Sooner or later, most families experience challenges in one form or another -- unemployment, health problems, death or divorce. It's only natural for parents to try to shield and protect children from these experiences, but when handled appropriately, challenges can strengthen family bonds and teach loyalty. Instead of hiding problems from children, talk honestly about the issues and look for solutions together. Say something along the lines of, "I'm feeling scared and sad. I'm not sure what to do, but I'm looking for some solutions. We'll figure it out."
You probably read to your young children before bedtime, but don't give up this tradition as they get older. Children's literature is a powerful vehicle for teaching values such as loyalty, according to Gladys Hunt, author of "Honey for a Child's Heart." Look for books with memorable characters that exemplify the value of loyalty. Young children enjoy "The Keeping Quilt," by Patricia Polacco; "A Chair for My Mother," by Vera Williams; or "Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge," by Mem Fox. For older children, try "The Bronze Bow," by Elizabeth George Speare; "Meet the Austins," by Madeleine L'Engle; or "Where the Red Fern Grows," by Wilson Rawls.