Though originally published during the winter holiday season, this article offers ideas for helping your child develop as a citizen all year long. Happy Fourth of July, to U.S. readers! And for all readers, I hope you enjoy the many thoughts on ways we can grow kids who feel connected to and take responsibility for their unique contribution to a community.
What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.
— Nelson Mandela
“How’s my little buddy doing?” says Butcher Keith as my son giggles and hides behind my legs. Butcher Bob upon spotting my face takes off for the deli counter to produce a slice of freshly cut Colby cheese, or as we affectionately call it, “Bob cheese” for my son to munch on as we shop. We have been going to our local Mom and Pop owned grocery store since we moved to our neighborhood and certainly since our son was born. He has grown up knowing the names and personalities of each individual who helps us with our seafood or produce or checks us out when we are ready to leave. We also know the name and aspirations of our mailman who is a writer on the side. We know the owner and wait staff of the diner we frequent, the one that produces the world’s most delicious blueberry pancakes. Going that extra step to get to know people who are a regular part of your family’s life can extend your children’s sense of connectedness to their community. Read full post.