It’s up to us to teach patriotism to our children!
When it comes to patriotism, it’s often up to parents to help kids understand and appreciate the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.
From Veterans Day to Memorial Day, thanks to a bold new K-12 school program developed by Boot Campaign, parents around the country have help in teaching lessons of patriotism and the meaning of freedom to their children.
Diana Rambaldi, certified teacher and co-developer of Boot Campaign’s new Patriot League program, is as passionate about America as she is about teaching her class in Nutley, New Jersey.
She has infused patriotism and military support into her classes and her down-time for years, and today she shares the following 10 tips to help parents teach their children to love the red, white and blue.
Teach Patriotism to Kids
Each idea should be modified for a child’s age and can be experienced together as a family.
1. Define “freedom” and display the definition in your home for kids to see regularly.
2. Ask your child to list the freedoms he or she enjoys (playing video games, going to the movies, eating ice cream, etc.) and mention that not every child around the world has those rights.
3. Identify July 4th as our country’s birthday and the day we announced no other country could rule us; discuss America’s road to independence.
4. List ways we can show our patriotism (fly the flag, wear BOOTS!).
5. Research and share the story of our national anthem and how we identify with it today.
6. Talk about the American flag and ask your child what the flag means to him or her.
7. Explain why we say the Pledge of Allegiance; identify keywords and their meanings including ‘liberty,’ ‘justice,’ and ‘indivisible.’
8. Talk about the troops as our protectors… today’s real superheroes! Discuss how they risk their lives defending our freedom.
9. Give your child positive, age-appropriate opportunities to interact with Military service members and veterans.
10. List ways to thank, honor, and give back to those who defend our country.
Retired U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Joey Jones, Boot Campaign’s chief operating officer and father of a six-year-old, believes that parents are essential for fostering patriotism in youngsters and uses Patriot League lessons with his son and the children he meets.
The former explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technician, himself wounded while deployed to Afghanistan, gives his son simple, age-appropriate, easy-to-digest examples that help him understand why his dad loves America.
“I tell my son to think about all the fun he has, the things he likes to do and places he likes to go,” Jones says, adding, “Our country is the greatest country in the world and very different from other places; I explain that kids in other countries don’t all have the freedom to enjoy the things he does.”
Describing freedom in terms he can relate to at his young age ensures he gets the message.
Jones also believes encouraging children to appreciate and honor military “superheroes” is integral for teaching patriotism, particularly on national holidays like Veterans Day, Independence Day, and Memorial Day, when our nation’s heroes are remembered with reverence.
“Our Patriot League program is designed to provide educators and parents with tools to help teach and inspire our kids about patriotism and to better understand, appreciate, and value what it means to be citizens in the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave,” says Robyn Payne, Boot Campaign’s chief executive officer.
“Hopefully, parents will take advantage of these 10 Tips on Veterans Day to pass these important lessons on to the next generation of leaders.”
For information on Boot Campaign or how to register for Patriot League’s next semester, please visit bootcampaign.org/patriotleague.