How To Teach Your Child To Use Their Voice For Positive Change


At age 17, Malala Yousafzai won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her activism for the right for girls to attend school. At 16, Greta Thunberg was named the 2019 Time Person of the Year for her work fighting climate change. These two young women show that children can positively change the world by being involved and using their voice. By teaching your child empathy and responsibility, you can help your child learn how to use their voice for the good of the community too. Here’s how:

 

  • Teach your child responsibility by giving them small, simple tasks around the house, such as picking up toys or helping set the table. These responsibilities help your child learn the value of helping others and hard work. Brainstorm ways to help in your community.
  • Ask your child questions that make them think about helping others or making positive change. For example, questions like “what would you do if you saw someone get hurt at the playground?” or “what would you do if you saw someone leave a toy at the park?” Allow children to figure out concepts like social responsibility on their own.
  • Clarify values with your children. Discussing concepts such as diversity, equity and inclusion with children can help them learn why they are important and how they can use their voice to speak up for these values. Considering the ways you already practice these things and plan to practice in the future, models the behavior you want to see in children.
  • Discuss the importance of making your voice heard, from filling out the US Census form to voting this November. Every person counts!

While creating positive change in communities doesn’t happen overnight, with time and practice, you may have the next Malala or Greta living under your roof! For more ideas, visit How to Raise a Good Citizen | Parenting Tips from PBS.

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