Patriotism & Kids: Ways to instill a love for the nation
With the historic Malaysia’s 14th General Election still fresh off the heels, Malaysia’s future generation will definitely be wondering what the big hoo-ha was all about.
What should our children know about their motherland and how can you as a parent instill a sense of patriotism? Let’s break it down to you with a few handy tips!
1. Start with the national anthem
Before teaching your kids to sing the national anthem, ask yourself this question. What does it mean to you?
Many a times, we would sing it without any second thoughts, but internalising each sentence would prove to be meaningful when you start to understand each word and dig deeper beyond its’ significance.
You can teach your kids simple things like how to stand when the national anthem is being played, and what they should do while it’s being sung. Explain to your kids about why we sing the national anthem and how it gives countries an identity.
2. Travel to a historical landmark
The United States of America has the awe-inspiring Statue of Liberty, China has the magnificent Great Wall of China, and Malaysia has the timeless National Monument (also known as Tugu Negara).
What do they have in common?
They are great historical landmarks to bring your kids on a day trip or even when you travel to different countries! Explain how and why each one has been placed there in the historical timeline of the nation and see history come to life and how it relates to you as a citizen today. Kids will definitely remember this in time to come and you may be shaping a budding historian buff, political scientist, or even…the future Prime Minister!
3. Teach diversity
With a melting pot of cultures, Malaysia is truly Asia when it comes to diversity. Our kids are colour blind when it comes to skin colour, so it’s high time we break the discriminatory culture. Drive around the neighbourhood and talk about the values the community shares, and even encourage them to learn about other people’s cultures through the best possibly way - FOOD!
It’s a great way to inculcate respect for one another and to believe that we are all taking part in the evolution of the next generation that sees beyond race, colour and creed.
4. Share stories
Become your child’s greatest storyteller! Everyone has a story to tell, and your story matters because that’s the best way your child can understand the history of the country they are living in. Being open to them about politics, government, and matters that concern the nation, whether it be the rise and downfall, would shape them to be informed citizens in time to come when they can exercise their rights in the future.
Even better if you have pictures of these amazing stories!
SEE ALSO: Raising Children with Empathy
Our responsibility to the future generation
We play an important role in teaching our children patriotism so that they will be able to be better citizens. After all, they are the ones we will be passing on our baton to as they are the future of the country.
There are two things Deborah loves: going on adventures and discovering good eats.
You will also find her hogging the fiction aisle in a bookstore.