In today’s society, it is more important than ever for children to have a positive attitude toward our friends in the neighborhood and community helpers. Teaching our little ones to see policemen, firefighters or the local librarian as friends can dramatically change how they view these figures in the future.
During the month of September, we here at The Learning Experience® foster positive attitudes toward our community helpers during our “Friends in Our Neighborhood” curriculum theme. But, as you know, learning occurs as much at home as it does in the classroom. To help guide you and your children toward a healthy relationship with the community helpers check out these tips:
Lead by Example!
Your little ones are going to follow your lead. Whenever you encounter a community helper, make sure your attitude is positive so that theirs will be too. Say hello to policemen when you pass them on the street or in the store. Wave and smile to firefighters or ambulance drivers when you are in the car. Remember to thank your mail carrier each time you see them – maybe even give them a small holiday card if it’s the same person every day! Tell your children to thank crossing guards or security guards when they see them! Rather than showing fear or hesitation for doctors and dentists, emphasize how much better they make us feel. These little acts add up in a BIG way.
Help Those Who Help us!
Policemen and firefighters help us, but who is helping them? Teach your children that sometimes even a hero can use a hand. Do good deeds like donating bottles of water or Gatorade to your local fire stations or bringing cookies and sending thank you cards to the police station. Encourage your children to bring small gifts to their teachers for major holidays to remind them they are loved and appreciated. By seeing the appreciation that they will receive from real men and women who dedicate their lives to helping others, it will build that bond of respect that your child will need in the future. Small acts of kindness really do a long way when it comes to learning.
Take a Hands-on Approach!
Do a little learning through fun activities with your children! Take them to museums dedicated to first responders, maybe even while dressed up as their favorite. Make a few phone calls and see if you can set up a little tour of a police station or fire house, or if they can see the back of an ambulance. Take a trip to your local library to see the librarians in action and ask them to show your children where to find the best stories. By giving your children a firsthand look at the what our community helpers do behind the scenes can serve to strengthen their connection to a friendly outlook.
Starting your children on a healthy path toward good relationships with their community and neighbors will set them up for success for their futures. It may only take a small portion of your time, but you will thank yourself at the upstanding citizens you are raising!