Good citizens do not happen by chance. They were raised and molded by nurturing parents, responsible teachers, and a community who fostered good values. But because of the media, peer pressure, and the negative influence of certain technologies, we need to try harder to ensure that kids become great citizens not just for the future but for today.
There are 3 ways that we can nurture responsibility, organization, and innovative citizenship in our youth now.
Be the example and act responsibly
According to Parents Magazines: The best way to teach kids about our government is to demonstrate your devotion to what the entire system represents. That means voting regularly (it’s estimated that half the kids in America live in a household where the parents don’t vote), serving on a jury willingly when you’re called, obeying laws (even if you don’t always agree with them), and working for change.
When we lead by example, the youth will naturally learn to be kind, be respectful, and have empathy. You cannot just dictate to kids to be these things. They need to see it and feel it in those who they respect and have a positive influence over them.
To learn compassion, fairness, and honesty, parents need to reinforce these values at home and in their community. When parents lead the action for recycling trash, donating to food drives, participating in fund-raising events, or helping neighbors in times of crisis, it becomes natural for the children to emulate and incorporate in their own lives.
Encourage original thought and creative thinking
When our kids have a sense of responsibility and accountability towards their communities and neighbors, they will naturally understand that their environment needs improvement. They will begin to learn about world issues and harsh realities. Do not try to protect them from these for too long but rather explain it to them so that they may start to form their own ideas on how to confront these moral issues.
For societies to thrive, compassionate citizens need to explore outside of themselves to think of solutions to complex issues that don’t just affect them as individuals but the entire community. It’s these innovative thinkers that look beyond everyday problems and see the bigger picture. Evidence also shows that children become better critical and creative thinkers if we teach them the art of debate.
Be community leaders
The youth of today are amazing. Even the youngest of them who may appear to have the smallest voices may be able to have the strongest impact. They can inspire and gain positive influence over their peers. When children are nurtured with compassion at a young age, they carry it their entire lives and are restless when they don’t see that same quality in their loved one’s, peers, communities, and the world.
At a young age, they learn about governing bodies, community agencies that are meant to champion the reform. They learn to question the inconsistencies and decide that they are unacceptable. They choose to what degree they can inspire change.
Eden’s story is a great example. She took on problem she saw first hand on a family trip to Mexico. of how children are often transformed by face-to-face interactions with real life problems can inspire children to create solutions. Clearly, Eden has developed the ability to empathize, to put herself in the place of another. Most children develop this capacity by the age of six and are capable of taking action to help people in need. They particularly benefit from seeing the direct benefits of their action.
Empower the youth today to be responsible citizens, innovators, game-changers, free-thinkers and most importantly, good people.