Let’s not get crazy here. I’m not talking about an “us versus them” or an air of superiority attitude. Not at all! I’m simply referring to exactly what I said: PATRIOTISM. In this post, I want to share with you 3 important reasons why it is important to instill patriotism in our kids.
Why it is important to instill patriotism in our children
If you search in the Merriam-Webster dictionary for the word “patriotism,” you will read something like this: ———
If you look in the Merriam-Webster dictionary for the word “patriotism,” you will read something like this: “love for or devotion to one’s country” and a synonym for patriotism is nationalism.
Let me tell you what is NOT Patriotism. Patriotism is not arrogance, superiority or disdain for others. It is not racism, xenophobia or exclusivism. It does not mean that we ostracize those that are not like us.
Teach This to Your Kids
Now that we have defined the terms, so we are on the same page, I want to go into why it is important to show, live out and teach patriotism. It is not just about pride. Nor is it just about principles. It is about our future as a country.
There are some very important character traits that need to be addressed and passed on to our children and future generations. Please know that every time you talk to your children about love for country or show it externally so they can see it by your example, it is not time wasted!
Keep doing this because little eyes see and pick up more than you know. Parents are commanded by God to teach their children in the ways of the Lord and it is right to respect our land and its leaders. Just like my kids didn’t pick the Military Life, but we are grateful for it.
1 Patriotism is love for country.
We read the dictionary’s definition of patriotism. It is clear and that is why I wanted to make it the first point. Love for country isn’t blind, but it is unconditional. For example, when we love our family members, we can see their faults, but we love them anyway. We work hard to help them do better, right?
It is the same with our love for country. We know, obviously, that no country is a Utopia, a perfect kingdom with a perfect government or with perfect citizens. But despite these faults, we love it and defend it. We work hard to make it better.
As Army or Military brats, kids grow up seeing a side of Patriotism that others don’t. They see how their mom and dad love their country so much that they dedicate their time, effort and life for the love of country and what it represents: FREEDOM. Unfortunately, they also see the true reason for Memorial Day, and the ultimate sacrifice paid by their friends and friends parents. They learn first hand what Memorial Day 101 is.
I think only military kids see this side of life. They are raised knowing that even though we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, we DO NOT give up and we DO NOT leave our friends behind.
2 Patriotism brings us together.
In short, it is unity between all of its members. Many erroneously believe that if you are patriotic that you elevate your country, nation, flag above all others. But that isn’t so! We are simply saying that we root for our family and, as United States citizens, we are one big family.
Again, this doesn’t mean that because we band together that we agree 100% with everyone’s thoughts and beliefs. And they don’t have to agree with us, either. It just means that we work hard to find common ground that gives us meaning and brings the basics to the forefront.
The United States is a great country and we are always, as many rightfully accuse us, meddling in other countries’ affairs. But that is because we want to help other nations, not to make them just like us, but to make them as great as they can be, just like we work at being as great as we can be.
3 Patriotism gives you a sense of belonging.
The United States is a melting pot. We are a mix of hundreds, if not thousands, of ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. It is such a beautiful thing to see! But our roots remain the same and we must never forget that.
The roots I’m talking about are those that sprung from the seeds our Founding Fathers planted before, during and after the war for Independence. Those roots are: freedom, honor, loyalty, love, and sacrifice.
We live in the United States and we want what is best for it. We want to make it a better place for our neighbors, our future generations and ourselves. Teaching our children that what they do (and not do) has an impact on this country is one of the most important things that you can do.
All of these hold their own, no matter what ethnicity you are from. These are great character traits to teach our children because they are the foundation of patriotism. If we have all of these traits in our hearts and minds for our country, then we are patriots.
And when you are a patriot, then you find your sense of belonging, believing in and standing for something much bigger than yourself. In today’s day and age, society wants us to be confused about what is right, wrong and acceptable. Basically, right is wrong and wrong is right.
Society wants us to follow the crowd. It doesn’t want us to be free thinkers. But if we instill in our children a true sense if patriotism, they won’t fall for the traps of racism, bigotry, hate, division and disdain because patriots love, unite and belong.
Our children will be able to withstand the winds of change and stand strong for those roots, the foundations of patriotism. They will be proud of who they are and what God called them to be.