Children And The Need For Civic Responsibilities ISSN

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1 Children And The Need For Civic Responsibilities ISSN Shyni E.T. Assistant Professor, Dept. of History, Mercy College,Palakkad Abstract: Today s children are the tomorrow s responsible citizens. As the children are the posterity, it is the felt need today to equip them with social sense and civic responsibilities in this dynamic world scenario. The very mention of the term civic responsibility evokes notions of what it means to live in a democracy, in addition to the complementary ideas of citizenship, social responsibility, civic engagement, and community involvement. Civic responsibility means active participation in the public life of a community in an informed, committed, and constructive manner, with a focus on the common good. Children need to be able to under stand their community and its institutions,to develop decision making and evaluative skills.civic responsibilities-addressing social problems in an informed, committed and positive manner,is not an intuitive process. It is the power of the family, school and community to promote civic responsibility among the children. Through this paper, an analytical study is carried on the need for equipping the children with civic responsibilities and how it is possible.

2 1. Introduction: Today s children are the tomorrow s responsible citizens. As the children are the posterity, it is the felt need today to equip them with social sense and civic responsibilities in this dynamic world scenario. Attempting to define civic responsibility can be a daunting task because of frequently overlapping constructs, values, and interpretations. Indeed, the very mention of the term civic responsibility evokes notions of what it means to live in a democracy, in addition to the complementary ideas of citizenship, social responsibility, civic engagement, and community involvement. In constructing a working definition of civic responsibility for this guide, we have to depict it as an overarching concept that encompasses civic engagement and what it means to be a citizen: Civic responsibility means active participation in the public life of a community in an informed, committed, and constructive manner, with a focus on the common good. The young people have a strong sense of civic responsibility a complex capacity that combines cognition,emotion and behavior. Civic responsibility involves knowledge of political issues and the means through which citizens can resolve differing views fairly, feelings of attachment to the community,of wanting to make a difference in its welfare,and skills for achieving civic goals, such as how to contact and question the public officials and conduct meetings.so that all the participants have a voice. Recent researches reveals that family, school and community experiences contribute to adolescents civic responsibility. It is the power of the family, school and community to promote civic responsibility among the children. 2. Family Influences: Parents who encourage their children to form opinions, who are more knowledgeable, more interested in civic issues, and better able to see them from more than one perspective. Family emphasize the tend to hold socially responsible values. They have the answers to the questions of unemployment, poverty and homelessness and more often they mention societal factors such as lack of education, government policies, insufficient job opportunities than the individual factors. They have more altruistic life goals, such as working to eradicate poverty or preserve the earth for future generation. International Journal of Innovative Research and Studies Page 85

3 It is difficult to understand the importance of cultivating a social sense by which one feels bound to others by material, moral and spiritual needs. The child understands the new horizons- of a world of men and living things towards whom, he feels drawn by many necessities, a world that is not just the anthropomorphic one in which he has lived till now. The passage from the personal world of the child to the social world in which he enters with uncertainty, generally coincides with his entrance because the family circle specially if it is large, has already began to educate the child to the social sense. The school helps the family most effectively in moral formation and social sense. Both influences can complement each other if the parents are genuine teachers and educators of their children in the home, and if on the other hand the school does not restrict itself to instruct the child but also gives him the possibility of extending his contacts with the external world, teaching him to develop civic responsibilities. Parents are children's first and most influential teachers of civic values and attitudes. Lessons learned at home about political participation or community service are likely to set the tone for later learning about citizenship responsibilities. The nationalistic spirit of the adult man is secondary to the family spirit of the man s childhood. In the family, the child learns to dominate his selfishness, to discipline and to be of service in many little ways to his fellow. His duties as a citizen are none other than an enlargement of his family duties. He will be ready to give his personal contribution to the welfare and to the complex movements of the society. To form the child in the social sense and civic responsibilities is not a matter of lessons. It is the creation of a favorable atmosphere around him, helping him to discover those relationships of fraternity and solidarity suggested and often imposed by social convention. Those who have had the fortune to grow up in a big family receive a magnificent free gift: a subconscious and highly valuable education in the social sense and civic responsibilities, which benefit him in his civic living. 3. School And Community Influences: A democratic climate at school one in which teachers hold the same high academic and moral respect for standards for all students, express respect for students ideas, and insist that students listen to and respect one another- fosters a sense of civic responsibility. International Journal of Innovative Research and Studies Page 86

4 Participation in extracurricular activities at school and children s associations is also associated with civic commitment that persists into adulthood. The two aspects of these involvements account for their lasting impact. First, they introduce adolescents to the.ision and skills required for mature civic engagement. Within clubs, teams and other groups, young people see how their actions affect the wider school and community. They realize that collectively, they can achieve results greater than anyone person can achieve alone. They learn to work together, balancing strong convictions with compromise to reach these goals. Second, working together, the children explore political and moral ideals. Sometimes, they redefined themselves as more fortunate citizens with a responsibility to combat others misfortunes. The school also has a major effect on the civic attitudes of children. School is the primary agency for teaching about politics and government. Schools can enhance education about citizenship responsibilities. The power of family, school and community to promote civic responsibility may lie in discussions, educational practices and activities that jointly foster moral thought, emotion and behavior. A synthesis of moral concern with sense of self can motivate moral action also is supported by a study of people who have made outstanding contributions to moral causes such as civil rights, the fight against poverty, medical ethics and religious freedom. Promoting civic responsibility in children can help them see the connection between their personal interests and the public interest- an insight that may foster all aspects of maturity. 4. Awareness In Civic Knowledge: Children should be able to demonstrate civic knowledge in five fundamental areas of Civic life, politics, and government. They should be able to demonstrate the skills that enable citizens to use their civic knowledge to respond to the challenges of life in a constitutional democracy. Intellectual skills help citizens identify, describe, explain, and analyze information and allow them to evaluate, take, and defend positions on public issues. Participatory skills enable citizens to monitor and influence civic life by working with others, expressing ideas, and managing conflict. They also should have civic dispositions which are those ideals held by citizens, such as belief in the rights and responsibilities of individuals in society and in the advancement of the ideals of the government. These dispositions underlie participation in civic affairs, such as elections or community service and the assumption of personal, political, and economic responsibilities. Although it is crucial to know the civic International Journal of Innovative Research and Studies Page 87

5 responsibilities at any point in life, but this is even more important during the teenage years of children s life. It's the age where they are standing at the crossroads of adolescence and adulthood and knowing what they owe to the society and what is expected of them is of paramount importance. Increasingly parents shy away from the responsibility of teaching their kids about their basic civic duties, expecting the schools to do it. Change can only be brought with action and the best and most responsible thing you can do to begin with is share your sense of civic responsibilities with the younger generation. The basis of all civic duties is loving your country. So before the parents start off with a long lecture on the importance of doing the right thing by your country, first introduce the child to the idea of patriotism. Nothing teaches better than example, so talking about and acting out own love for your country is one of the best way of initiating your child to becoming a good citizen. Talk to teens about all the ways in which their country is unique and special, go on line and discover new thing about it to increase the child s passion for their country. Also make sure that this patriotic attitude is being followed at school as well. Make politics and good governance a part of your routine conversations at home and what your teens develop into conscientious and progressive citizens of their country and the world. Children develop interest in things which they have experienced; seen or heard throughout their childhood. So have lively and productive discussions about social issues, local, national or world politics and the importance of civic responsibilities. Public place behavior is another area which the children should be practiced regularly. People today are so driven towards their personal goals that civic sense as an ethic has become a low priority, almost nuisance. Many people think that civic sense is just about keeping our surroundings and roads clean. No, it is much more than that; it consists of abiding by laws, showing respect to and consideration for fellow countrymen and maintaining decorum in public places. Civic sense is social ethics. It is consideration by the people for the unspoken norms of society. A lot of people assume that civic sense is just about keeping the roads, streets and public property clean. But civic sense is more than that; it has to do with law-abiding, respect for fellow men and maintaining decorum in public places. A lot of countries function in a smooth manner because of the strong civic sense amongst its people. When civic sense is absent in a society, it leads to a lot of problems. Disregard for the law is a primary cause for lacking civic sense. A person who has high civic values does not resort to shortcuts and unethical tactics to get his work done. And being unethical in daily International Journal of Innovative Research and Studies Page 88

6 activities does not benefit anyone, as the behavior only gets emulated by other members of society. Responsibilities of citizenship are obligations to contribute to the common good by performing duties to benefit the community, such as becoming informed about public policies, voting in public elections, serving on a juries, and obeying the laws.. For a socially aware and responsible generation, all parents and teachers need to play their part and educate children about the concepts and importance of living up to ones civic duties. It is the responsibility of the governments to sure the moulding of the posterity with civic responsibilities by introducing civic and social sense oriented syllabus and curriculum rather than colored politics. Think and live humanly is inevitable in the current social scenario to build up a dream society awaited by the great men of the world. International Journal of Innovative Research and Studies Page 89

7 References: 1. Berk E.Laura Child develpoment (2002), New Delhi. 2. Bern H Patricia &Savary M Louis Building Self Esteem In Children,(1986),The Continnum publishing company, New York. 3. Child care, St.Paul publications,(1971). 4. Dr. Ginott Hain G Between parent and child,(1969), Avon Books, New York. 5. Dr. Ginott Hain G Teacher and child (1975),The Continnum publishing company New York. 6. Nair S.Usha Child and adolescent metal health,(2012) sage publications,new Delhi. 7. Schmideler (ed), The child and problems of today,(1971).st.paul publications International Journal of Innovative Research and Studies Page 90

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