How do you define patriotism?

Filed under: Holidays

Beyond hot dogs and fireworks, have you taught your child the meaning behind Independence Day? I'll admit that I haven't even started. We have our Fourth of July traditions, but even my older daughter has only the vaguest grasp on what the holiday is all about.

One of our traditions is meeting our in-laws in a town in between ours and theirs for a road race early in the day. My husband's brother is a runner, and he does a 10K there every year. This year, he and my husband took our girls in the 2K fun run as well. As we stood watching the runners go by, a group of racers carrying flags and wearing t-shirts emblazoned with "support our troops" went by. The crowd went wild as they passed, and my older daughter asked me, "Why are they clapping for them?" Not the most perfect place for a civic lesson, but I did my best.

CNN asked their readers to share their own thoughts on patriotism today, and the responses are interesting. I'd like to go one step further and ask ParentDish readers: How do you teach your own children about patriotism and what traditions do you have that help teach your kids more about this holiday?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.
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