Although it is crucial to know your civic responsibilities at any point in life, but this is even more important during the teenage years of your children’s life. It's the age where they are standing at the crossroads of adolescence and adulthood and knowing what they owe to the society and what is expected of them is of paramount importance. Increasingly parents shy away from the responsibility of teaching their kids about their basic civic duties, expecting the schools to do it. In such a scenario, how can better governance and progressive governments be expected to form?
Not much can be achieved by people simply complaining about how bad the times are. Change can only be brought with action and the best and most responsible thing you can do to begin with is share your sense of civic responsibilities with the younger generation.
Here are the first three stepping stone towards brining up a socially responsible and progressive citizen:
Speak Your Mind
The basis of all civic duties is loving your country. So before you start off with a long lecture on the importance of doing the right thing by your country, first introduce your child to the idea of patriotism. Nothing teaches better than example, so talking about and acting out your own love for your country is one of the best way of initiating your child to becoming a good citizen. Talk to your teens about all the ways in which their country is unique and special, go on line and discover new thing about it to increase the child’s passion for their country. Also make sure that this patriotic attitude is being followed at school as well. Make politics and good governance a part of your routine conversations at home and what your teens develop into conscientious and progressive citizens of their country and the world
Lead By Example
Voting is one of the biggest and most crucial responsibilities of being a good and conscious citizen. The best way of teaching teenagers the responsibility of voting is to involve them in the whole process. Take them with you when you go voting and talk to them about how important it is to choose the right representative. Remind them that those who don’t vote also have no right to complain about the ways of the government, so voting is a must.
Talk The Talk
Children develop interest in things which they have experienced; seen or heard throughout their childhood. So have lively and productive discussions about social issues, local, national or world politics and the importance of civic responsibilities. This will help your teen grow up aware of the social issues around them and what needs to be done to deal with them.
More is Less
There is so much more you can do to harbor a good citizen within your kids, apart from meeting all the responsibilities they owe to the state, here are a few things they can do for the society they live in as well.
- Encourage you kids to volunteer as much as they can in community services around libraries, food banks, hospitals and community centers.
- Taking lectures at community councils to get a better understanding of how the system works and making suggestions for its improvement.
- Help you kids develop a tax payers attitude by encouraging and helping them to do their taxes. Make them understand that without paying taxes we can not expect the government to function properly.
- Help your kid understand the legal system by sitting through a court proceeding
- Take your teen to local museums to help them understand the history of their country and the roots they come from.
- Encourage charitable work since most schools now offer a lot of services for their communities. Also let them take civics class so they get a theoretical grasp on the concepts of civic duties.
In the end, remember that Rome was not built in a day and your teens will not suddenly become conscientious citizens of the community one fine day. For a socially aware and responsible generation, all parents and teachers need to play their part and educate children about the concepts and importance of living up to ones civic duties.