Friday, Apr 28, 2023

There are so many things that we want our children to learn as they grow and mature. Citizenship is one of the six pillars of character that can be explored through everyday interactions with children.

Most adults practice good citizenship behaviors every day as they help a neighbor, obey traffic laws, volunteer in the community, recycle at home and at work, and use appropriate trash receptacles when out in public. Children will use these same principles as they model the behavior of the important adults in their lives.  Citizenship to children means practicing the behaviors first at home. 

Some suggestions to teach citizenship to children include:

  • Set a good example for the children in your life. You are your child’s first teacher and your children watch everything you do. If you take time and to help a neighbor with yard work, your children can assist by bagging leaves or raking with child sized tools. Help those less fortunate than you.
  • Teach children where to place litter in their home and in public. Talk about the pride you feel when your town or city is neat and clean. Take your child on a walk and carry a trash bag to dispose of garbage you might find. Discuss the fact that littering is against the law and that there is a consequence for those who break the law.
  • Teach your child about public service officials. Visit your fire hall or police station. Meet a real officer! Discuss the job that firemen and policemen do. Encourage pretend play by providing pretend mail that needs to be delivered, a police whistle or badge, or the hat for a fire fighter.
  • Discuss the reason for rules at home, school, day care and other places. Children need to learn that the entire world has a set of rules and that rules help keep us safe.
  • Attend a public meeting with your child; take him with you to the voting booth; talk about local issues from the newspaper that affect your family; or volunteer to do community service.

When you model and teach your child the life skill of citizenship you are helping to build character that counts!