It’s never too early to teach your child how to be a good citizen, whether that means getting involved in their school, in the local community or on a global scale. With back-to-school season around the corner, consider taking some time to show them the responsibilities they have, as well as their rights.
- Talk to them about why community service is important. In addition to helping out people who might need it, encouraging your child to volunteer their time can help build a sense of responsibility, compassion and leadership.
- Discuss government mechanics and the right to vote. The more you participate in your own civic duties, the more likely your kids are to follow suit. Describe the different roles of the federal, provincial, and municipal government, and how the election process works for each. Encourage them to participate in their own student government and, when possible, take them with you when you cast your vote.
- Talk to kids about human rights in a way that is relatable. Some volunteer work, especially when it comes to activism, fundraising or spreading awareness for different causes, can raise questions for kids. Talk to them about freedom of religion, thought, and expression with examples of how they can relate. For example, how do they and their friends celebrate different religious holidays.
By teaching our children about their human rights, we ensure they will grow in their knowledge of themselves as human beings, respectful of each other’s dignity and their capacity for self-expression. For more information visit www.amnesty.ca.