me that she had been in time out the day before. I asked her why but she didn’t want to tell me. I didn’t push the issue. So I asked the teacher once she was out of earshot and they explained.
When she came home that evening. I sat her down whilst Ross disappeared into the kitchen. We were running a star chart for her at the time. I asked her why she had bitten this boy and she told me that he had made her angry. We discussed why it was wrong and what she should do if he was doing this to her. She got it. I then told her that I was taking 7 stars off of her chart. She was mortified. But I really felt like we had had a proper discussion about it and that she had learned a lesson.
The final incident I can recall is probably the biggest one. Grace had two friends who she played with in Year 1, however, they went off and played together a lot so I regularly suggested to Grace that she might like to find other people to play with. Then she told me that one of the girls was starting to hurt her. I had a good enough relationship that I could discuss it with her Mum and then we went into school together. Anyway, it transpired that Grace was inflating the story and the child hadn’t been hurting her. Grace was just sore that they wouldn’t play with her so she made up the fact that they were hurting her physically. This lead to a major discussion in our house about physical and emotional hurt and why it was different. Ross and I were very annoyed with her. We made sure that Grace called the child and her Mum and apologised to them both over the phone. Grace also wrote the child a card. Another lesson learned.
The reason I say all this? It is because that I believe that the lessons that we teach Grace about what is right and wrong will impact on to loyalty and fairness. She is growing up to be a sympathetic child. Understanding that everyone is different and caring for those people who might be a bit different. She told me the other day that another child in her class was being called ‘Nit Girl’. She went over and made sure she was OK. Then, another child was trying to encourage her to bully one of the others. Grace refused and told the girl why it was wrong. We are very proud of the person she is becoming.
This all goes towards treating people with respect, playing nicely and being loyal and fair. I was pleased to hear that NatWest Bank are starting to pay more attention to their loyal customers rather than spend their time and energy on tracking down new ones. I find that so many banks try hard to obtain new customers and spend less energy on the ones they already have. This goes against the moral values as far as I am concerned. Their new campaign, Hello/Goodbye means they are waving goodbye to great offers targeted just for new customers and farewell to 0% teaser rates that cost more in the long run. They are no longer hiding the best deals online and they are welcoming a simpler, clearer and fairer style of banking. Take a look at their new video to see what I mean!
I think it is about time that all businesses treated their loyal customers like this, kindly and with fairness. I hope that Grace grows up to work for and, eventually, run a business like this.
I’m working with BritMums and NatWest on this project and have been compensated. All words and opinions are my own.