Ways to Teach Children Civic Responsibility

    7 Fantastic Ways to Teach Children Civic Responsibility

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    Election season reminds us all of the importance of civic engagement. I considered how important it is to teach this concept to children as well. By nature, children are curious and want to make a difference. One of the best ways to show them how to make a difference is to teach them about civic responsibility. Teaching civic responsibility demonstrates how one can effect change in their own lives and in the world around them.

    Here are some fantastic ways you can teach your children to be active citizens in their community:

    1. Give them opportunities to volunteer. Whether volunteering at a retirement or nursing home, at a church or neighborhood function or even your local animal shelter, your children will learn that there are many ways to give back.
    2. Start a neighborhood garage sale or rummage sale — not only will this help people get rid of stuff they don’t need any more, it can also be used as a way to raise money for good causes such as the school’s PTA or the local library! These are organizations that have a direct impact on children and will help them to feel more connected to the cause they’re working for.
    3. Organize a community cleanup day where everyone pitches in together to clean up trash from local parks and neighborhoods. This can be done year-round, or more specifically during Earth Day celebrations each year.
    4. Collect food items such as cans of soup and boxes of pasta that you can donate to food banks or shelters that feed hungry families in your area. This can also be done year round, but specifically during the holiday season when many families may be struggling financially.
    5. If you don’t want to organize an event but live in an area where there are community projects going on, consider asking your child if they would like to help out with those projects that benefit the larger community. Planting this type of community building seedling in childhood might encourage children to continue this kind of behavior well into adulthood.
    6. Educate yourself about current events so you can talk with your kids about what’s happening in the world around them — even if it seems like grown-up stuff! Children need their adults to help them understand what’s going on around them so they can form opinions and make choices based on solid information.
    7. Share with them picture books that focus on civic responsibility and community. A great book to begin with is Dandi McLion Has Her Say! In this book Dandi McLion practices civic responsibility by making the case for fair treatment of dandelions at a town hall meeting.

    One of the best things about living in America is that we get to voice our opinions, and have a say in the way that we are governed.   Teaching our children about civic responsibility, and how they can exercise it, is an important part of their introduction to the world. Our children are our hope for the future. Let’s equip them with the tools necessary to be productive citizens.



    All stories by: pmclaurin