How to Help Your Children Be Good Citizens
Learning how to raise children who are good citizens will help you leave a legacy and shape the future. That’s because raising good citizens is sure to have an effect greater than that of any donations you give or awards you win.
Good people and good deeds leave lasting impressions. Your children are the next generation, and what they do — because you taught them to do it — are an ideal way to “pay it forward.”
There is no parenting treasure map that guides you to the precious “X” or a moment children become good citizens. There are good ideas, though, on how you can help them become the best people they can be.
Teach Them to Care
If you’ve seen your children follow a butterfly or gently pet a kitten or puppy, you know they’re caring and sensitive from the start. Model that, and nurture that. Show them love and compassion, and when they feel that kind of attention, they’ll want to share it.
As they get older, show them what it looks like to help others. Mow a neighbor’s yard, support a charity, or help someone whose car won’t start. Your kids will notice you taking care of others and learn by example.
Eventually, encourage your children to volunteer. Help them be a part of an activity that will benefit others and experience firsthand what it’s like to put others first. They will feel good about doing good, see themselves in a positive light and mature into good citizens.
It’s difficult for children to grasp the concept of not being the only person in the world, but it’s helpful to reinforce the idea that helping people less fortunate than themselves makes the world a better place. What you tell them now gives them something to think about the rest of their lives. And society benefits.
Teach Them the Importance of Citizenship
Another part of helping your children improve the world around them is to encourage them to embrace their rights and responsibilities as citizens. Model the behavior you want to see.
Vote regularly. Seeing you participate in the process that establishes our government at the local, state and national levels will show your children that voting is important.
Obey the law. This is a no-brainer, of course, but your children will benefit by seeing you do everyday things, like abide by the speed limit or clean up after your dog while on a walk. It’ll help them understand the importance of following the rules.
Ultimately, when they’re old enough, they will likely follow your example.
Talking to you children about current events and what they mean to you and your children is a great way to share your experiences and share how the country and world have changed. Talk about the importance of listening to both sides of an issue and being able to disagree respectfully.
Take the time to teach them about the sacrifices that helped make the United States a nation. You can show them how freedom is earned, and you can show them how the nation has dealt with missteps in its history. Show your pride and patriotism by flying a flag and showing respect during the national anthem.
You will give your children a deeper understanding of who they are and what they’re a part of, and show them how to grow into responsible members of society.
Helping Can Be Helpful
Finally, did you know giving of yourself actually makes you healthier? Yep, studies have shown that giving can lead to:
- Increased happiness
- Higher self-esteem
- Lower levels of depression
- Decreased stress
- Longer life
- Lower blood pressure
That’s not a bad thing to pass on to your children. Neither is WoodmenLife membership. Purchasing life insurance for your children can provide them peace of mind as they grow. Plus, it will make them members of an organization driven by a commitment to family, community and country.
That commitment drives us to help organize and participate in volunteer activities, like fighting hunger across the nation, and patriotic activities, like presenting flags to community organizations. It’s who we are.
And we want to join you in being good citizens.
For more information, visit WoodmenLife.org.