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A family affair

Tips and resources for teaching civics to the next generation of engaged citizens

A functioning democratic society relies on individuals to be informed of their rights and roles as citizens. The idea of teaching your family about their roles and rights might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

Teach by example

One of the easiest ways to teach your family about civics is to be engaged yourself. Being confident in your own role as a citizen will help your child realize the power of their voice.

Instead of doing the following activities solo, consider including the kids:

  • Bring them to the polls when you vote.
  • Include them in writing a letter to elected officials.
  • Accompany them to demonstrations where people are making their voices heard.

Ask their opinion

If you want to raise an engaged child, ask for their opinion on topics that affect their life and present both sides of that issue. These opportunities not only teach them to confidently express their own opinions, but how to effectively listen to others who may think differently.

Civic resources at Anythink

Points of View Reference Center

Critical thinking is a key skill for teens to develop. The Points of View Reference Center is an online resource for teens that includes compelling essays and point/counterpoint arguments on nearly 300 topics. It also includes guides on how to debate, develop arguments, and write great position papers. Visit anythinklibraries.org and click on “Research & Online Learning” to get started.

Send your questions or feedback to ithink@anythinklibraries.org or comment below.