Raising Good Citizens

We all want what is best for our children. We want them to be healthy, well-educated and happy, and we want to encourage them to be upstanding, productive members of society. Here are five tips for teaching good citizenship to your children.

  1. Set a good example. If you’re heading to the polls on Election Day, take your child along to show him how the process works and how important voting is. If you’re at a park with your child and you spot some trash on the ground, pick it up and put in a garbage can. Set an example by performing random acts of kindness. 2. Read books with a positive message. Books such as The Lorax by Dr. Seuss and The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Tomie dePaola encourage compassion and generosity toward others. Reading age-appropriate biographies about inspiring figures from history can also provide role models for

children. 3. Volunteer. Help your children sort through their old toys and choose items to donate. Take younger children to a clothing drive or food bank to help sort items. For older children, try to find something that speaks to their interests. For example, if your child likes animals, take him to volunteer at the local animal shelter. 4. Discuss current events. Ageappropriate discussions about current events can help to get children interested in and passionate about what is going on in the world. 5. Use a chore chart. Ask your child to perform simple chores around the house. List the tasks on a chart and draw a star or place a star sticker on the chart next to each completed chore. When a certain number of stars is accumulated (say, ten), reward him with a treat.

You may have heard about the

4 Cs? Communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. These are the skills that help develop your child into a well-rounded adult, setting him or her up for success in school and in life. At The Goddard School, we teach the 5 Cs, with global citizenship being the 5th C. Every month, we teach our children about giving back to their community, whether it be through recycling, raising money for the children of St. Jude, creating art for LeBonheur’s Children Hospital Art Auction, collecting food for local families in need, donating toys around the holidays or simply being kind to a friend. Just as parents constantly look for ways to instill philanthropic values in their children, so do we. By collaborating at home and at school, we are all working together to raise conscientious citizens today and for our future.

by Cathy Jo Mattson, on-site owner of The Goddard School®