Teaching Children How to be Good Citizens
What Does It Mean to Be a Good Citizen?
At Bright Horizons, our Toward a Better World curriculum focuses on:
- Civic and community responsibility
- Character development
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Environmental stewardship
Together, teachers and children create a classroom community where children are involved in a range of experiences that promote children’s development of identity, valuing diversity, and appreciating and caring for the world around them. They learn about their impact on others, their immediate classroom community and the larger world in which they live.
How to Raise a Good Citizen
You have a key role in supporting the development of citizenship within your child. Start first within your home, and as your child grows, gradually expand to your larger community.
Give Your Child Responsibility
Work on projects as a family and give your child small jobs. Keep the jobs consistent with their capabilities so they learn about the joy of helping, rather than becoming frustrated. Be sure you help your child learn the task — perhaps first doing it alongside them — until they become confident.
Read Books about Good Citizenship
As with so many topics, books are a perfect starting point to spark discussion and learning. Seek high quality literature that promotes conversations about honesty, making change, or doing one’s part. Look for books that positively and authentically depict people from many ethnic, racial, religious, or cultural backgrounds.
Connect within Your Community
Visit local shops, farm stands, libraries, firehouses, and other places that will help your child understand the fabric of a community and how it works. When visiting these places, speak to the people who work there to learn more about their role within the community. Spend some time learning about and riding the public transportation options in your area.
Seek volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood. Nursing homes, animal rescue centers, or public space clean-up campaigns are all options.
Teach Simple Lessons in Civic Engagement
Bring your child with you to vote. If age-appropriate, explain the importance of voting and why you participate. A preschooler is too young to understand the complete political landscape, but they can start to learn the significance voting and begin to understand your value system.
More on Being a Good Citizen
- Try one of these seven family-friendly ideas to teach your child about the importance of giving back.
- Learn more about how to talk to your children about upcoming elections.
- Discover four strategies for helping your child develop compassion.
- Social-emotional development is a foundational part of learning to be a good citizen.
November 4, 2021