Informed Families Blog

Teaching Kids the Meaning of Patriotism

Posted by Informed Families on February 25, 2022 at 6:00 AM

One of the topics in this month’s popular and useful Family Table Time kit concerns the subject of patriotism.

Many people misunderstand what it means to be patriotic, so it’s important to teach kids not only the definition but also how they can express their patriotism in constructive ways.

What is patriotism?

This is a tricky question because it means so many different things to different people.

In general, patriotism is defined as a love for or devotion to one’s country. It is often mistaken for nationalism or the feeling that one’s nation is superior to all others.

Rather, patriotism is a feeling of pride in what the country stands for, what it has accomplished, and what it is still hoping to do, both for its citizens and for the rest of the world.

We show our loyalty to the country by working or sacrificing for its ideals. In the case of the United States, those ideals include what the Founding Fathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”


To be patriotic, kids must know as much as they can about their country. Encourage them to read and learn more than what they’re taught in school. That means reading from many different sources to obtain different perspectives on the nation’s history, traditions, and experiences, as well as this country’s place in the world.

Introduce them to information about current events beyond what they find on social media: newspapers, books, and other types of media (essays, documentaries, etc.).

Above all, encourage them to think for themselves based on what they’ve learned, rather than parroting empty slogans they’ve heard. Try to get them thinking about the deeper meaning behind such slogans.


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Help your kids show their patriotism by becoming involved in making age-appropriate changes in their country, whether it’s volunteering to clean up a local park, writing letters to their elected representatives, or even attending city council meetings, for example.

For more ideas on how to encourage healthy patriotism in kids, see our Family Table Time kit for the month of February.

Try Family Table Time for one month free, and see how it fosters lasting bonds and honest conversations in your family.

Topics: Family Table Time

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We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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