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When you think about the characteristics you want in your children, what comes to mind? At the top of your list may be kindness, a strong work ethic, resilience, perseverance, and courage. But what about patriotism? Do you want to raise children who love and support their county with integrity? Raising patriotic children takes intentional effort, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Here are six ways for your family to meaningfully support the USA.
Study U.S. History
Brush up on U.S. history in a way that your kids will enjoy.
Age-appropriate movies and shows are a great place to start. For younger kids, consider “Liberty’s Kids” on PBS, “This Is America, Charlie Brown,” or “An American Tail.” Older kids might enjoy movies like “The Patriot,” “Lincoln,” “Miracle,” and “Apollo 13.”
You can even supplement these viewing experiences by visiting related battlefields, memorials, and museums.
Visit National Parks
Another way to teach your kids about their country is by visiting national parks. The National Park Service allows you to search by state on its website, which makes it easy to find a park near you.
Remember to check the website when you’re traveling, too. Whether you’re visiting relatives or taking a family vacation, schedule in some time to visit a nearby national park.
Support the U.S. economy by choosing American-made products. You may have to pay a little more, but you’ll be supporting American companies, workers, and artists.
Consider buying local products and shopping at small businesses rather than chain retailers whenever possible.
Wear the Colors
Show your pride by adding some red, white, and blue items to your closet. This can be as simple as a flag T-shirt, or you can take a less direct approach and wear red, white, and blue in a subtle way.
Whatever you choose, make sure you incorporate American colors into your wardrobe regularly — especially on holidays like the 4th of July, Veterans Day, and Memorial Day and on the anniversaries of events like 9/11, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and D-Day.
Support Our Troops
You can find dozens of ways to support active and veteran members of our armed forces.
You can donate to nonprofits that help our troops in a variety of ways, and many organizations also make it possible to send letters or care packages to deployed troops. Teach your children to thank the veterans in their communities.
Lead by example. When you see a service member in uniform, thank them for their service and consider offering to pay for their meal, if you can.
Learn New (Old) Skills
Finally, consider connecting with your American heritage by trying the games, crafts, and recipes popular among Americans in decades and centuries past.
Prepare a meal over an open fire, cook one of the innovative and cost-efficient recipes invented during the Great Depression, or churn your own butter. Find out what kids did for fun during the 18th century, or try your hand at sewing, knitting, candlemaking, basketweaving, or other traditional skills.
As with any trait, patriotism is best taught by example. Implement some of these practical ways to support the USA into your life, and show your children what real patriotism looks like.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.