Proud to be an American? Want to be more patriotic? There’s more to being patriotically American than just waving an American flag, studying American history in school, and celebrating American holidays. While some American ideals and a foundational understanding are taught in our schools, some important aspects are neglected.
We can teach our children outside of the classroom to help light the way to a brighter future. On a deeper core level, we can explore how to be a true American patriot, carrying and passing on the metaphoric torch to the next generation. Our Founding Fathers, the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Pledge of Allegiance, and patriotic songs are not just historical mile markers in American history, but foundational links to our inner identity that continue to set the standard for daily living, and enable us to live with honesty, honor, valor, and integrity.
Our founding lights the way to today and tomorrow, so remember to honor our traditional roots and integrate them into our lives. The more we share with our kids where we came from, where we are today, and where we are headed as patriotic Americans, the better our lives will be, and the more promising our futures.
RED WHITE AND BLUE STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER
We associate stars and stripes in red, white, and blue with being patriotic, but let’s also share the deep meaning behind the American flag with our kids, so when they put their hands to their hearts and say the Pledge of Allegiance, the words are not just a meaningless monologue they’ve been told to recite. Let’s help them delve deeper, with greater historical and patriotic perspective.
The 50 stars, like a new constellation, are symbolic of our 50 states, and the 13 stripes represent the original 13 colonies. Red is a color of passion and blood that was shed in battle to defend our country and its citizens. It is also a color of strength, courage, honor, and valor. White is a color known for peace, purity, innocence, truth, and light that prevails in all darkness. Blue represents perseverance, justice, and vigilance.
HISTORY IS FAR MORE THAN TRUE STORIES
Our lives are composed of an intricately woven past, present, and future. Without our founding fathers, who and where would we be today? Educating the next generations about our history leads to a greater understanding of our roots as Americans, and shapes the development of their cultural identity.
History lessons don’t have to be boring and, with kids’ typically shorter attention spans, they’re best digested if they’re not. Help your child become more motivated to learn American history interactively. Use real-life examples, watch videos, sing patriotic songs, and visit historical monuments. There’s history everywhere, so head on out to discover the local history all around you.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T, DIVERSITY AND UNITY
One of the greatest things you can teach your kids is respect for self and others, including people, animals, and our environment. No matter how different we may be or how passionately we may disagree, we can take the high road and stay respectful. Imagine how much better off we can be when we come together in unity to make our world a better place. Helping our kids understand and embrace diversity and differing views is essential, and is something we can all appreciate.
America is like a colorful patchwork quilt composed of many different fabric swatches with a variety of patterns. Imagine how boring life would be if there were only one race, one age, or one personality. As established in the Declaration of Independence, we were all created equally and unite as one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. Let’s encourage our children to maintain open minds and open hearts, with a peaceful and respectful approach that values and appreciates others, no matter how different they may be.
Together we stand, and united we will live. Let us heartfully, mindfully, and gratefully live our lives to the fullest as we pass on the metaphoric torch, like that of our Statue of Liberty, to the next generations, who we pray and hope will do the same.