As a child I always enjoyed the 4th of July festivities, but I never really understood what they were for until I was much older. I hadn’t yet learned to appreciate all of the freedoms we are so fortunate to experience in this great country. I was unaware of the sacrifices that were being made by people all around me so that we could enjoy these freedoms. As I have gotten older and gained some life experience, I have gained a deep appreciation for the men and women who have fought for our country so that my son and I could have the life we have today and I want to be able to share that appreciation with my son so that he too realizes just how much we have to be thankful for in this great nation.
The next time you are driving around town and you see an American flag, point it out. Talk about what it symbolizes and why it is so important to our country. When you get home, talk about the different parts of the flag and what each means. Teach them to respect the flag and what it stands for.
Your kids have probably recited the Pledge of Allegiance at school on more than one occasion. However, they may recite it without really knowing what they are saying. Explain to them that when they say the Pledge of Allegiance they are making a promise to be loyal to their country. Many countries don’t have a pledge of allegiance. As Americans, we created it as a reminder to us of the liberties we are so fortunate to experience in the United States.
Your child may wonder about the song he hears every time his grandpa takes him to a baseball game in the park. The National Anthem is yet another way we show pride in our country. In most cases we stand with our hands over our hearts as a sign of respect. Ask your child what they feel whenever they see the flag waving proudly in the sky. Talk about what this means to you, and what it must have meant to Francis Scott Key as he was writing the Star Spangled Banner.
Teach your child how to be a responsible citizen. In order for our country to work we all have to pitch in and work together to keep it safe. Let them know how important it is to follow the laws. They are there for our benefit. Organize little activities for your children that help them practice being a good citizen. Help them plant flowers at a local elementary school or have them pick up trash around the neighborhood. This 4th of July help your children learn to be proud of their country and what it stands for. We are so blessed to be able to enjoy all of the freedoms we have in this country, and that is definitely something to celebrate!