Introduction -- Helping Your Child Become a Responsible Citizen

Our Founding Fathers understood that our country would survive and flourish if our nation was committed to good character and an unyielding dedication to liberty and justice for all. Throughout our history, our most honorable heroes practiced the values of hard work and honesty, commitment to excellence and courage, and self-discipline and perseverance. Today, as we work to preserve peace and freedom throughout the world, we are guided by a national character that respects human dignity and values every life.
—President George W. Bush

Just as children must be taught to tie their shoes, read and write, solve math problems, and understand science concepts and events in history, so must they be guided in developing the qualities of character that are valued by their families and by the communities in which they live. It is only through guidance and modeling by caring adults that children learn to be honest and thoughtful, to stand up for their principles, to care about others, to act responsibly and to make sound moral choices.

Childlike drawing of four children talking.

This booklet provides information about the values and skills that make up character and good citizenship and what you can do to help your child develop strong character. It suggests activities that you and your school-aged children can do to put those values to work in your daily lives and tips for working with teachers and schools to ensure that you act together to promote the basic values that you want your child to learn and use. Finally, the booklet provides an extensive list of books and other resources with character-related themes that you can read and discuss with your child to encourage character and citizenship development.

Be assured that the qualities of character discussed in this booklet are universally recognized by people of many religions and cultures, and the information contained in the booklet can be used by parents from many different backgrounds and with different beliefs.

< Previous page | ^ Top ^ | Next page >

Print this page Printable view Send this page Share this page
Last Modified: 10/08/2003