As parents, raising patriotic citizens is a duty you owe the country. Here are a few effective ways to do this.
By Ram Shankar
Patriotism is the love and respect towards one’s motherland. Instilling this feeling in children will make them responsible citizens of tomorrow. It is a service you can do to the country. Read on for some simple, yet effective, tips on how to inspire patriotism in children.
India’s cultural heritage is its most valued treasure. Its history dates back to thousands of years. Talk to your child about how ancient our country is. Take her to museums that showcase archaeological artefacts that exemplify the rich heritage of our country. The Indian Museum in Kolkata, National Museum in New Delhi and the Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai are some important museums in India.
The stories of our independence struggle will make your child understand the sacrifice of our ancestors. Tell him the stories of freedom fighters such as Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Sardar Patel, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Rani Lakshmi Bai and others. These stories will teach him the values of valour, sacrifice, freedom and self-respect. If your child is a primary schooler, introduce to him simple illustrated books on our freedom movement (for example, the Amar Chitra Katha series). They will inspire him.
Your child should know the importance of national symbols such as the national anthem, flag, animal, etc. She should be taught to stand up when the national anthem is played.
Independence Day and Republic Day are two important national festivals we celebrate. Encourage your child to take part in the celebrations in school. You can also take her to the parades and flag hoisting ceremonies in the area you reside. For fancy dress events in school, dress her up as any of the great leaders and teach her the phrases uttered by them. Also, teach her patriotic songs.
Children learn through experience. It is a great idea to take your child to various monuments of historic importance during vacations. Visit monuments like Amar Jawan Memorial, Wagah border, Jallianwala Bagh, Sabarmati Ashram and Netaji Bhawan. Tell him the significance of those places so that he will experience patriotic fervour.
To teach patriotism to your child, you must be patriotic as well. Since patriotism is to do with emotions and not knowledge, it should be taught at the personal level. Children get inspired if they see you being patriotic. Therefore, model the behaviour of a responsible citizen. Do not talk ill of our country in front of children; not even as a joke.
Our country will be in safe hands tomorrow if we contribute to raising patriotic children. It will be our tribute to the priceless sacrifice of our ancestors who fought for our freedom.
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