Helping Your Child Become a Responsible Citizen: Activities III
Heroes are everywhere, and sharing stories about them can help children understand what qualities it takes to be a hero and what heroism really means.
What You Need
Family photographs; newspaper pictures of local people who have been recognized for community service, bravery or selfless acts; pictures from books or the Internet of people in history or current events whom we admire.
What to Do
Talk with your child about what it means to be a hero. Ask him what he thinks a hero is and what qualities a hero has to have. Ask him who his heroes are and why.
Select a photo of someone in your family who has an admirable quality or who performed a courageous act. You might choose a grandparent who left everything behind to immigrate to the United States or your mother who sacrificed so that you could have a good education or your father who fought in a war. Sit with your child and tell him about the relative's life. Talk with him about the qualities of character that the relative showed—courage, self-discipline, responsibility, citizenship, and so forth.
Show your child newspaper pictures of local people who have performed acts of courage or service to the community. Talk with your child about what the people did and why they are considered "heroes."
Show your child pictures of figures, living and dead, who have been called heroes. Choose people whom you admire and feel comfortable talking about with your child. In addition to well-known individuals, you might choose groups of people, such as the firefighters and police officers who sacrificed their lives at the World Trade Center in September 2001.
Reprinted with the permission of the U.S. Department of Education.
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