Patriotism is one of the greatest virtues of life. It is the love and respect for one’s motherland. And as a parent, you would want your children to develop a sense of patriotism. To pass on this virtue to our next generation, you need to teach kids about patriotism from an early age. This will make them responsible citizens of the country who love and respect their national heritage.
Let us look at some simple ways to instil patriotism in our kids –
Teach them about the freedom struggle
You can start by telling them stories about the Indian freedom struggle, which will make them understand the sacrifice of our national heroes. Tell them about the struggles and sacrifices of freedom fighters such as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Rani Laxmi Bai and Sardar Patel. Your child will understand how much pain these heroes have gone through to offer us freedom.
If your child is a preschooler, gift him or her illustrated books depicting stories of our independence struggle. They will be more interested in these tales and will be inspired.
Respecting national symbols
Teach your child to respect our national symbols such as the national flag, national animal, national anthem and national song. Instruct them that they must stand when the national anthem or song is played, to show respect to our country and our ancestors.
Explain to them the importance of these symbols, and about their inception.
Take them to historic monuments
This is a fun-filled activity where children will learn a lot about their country. Take your kids to monuments of historical importance such as Jallianwala Bagh, Sabarmati Ashram, Wagah Border and Netaji Bhawan. Teach them the stories associated with these places and their significance to the Indian freedom struggle.
Visiting these places will help the kids visualize the events even more, and understand the true meaning of patriotism.
Celebrate national holidays
Your child must understand that Independence Day or Republic Day is not just another holiday to have fun and relax. Teach them the importance if these days. Sit together with your family and watch the live programs on Doordarshan. Along with this, encourage your child to participate in activities such as flag hoisting, marching, elocution, fancy dress competitions and other competitions arranged by their school.
You can also take them to parades and flag hoisting events near your area. Make a DIY tiranga for your kid and other members of your family to wear on special occasions like Independence Day. And while doing all this, tell them stories about the great leaders. Teach them patriotic songs, their meaning and importance in Indian history.
Encourage them to appreciate unity in diversity
India is famous for being a country with diverse cultures where people of different casts, religions, traditions, races and beliefs live in harmony. To understand patriotism, your kids must appreciate this diversity and respect all religions. It might be a little difficult to teach them all this at a tender age. But as they grow up, they will learn how our freedom fighters sacrificed their lives so that people of various beliefs can live in peace.
Be their idol
The best way to teach patriotism is to practice it yourself. Be the ideal role model for your kid, someone he or she can look up to. So, always talk cautiously and sensibly about other religions, beliefs and traditions. Do not joke about your country or make insensitive remarks in front of your children.
Do not forget to stand properly when the national anthem is being played and avoid whispering it slowly. Let your child see how it is done. Always make an effort to make them feel proud to be an Indian.