Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Raising Little Conservatives - Part 3 - Little Patriots

"Ook ("look" without the "l"), Mommy!  Ook!  It's America!"  This is one of my favorite phrases that Gracie yells (literally) every time she sees an American flag.  My kids love America.  Two of their favorite songs are "Party in the U.S.A."(they call it the "U.S.A. song") by Miley Cyrus and "Coming to America" by Neil Diamond.  I'm sure you are all laughing right now, but the fact is that there are plenty of catchy tunes out there for little kids to bob their heads to, but my kids have chosen to love these two songs because they are about America.

On a recent flight, I sat beside a man who serves in the Navy.  Before I even learned that he was in our military, the subject of patriotism came up.  "We teach our children that they live in the greatest country on earth and that they are very blessed to do so," is what I told him.  It brought a smile to his face and a comment about how others would be wise to do the same.  After learning of his career, I understood just how deeply he must have echoed our love of country and our desire to instill the same love in our children.

The level of patriotism our children possess, like any other value, depends upon the level of patriotism we, as parents, possess.  When we recognize that our freedoms came at a cost, we are thankful.  And, true patriots want to pass it on.  We want others to enjoy the same freedoms that we, as Americans, do.  Not because we are better individually, but because we know that democracy and freedom are both things that allow people to flourish as individuals.

A few things we do with our kids to pass our patriotism on:

- We teach them to to be thankful for our military.  We point out men and women in uniform and tell our children that they are protecting us and we should be thankful and respectful of them.

-We teach them that America is a wonderful place to live and that we are blessed to be Americans.

-We make it fun--whether it be a Miley Cyrus song or an American flag t-shirt.

-We pray for our country and its leaders.

These are just a few thoughts.  I'd love to know how you're raising your children to be patriots--especially in a world (especially in our own country) that constantly tries to tell us that we're the bad guys.

8 comments:

  1. What do we do? We take our child to Tea Party events where love of God and country as well as genuine mutual respect is paramount. Thanks for a great post...and welcome back! ~Kendra

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  2. I don't know if you saw this, but a recent study by a Harvard professor shows that children who attend patriotic events like 4th of July parades, are more likely to be Republicans when they grow up. Here's the link:

    http://news.yahoo.com/fourth-july-parades-turn-kids-republicans-073000439.html

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  3. That's a really funny article. I don't know if I buy the research (though I love the "raining on your parade" notion taken literally...), but I do think that conservatives tend to be (significantly) more patriotic than liberals. At least, conservatives don't hold the anti-American sentiment that so many hardcore liberals are touting these days. It's ugly and we need to give our kids the truth: That America is great and it's something we should be proud of!!! If taking my kids to a 4th of July parade helps my cause, well, then, sign us up! :)

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  4. Nice job with the potty training. I would pay big $ to have my kids go away to a potty training camp so I could just skip out on that part. haha. Sounds like she's doing great though. I'd try just not letting her drink about an hour before she goes to bed and see if that helps before you try waking her up.
    Potty Training Problems

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  5. Like yours, our kids (almost 5 & 3) are obsessed with the American flag and compete to see who can spot them first when we're out driving. We also talk at length about the amazing service provided by our men and women in uniform. Three things we do to reinforce our support of the military with our kids:
    1. Speak to our server in restaurants and coffee shop about picking up the bill of any uniformed soldiers we see and explain to our kids what we're doing and why.
    2. Involve both kids in selecting gifts for children of the military families we sponsor every Christmas through Operation Home Front.
    3. Send notes of encouragement to deployed soldiers.

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  6. Great ways to encourage your kids' patriotism...and great advice for other parents, like myself. The most exposure my kids get to seeing uniformed soldiers is in the airport. Any ideas on how to show our support there? I know there have been times when my husband has given up his window or aisle seat for a soldier, but that was on a business trip, so the kids didn't see it.

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  7. DFW airport has a 'Welcome a Hero' program where you can take the kids and go participate in welcoming groups of troops back. My son's scout troop has done this and they loved every minute of it. Here is the link: http://www.dfwairport.com/heroes/index.php

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  8. The Welcome Hero program is so cool, I am totally going to look into it. At the airport, we ask the kids to join us in thanking military personnel for their service. We just walk up and say "Thanks for serving." We also buy their meals at airport restaurants. (lily)

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