Teaching Children About Being a Good Citizen

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A citizen is a person who is legally entitled to the protection and benefits of a country or region in which they live. A good citizen shows allegiance to his or her community by voting, participating in civic activities and initiatives that benefit society, and following the rules set by local, state and national governments. Good citizens are willing to sacrifice for the benefit of others and respect other people regardless of their differences.

A good citizen cares about the environment and practices eco-friendly habits to minimize his or her carbon footprint. They also support local businesses and artisans to help the economy, which fosters a sense of community connection. They respect private property and do not damage or destroy it in any way. A good citizen supports their military and police forces and believes in a common purpose with their country.

The definition of citizen varies depending on the individual, but most often it includes a willingness to vote and participate in civic activities. A good citizen also contributes to the well being of his or her community, nation and the world. They pay taxes, obey laws and contribute to the development of the country by volunteering. They work for the government, take part in politics and protect the country from threats through armed service.

One of the most important traits a good citizen has is integrity, which means being honest and treating other people fairly. Citizenship is more than merely voting and participating in civic activities; it is a moral duty to uphold the rights of all people, regardless of their race, religion or political beliefs. Citizens must be willing to sacrifice for the greater good of their country, even if it means taking a stand against popular opinion.

In the digital age, it is becoming more and more important to teach children about the importance of being a good citizen. This includes being mindful of what they say online and keeping their personal information private. Having open discussions and stressing the importance of truth and respect are also key aspects of citizenship.

When teaching about good citizenship, it is helpful to have students identify other individuals who exemplify the characteristics of a good citizen. Using a chart like the Handout: Historical Good Citizen, students can fill in information about other citizens that demonstrate the values of honesty, fairness and equality. They can then use this chart to describe a person in their own life that exhibits the same traits. Alternatively, they can add this information to their own chart in the classroom or in their Good Citizen Book.