The familiar story of the three little pigs illustrates the character trait of security. The choices made when constructing their homes left the pigs either feeling secure and safe from the wolf or filled with uncertainty, dreading the wolf’s return. Like the pigs, the choices we make and the goals we focus on can make us feel content and secure or anxiety-ridden.
Security means structuring our lives around that which cannot be destroyed or taken away. When we focus on building relationships rather than collecting material possessions, we strengthen family bonds and increase our security level, which frees us from fears of loss. Such freedom provides greater insight into life and helps us develop a clearer vision for the future. When children feel secure, they tend to be more confident and outgoing.
The bond between a mother kangaroo and her joey illustrates security. Inside its mother’s pouch, the young kangaroo finds warmth, protection, and food. Kangaroos spend about eight months living in the pouch and even after they are fully developed, it remains a secure place to retreat. Powerful back legs allow adult kangaroos to jump up to 29 feet and travel as fast as 35 mph.
Every moment with your child is a teachable moment, and letting them know they are loved and cherished is the best way to build their sense of security. Whether you have an infant, teenager, or adult child, a hug and a verbal “I love you” soothes the soul.
One of my friends packs lunch for his daughter and makes a drawing on the bag. The simple drawing may relate to a challenge she’ll be facing, a recent accomplishment, or simply offer a laugh. The picture is often accompanied by words of encouragement. He started this tradition when she was in elementary school and even though she is now a high school senior, she still looks for the inked images on her lunch bags.
How long has it been since you and your children have shared an unplugged activity together? Whether it’s shooting hoops, planting flowers, or playing Monopoly, set aside some time to indulge in activities your family enjoys. Laughing and talking together builds a stronger relationship and makes everyone feel more secure.
Learn About Security
- For adults: Raising a Secure Child by Zeynep Biringen offers insight on how parents can create an emotional connection with their children.
- For young children: Eric Carle’s Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? is a great book to read aloud while cuddling.
- For teens: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens by Richard Carlson encourages adolescents not to fret.
I Will Statements
- I will not worry or fret.
- I will look to my authorities for protection.
- I will correct unsafe conditions.
- I will find peace of mind in a clear conscience rather than personal comfort.
- I will not meddle in the concerns of others.
The Character First Project is inspired by the work of the character Training Institute, a non-profit organization based in Oklahoma City. Character First! information is used by permission. Call 405-815-0001 for Character First! resources or visit CharacterFirst.com.