As you raise your children to be the best versions of themselves, the question may well come up of exactly how to raise socially responsible and informed children who will eventually become socially responsible citizens of the world. Whether you’re looking ahead to the future for your little ones or you’re exploring the possibilities for your kids where they are right now, there are plenty of techniques you can use to raise socially responsible kids. Of course, every child, parent and family are different, and each of these tips will operate differently in your family. But no matter what, there are plenty of ways to raise socially responsible kids, and practice your own ethics along the way.
Stay Aware of Current Events
Even though some current events aren’t entirely age-appropriate for much younger kids, there are plenty of ways to appropriately integrate world news into your household so your kids grow up with a bit more global — and local — awareness. You can discuss the events in ways that you see fit, ask them to form their own opinions on things and make it a point of discussion within your household. Perhaps set an intention to talk about events in your community more intentionally, as this can lead to feeling more connected to others in the world at large.
Lead By Example
Kids always want to be like the people they look up to, and as their parent, that includes you! This means that in social responsibility — as well as a variety of other areas — it’s your job to lead by example and show them what it looks like to be a socially responsible adult in the world. Of course, this isn’t a cut-and-dry process. It’s lifelong, which means that as you consider and grow in your own journey, let your kids see that along the way.
Help Them Experience Diversity
Although diversity is not the primary part of social responsibility, it is definitely included in that process. If you are looking to diversify your child’s experience in the world, simply make sure that they are in environments and settings in which they can experience a true reflection of the world around them. Whether that means bringing them around your social circle or participating in the community around you, having a clear representation of others and their experiences can help to build empathy, and therefore, social responsibility.
One of the best ways to teach social responsibility is through action, and there’s pretty much no better way to explore that action than volunteering together. Kids often want to participate in helping out their communities, but they definitely need a little bit of guidance and supervision from a parent like you. You can guide them and ingrain volunteering as a regular habit and a part of life in your household, and that way it will feel natural to continue as they get older. Whether you volunteer for a local charity organization, school fundraiser or even other local efforts like political campaigns and neighborhood cleanups, volunteering together can show your children what it’s like to participate in the community around them.
Let Them Ask Questions
At the end of the day, your home should be the ultimate safe space for your kids to learn and grow in their character. It’s totally all right if they don’t know exactly what they’re doing right away. You are their parent, and you are there to guide them, so it’s important to allow them to ask questions and come to you with any concerns or anything that they don’t understand so that you can help them be more socially responsible in the future. Make sure they know that they can always come to you with questions and concerns.
Prioritize Self Care
Even with an emphasis on social responsibility, one of the most important things that you can do to gear your children up for that emotional labor is to focus on self-care within your own household. By making self-care a habit that they can routinely return to, you can make sure that they strike a balance in their life that continues throughout the years.
Explore Their Own Identity
This one is another tip that involves internal focus, but it is extremely important for developing a sense of social consciousness in your kids. Essentially, childhood is the time that the identity and the self develop the most, and in order to balance outward responsibility with inward responsibility, it’s important to have a strong sense of self to keep that empathy rooted. Make sure that you spend time and effort helping your kids explore their own identities so that they can become well-rounded and involved citizens.
Raising Socially Responsible Kids
Raising your children to be socially responsible and conscious is an extremely important and rewarding part of life, especially if that’s important to your values. By setting a good example, allowing them to experience and understand the world and by developing their own self-care and sense of identity, you can absolutely raise children who are socially responsible and who make that a priority in their lives as they grow.
About The Author
Ava Roman (she/her) is the Managing Editor of Revivalist, a women’s lifestyle magazine that empowers women to live their most authentic life. When Ava is not writing you’ll find herin a yoga class, advocating for body positivity, whipping up something delicious in the kitchen, or smashing the patriarchy.