How to celebrate Citizenship Day

Teaching our children how to be a good citizen and its importance is something every parent should strive for. But for many children, it is confusing and hard to understand. Here are a few suggestions for teaching your kids how to be a good citizen.

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  • On Sept. 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed. Several years later, on Feb. 29, 1952, President Harry Truman signed a bill declaring Sept. 17 as Citizenship Day; a celebration of being a citizen of the United States.

  • Teaching our children how to be a good citizen and its importance is something for which every parent should strive. But for many children, it is confusing and hard to understand. Here are a few suggestions for teaching your kids how to be a good citizen.

  • 1. Make U.S. history fun

  • When your children know and understand the history behind what makes this country great, you will have an easier time teaching them to do their part. Depending upon the age of your child, you can find a variety of activities to teach them about history. If they are young, teach them the basics: the pilgrims, Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, wars, etc. You can teach them by reading books together, doing activity pages or creating games based around a time era in U.S. history. Be creative and help your children understand why they should feel blessed to live where they do.

  • 2. Establish rules

  • One way to be a good citizen is to obey the laws of the land. Spend time teaching your children why we have laws and some of the laws we follow each day such as wearing our seatbelt, obeying traffic signals, etc. You can teach your children that laws are rules we must follow, and ask your children to help you establish some rules in your own home. If they help create the rules, they will be more willing and more excited to follow them.

  • 3. Attend community meetings

  • If your children are old enough, take them to city council meetings, school board meetings, etc. and let them see the government in action. If they are a teenager, look for a youth city council organization in your community that your teenagers can join. This is an excellent way for them to serve in the community, become involved in local government and gain an appreciation for the local leaders in your community.

  • 4. Be a good citizen

  • One of the best ways to teach your children citizenship is to be a good citizen yourself. If they see you involved in your community, voting and obeying the laws of the land, they will be more apt to do the same. You are the biggest example in their lives. If you feel something is important, most likely your children will feel the same.

  • Teaching your children the importance of being a good citizen is something they will carry with them their entire lives. Spend time helping them gain an appreciation for the land they live in and help them become involved in their community.

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Courtnie is an editor for FamilyShare.com and has a degree in journalism. She has a slight obsession with running, newspapers and large fuzzy blankets. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons.

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