Loyalty is an important part of relationships with friends and family. What does loyalty mean and how far show it go? Does it require that you support people even when they’re doing something wrong and/or dangerous, or does loyalty actually require you to stand against those things for your friends’ sake? In other words, in order to be loyal, does it mean you have to turn a blind eye to bad behavior, or does it mean you should lead your friend into righteous living?
Those are questions that will arise in various forms over the teen years, and it’s something you should prepare for now.
To begin that preparation, in true HOT BUTTONS fashion, tell your teen this story as though it’s really happening to him/her:
You’re really close to your cousin and he confides that he been smoking pot. He assures you it isn’t a lot, but encourages you to give it a try. He offers to set you up with some. What do you do?
Present the following choices to your teenager:
- Cool! You’ve been thinking about giving it a try. Now you can!
- No way. You want no part of trying it, but your cousin can do whatever he wants to. You’re too loyal to turn him in.
- You tell your cousin that he has to stop immediately or you’ll have to go to your parents, loyalty aside.
- It’s too serious to ignore. You go to your mom or dad and let them know what’s been going on so they can handle it.
Now let your teen make a choice between the responses. Here are some discussion points you can use to lead the conversation:
- Drugs are nothing to mess around with. Even once is too much.
- It’s so dangerous, not to mention illegal, it’s not something you want to handle on your own. Involve an adult.
- Peer pressure will come up with other things like alcohol, supervision, etc. Decide now how you’ll handle it.
- When in doubt, talk to mom or dad.
- Discuss what loyalty means to you and how far it should be protected.
- Always be ready to talk about why you and your family have boundaries like that in place.
- Use this as an opportunity to share your faith in God and why drugs are dangerous.