Make a Difference Monthly

I'm linking up again with Maria and "Make A Difference Monthly".  This month's topic is how to teach your child to be a good citizen.

I was surprised to discover how difficult it is to accurately describe what constitutes a "good citizen". There are MANY views out there.  But for me, simple is always better.

Good Citizen: A person who works to make the community a better place for all (people and animals alike).

Community refers to immediate family, school family, neighbourhood community, country and world.

As with anything we're trying to teach children, the most effective thing you can do is to CONSISTENTLY model the trait you desire.

So here are a few ideas :)

1. Behave democratically with your own children: That is, give them choice within boundaries. Have family discussions and occasional votes. For example, when my boys were 12 and 14, we had a family vote about spending our vacation in Disneyland or Hawaii. Hawaii won so that's where we went (I was the Disneyland holdout ... I still haven't been :))

2. Practice RESPECT always. Speak respectfully to your spouse, to your children, to the neighbours, the store clerks ... even to the people on TV you might disagree with :)

3. Discuss the importance of voting with your children and how we should respect and value this privilege ... then take them with you to the polling station.

4. Discuss current problems and issues in the community with your children but be sure they are hearing and considering both sides! Encourage them to develop a critical stance and to question what they hear and read.

The book "Kids Care" looks like it has lots of fun ideas for children to actively and meaningfully make a positive difference in world.
Click to view on Amazon

I found this very cute citizenship song that you can listen to and download from iTunes or Amazon.
Click on the lyrics below if you like it. It will take you to Sing.Dance.Learn.

Happy July 4th to my American friends :)


  1. We just had Leader In Me training and it was wonderful. Can't wait to share ideas about how to train kids to make a difference.

  2. YaY - excellent citizenship ideas!!! Just got home from an epic fireworks display so I'm feeling quite inspired!

    Summertime smiles,

    The Corner On Character

  3. I especially love #2. The ways that kids the adults in their lives showing respect when the adults don't even know that little people are watching is so powerful.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  4. This has been on my mind a lot. I think creating a close community is more than half of classroom management. Thanks for these ideas!

  5. Citizenship is a toughie - I like the definition that you shared. One of the definitions that i have on a character poster somewhere, was that citizenship is obeying authority. That worries me; I want my kids to know what is right, and to do it. Sometimes obeying authority is not the right thing to do. Getting a little too philosophical for July. I always took my kids with me to vote, and my daughter especially knows that other women had to fight for her right to vote, so she better exercise her franchise.

    rubber boots and elf shoes

  6. I think your ideas about modeling good citizenship are spot on! Thanks for the song and book ideas too. Happy blog-hopping day!
    First Grade Found Me

  7. I love the simplicity of what you said! Thank you for linking up!
    :) Maria

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