How to Teach Toddlers Responsible Citizenship: 5 Steps
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Train your toddler to become a responsible citizen.

It may seem impossible to take your self-centered, tantrum-throwing toddler and teach him responsible citizenship, but it can be done. Becoming a responsible citizen means developing strong character and giving of yourself to your community and country. In teaching your child to develop personal attributes as he grows, you will teach him to care for others around him to make his community and country stronger.


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    Develop your child’s compassion and empathy for others by asking questions to get him thinking about how others feel. If a friend has accidentally wet his pants, ask your child, “How do think that made Tommy feel when everyone was laughing at him?” Let your tot see you giving donations to the less fortunate and showing kindness to others in simple ways, like allowing someone go in front of you at the checkout line.
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    Teach your toddler to tell the truth so that others can trust her word. Explain that mutual trust builds a strong community and country. Be honest and fair in your own life — your child will learn more from watching how you treat others than from any lecture you give her.
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    Help your child develop self-control when dealing with difficult people and working toward goals. Say, “I know that boy made you angry today when he wouldn’t share his trucks. I am proud of you for not lashing out at him and for moving on to play with other things. That took a lot of self-discipline.” Show him that taking a project step by step, without losing focus, is the best way to reach a goal, like cleaning his room or helping pull weeds in the garden.
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    Guide your toddler to respect others and to treat them the way she wants to be treated to make her circle of influence a better place. Teach her to be courteous to family and friends, and to not be partial to someone based on skin color or financial status. Let your tot see that even when you do not agree with someone, you show that person respect and do not talk poorly about him behind his back.
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    Build a sense of patriotism in your child. Demonstrate a love and loyalty to your country by hanging the American flag on appropriate days and by putting your hand over your heart when saying the Pledge of Allegiance at public events. Participate in community clean-up events or raise money for local schools. Take your toddler with you to vote on Election Day and explain in simple terms what each candidate represents.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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