Who is a global citizen? I get asked this question a lot, and it’s a good one!
A global citizen is a person who sees themselves as a citizen of the world beyond their birth and/or resident citizenship. This is a person who sees the world as one world and all people equally. Further, they take into consideration the community around them and stand for social justice. Being a global citizen is a whole-world philosophy. It’s a curiosity to know what’s going on across the globe and how that impacts others.
Why is this a good time for raising our kiddos to self-identify as global citizens?
I believe it’s always a good time to raise kids as global citizens. Even more so with our current reality of what’s going on worldwide, having a sense of connection to our community may provide a feeling of empowerment. Global citizens often have shared character traits, and nurturing these traits may help your child to feel connected to the world in a meaningful and impactful way.
The below characteristics are some core traits we can help nurture in our children.
Self-awareness: Helping our children to learn about their identity can be very powerful when it comes to seeing other people clearly. When we understand our culture, race, religion, motives, and values, we have a basis of comparison for understanding.
Empathy: Practicing with our children to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes can engage a sense of understanding that even young minds can comprehend. Especially the shoes of those from diverse backgrounds and cultures
Curiosity: Encouraging our children to be inquisitive and ask why in an exhaustive state can really help drill down to a deeper level of understanding and lead to imaginative brainstorming.
Open-minded: Searching for multiple perspectives and considering each as a viable reality, can show our children that there’s more than one way, approach, or solution.
Sense of responsibility: We can talk with our kids about a shared responsibility that comes with being apart of society. This can help us realize our role when it comes to how we spend our time and share our talents.
Socially aware: Identifying what triggers our own behaviors with our children is a significant first step of social awareness. Also, deepening our children’s understanding of communities and cultures can form how we react to the emotions and needs of other people.
Creative: Fostering creativity in our kids’ everyday lives allows us to be creative in the way we think and respond to situations and challenges.
Intentional: Teaching our children the difference between reacting and responding can help mold deliberate behavior. When we act with purpose, we’ve allowed ourselves time for collective thinking and consideration of additional scenarios.
Raising our children as global citizens starts with simple language. Integrating the actual words in our language reinforces the importance for our children. Modeling these characteristics makes them real and attainable for our children. Incorporating the above characteristics into our everyday lives strengthens for our children their worth and ability to contribute.