5 Ways to Teach Patriotic Remembrance & a Spirit of Thanksgiving in Children

"People one by one, rising from their seat to say a grateful thank you to a few soldiers waiting to go home, all from the example of a little boy with a patriotic heart."

{The kids are pictured here in front of the Field of Flags in our little home town.}

Memorial Day is a moment of mixed emotions for myself.  I'm not quite sure how exactly my parents did it, but I have long remembered the swellings of pride during our national anthem.  I vividly remember tears over flags on Independence Day, the heartfelt hope of hearing a soldier speak or giving a sharp salute.  I am a patriot, have been from the start.  It is also a fervent wish to raise my own children to be patriots of this great nation of ours.

How do we instill this in our children?

1.  Communicate Purpose - Let your children learn and grow in understanding about the purpose of God in establishing and blessing the United States and the men who founded it.  DO NOT allow your children (or yourself for that matter) to dwell on the negatives, of which there will always be many, because we are human, and so were the founding fathers.  There is much more to gain from recognizing God's Providence in this country's heritage and being thankful for His hand.

{This is my 2nd Grade class presenting their Live! American Revolutionary Timeline - Photo Credit: Mrs. Brodnan}

2.  Pause to Remember - BBQ's, festivals and fellowship is all good and beautiful.  Stop your day, whether it is Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, Patriot's Day or Independence Day.  Stop and teach your children to remember to bring into their hearts and minds all that has been sacrificed for them to enjoy the very day that they are in.

3.  Show Respect Everyday - Teaching your children respect for those that serve us everyday is a blessing that never stops giving.  I remember a moment that is exceedingly dear to me as a mother.  The Scout was 11, and we were waiting at the airport.  There was a small group of soldiers sitting in our terminal area (it was very near the holiday season).  The Scout kept glancing their direction and finally chimed in, "Mom, could I please go give those soldiers my thanks."  I replied with, "Of course".  Tears swell in my eyes even as I write this moment.  He walked toward them and sharply saluted them and exclaimed, loudly for the entire terminal to hear, "Thank you for your service!"  They each beamed with pride and individually thanked him. This started a chain reaction in the terminal.  People one by one, rising from their seat to say a grateful thank you to a few soldiers waiting to go home, all from the example of a little boy with a patriotic heart.

4.  Give Thanksgiving - Remind your children of the great blessings we have as free citizens of this nation.  When you start giving thanks, it will bring in to remembrance all there is to be thankful for . . . trust me, there is a lot!  Make a list of all of these blessings and lift them up in prayer to God!

5.  There is Power in Prayer for Our Nation - At the beginning of each school year, I take the time to teach our children the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance.  We take time to discuss the meaning and the right we have as a people to serve our God and to pray.  I share this video with them and we discuss the meaning, purpose and blessings of being a citizen of this nation.  Then, we pray.

- - - - > Download this document HERE from my FREE documents page

Thank you for your selfless service to our country.  Thanks will never be enough!

God Bless the United States of America!
The Joyful Socks Mom  
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