1- Point them to the cost.
Veteran’s day, Memorial Day, Wreaths Across America…every opportunity you have to show your children the COST of their freedom, do so. Rows and rows of graves is a pretty profound way to do it. Powerful.
2- Make them SAY thank you.
If there is a man or woman in uniform anywhere near them, teach your child to say thank you. Have them walk up, hold out a hand, and loud and proud thank the veteran for their service. In a restaurant. In an airport. At a gas station. No matter where or how inconvenient or embarrassed your child may be, do it. In time it will become something they look forward to and are excited to do.
3- Display a flag…every day of the year.
Hang a flag outside your home and have one inside too. Make it a point to say thank you every time you remember. Let them learn the significance and the meaning of the colors on the flag as well as the amazing history behind it. Betsy Ross’s story alone is enough to make me well up with pride every time I see ol’ Glory.
4- Read to them and tell them the stories.
There are hundreds if not thousands of books that are worth your time and effort to read to your kids about the cost, the miracles, and the blessings it took to make this the greatest nation on earth. Have books with lots of pictures for your younger ones. You’d be amazed at how often they choose these weightier books of significance with photos over Dr. Suess.
5- Pray for our nation…
Our military, our leaders, and especially the families who have lost a loved one in the military– the Gold Star Families. Let your children hear your prayers for our nation. Let them be moved by your resolve to cover her in spoken hope. Resolve a time in the day that you pray for the nation out loud…maybe it’s while you drive to school or make dinner…maybe it’s walking onto the field for practice or every night at tuck in. Just do it. Your country needs your prayers.