Because Honor Matters
Teaching our children that honor matters starts when they are pretty young. From not taking things that belong to others to always telling the truth. Why are these things important? Because honor matters in life and your name and reputation are sometimes the only things that get you through.
As our children were growing up, we went through the usual childish things such as toys showing up at home that neither my husband or I had purchased, and answers from little ones that were not truthful. Stealing and telling lies are taken seriously in our home. But how do we teach this to children?
For us it was a continual reminder of what is right. Always reminding our children that it is important to do what is right, not what is easy. Doing the right thing, because it is the right thing…always wins. You may not win in the sense of being first or getting the prize, but you win because you have shown honor in doing your best and by doing the right thing.
Recently we were talking about how honor matters with one of our little crew members. He is really into sword fighting and all things relating to battles. As we talked about the difference in play fighting and real fighting, he asked why he had gotten into trouble when he was fighting with one of his cousins.
Well the basic story is that they were sword fighting and one got in a solid blow and it hurt the other person. They didn’t mean to hurt the other one, but they landed a solid hit with their sword. The one injured got mad and struck out in anger. It was clear he was angry and had the intent of returning a painful blow to the other person. Thankfully, the parents witnessed the event and stopped them before someone really got hurt.
I think the parents handled the situation great. The one that had struck too hard was talked to about how they are bigger and stronger than their cousin and that they had really hurt them. This one was made to apologize to their cousin and had their sword put away for the day. Yes it was an accident, however their parents felt that because of the difference in size of the children, the older one needed to learn that you have to control yourself and your actions when dealing with someone who might be weaker. Nice honorable lesson to learn.
The child that wanted and fully intended to retaliate, was first checked to make sure no real damage had been done from the blow received. Then the parents discussed how the hit they had taken was not done of purpose and that although it hurt, striking out in anger and with the intent to hurt someone else is never acceptable. This young man had to surrender his entire fighting gear for a week. He also had to apologize to his cousin for getting angry and acting in a mean way towards them. His parents acknowledged that the hit he took probably did really hurt. This made him feel that they understood why he was upset. They also explained that getting even or striking bad is not the honorable thing to do, especially when dealing with family. Insert here for those that know us, yes we believe and support the right to defend oneself and property. This was not about that, this was a teaching moment for two young boys that I believe was better served in teaching them to love, honor, and respect each other.
A few days later, I received a book review request and thought that it was perfect timing for the boys.
The book was The Knights of Boo’Gar. This is a super cute book with lots of lessons that can be pulled out of it. Being honorable, being truthful, not stealing, and stepping up to help others in need are just a few. In this book, like in life, one lone knight stepped up to defend the honor of the kingdom. He was afraid, he was alone (except for his turtle and ostrich); but he did the right thing. He was honorable and remained faithful to his kingdom.
Be prepared to laugh at the antics, and cheer when the good guys win because in real life..the good guys do win in the end!
Here is more information about the book and author from the publisher.