Basic Civic Sense All Kids Should Know


My six year old niece from the US kept holding on to the chocolate wrapper in her hands until she got home from the airport fanatically looking for the dustbin. I was surprised. Wasn’t it easy to just scroll down the windows and throw it out? Don’t even ask me how our visit to Chandini Chowk went. She thought India has no bathrooms and kept asking me why are people spitting and peeing on the roads. I cut a sorry figure.


Civic sense or rather the lack of it is what being argued ferociously. So it becomes the responsibility of the parents to inculcate these values of being the civil citizens of our country. Having travelled in countries like France, Spain & the US I’ve seen people smile at strangers or patiently wait in queues for their turn, we Indians have a lot to learn.

**Keep it clean**

It may sound clichéd but charity surely begins at home. Start by keeping your home clean. Telling your children that a clean home creates a healthy environment will help. Tell them to make their beds, stack their toys, keep their plates in the kitchen after eating etc. My son has been given a few responsibilities and one of them includes dusting his study table. Using dustbins even if outside are ways to ensure they understand that Cleanliness is Godliness. Explain to your child that just because other people dirty their surroundings does not mean they should too. And stop using the dark corners of the streets as public bathrooms. You are just worsening the image of our country in front of our kids. And they would grow up doing the same.


I don’t know what is with kids and aggression these days? I never imagined that I shall be teaching kids around me to talk politely. Wasn’t that understood? Anyway, besides encouraging your child to respect elders; teach them to talk softly with domestic helpers like maids, cleaners, security guards etc. Good manners and morals go a long way in shaping the personality of the child.

**Keep away religion**

Kids are young to understand the diversity in religions and cultures in our country. So encourage them to mix with people from different backgrounds and not harbour prejudice against them. Avoid watching programs on television that show biased behaviour towards a particular religion or having conversations at home about religion, caste in front of your child. Talk about all festivals celebrated in India so that they can see the positive differences. My son asked me once- “What is a mosque?”It took me a while to answer- “It is also where people worship God”

**Laws and Rules**

Driving on the roads is just a nuisance. So parents stop jumping the red light that too when your kids are taught to obey the traffic signals in school. Be a good citizen by giving way to the ambulance on the road and not honking near hospitals & schools etc.

Civic sense is hardly taught. It is imbibed through the constant observation then ingrained in children. They observe keenly and hence learn to act and react in certain ways. “You spit, I spit” is basically their motto.

So be a good role model and see how they shape up the future of our family as well as our country.


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