Something really surprising yet very pleasing happened today while I was occupied with finishing up kitchen chores in a jiffy because of all I wanted to spare myself for some masti and playing around with kiddos in the evening. I was tied up but not to the extent that I couldn’t sense what kids were doing in the next room. I could hear the giggles, foot-tapping sound while running hither and thither in the room but suddenly what I heard left me, pleasingly startled!
I heard Vyom my eldest lad singing the slogan – “Bharat Mata Ki Jai…Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, in a shrill voice. I ran into the room leaving my half-done messy chores and joined him in singing. I noticed the moment I got in on, his excitement was doubled, and when Mumma and Vyom bhaiya are having fun, how could Avrom be laid back? He too in his stumbling voice started hooting – Jai Hind, Jai Hind! All I had warm hugs to give to them, the moment was filled with sheer joy that I literally had happy tears in my eyes.
Later, at night, when tiny tots have had peacefully slept, I began to ponder over the pleasant episode that happened in the afternoon. I wondered from where did these cherubs learn reciting patriotic slogan? And it immediately clicked to my mind, the story of soldiers that I had narrated to both of them a few days ago. It was in the story that soldiers sing songs of devotion for the motherland.
Wow! Seriously? I thought kids must have had forgotten about it but it seems, they listened to it quite carefully enough to have made an impact on their minds! And I must tell you, this whole episode has definitely made an impact on me as well, it’s such a good vibe to see your kids having the love and respect for their country which they ought to have!
I’ve always wanted to raise my children in a way that they love and adore their native land India. Because I believe that we belong to the most vividly cultured country and not too fancy to say that I feel highly blessed to be born in India. I’ve myself been grown up singing songs, like, Kyunki Dil Hai Hindustani…, Vatan Mera India…Karam Mera India and have always felt so much rooted in my Indian values. I want I could be able to develop such a similar fondness in my kids for our homeland!
Patriotism is a heavy word to hear and but I have never complicated it for myself. If I am to define it in my words – patriotism is a feeling of affection, devotion, and appreciation for one’s motherland, and the whole enchilada including its culture, lifestyles, people, languages, cuisines, beautiful places and anything at all!
The seed of patriotism in children has to be seeded from a very early stage since it’s a feeling, children would develop it with time and they’ll learn it at quickest especially when they see you exhibiting pride, enthusiasm, and regards for the country. In precise you have to be patriotic at heart and a role model to them at first if you want to nurture these feelings in them.
With my kids I keep it very simple, I make them engrossed in doing things that teach them about their motherland in the easiest ways. And the best way to do it is to make learning a fun experience, kids learn better when they enjoy it. And notably, when you have such young kids with you, you can’t straight away tell them to become patriotic, because they wouldn’t understand it anyway!
Let me share with y’all my ways of doing it and how I’m trying to nurture them to become patriotic individuals.
- Stories are the best way to seed any idea in kids’ minds: I love narrating stories to my kids and they love it more when Mumma recites and even imitates their favorite characters too. So, telling them stories about our freedom fighters, great personalities is what I do the most often. And after today’s episode, I’m sure my efforts are turning out to be winning!
- Fun activities at home like coloring, singing rhymes together: My both dudes enjoy coloring and exploring with hues! And here I use my mind quite creatively, I give them pictures of the national-symbol, animal, national flag, and things which are related to our country. It helps them to learn many things in a prolific way. Vyom & Avrom love to sing along rhymes, so besides, teaching them basic rhymes I’ve also taught them some patriotic songs and slogan – out of which “Nanha-Munna Rahi Hoon, Desh Ka Sipaahi Hoon… is their favorite!
- I show them pictures that help them to explore everything special about India: I remember before this very lockdown started I took my kids to the bookstore and bought dozens of pictorial books based on fun facts about India. I can’t tell you how much kiddos are obsessed with those books! They literally enjoy peeping at fanciful pictures and ask several questions about the same. Though it is sometimes exhausting to answer their never-ending questions, at the same time, I jump with joy to see their excitement to learn about our country at such a tender age.
- Take them to historical and famous places in the city: The weekend usually is the family time, I and hubby love to take kids for a picnic. But instead of going to any mall or shopping complex we both prefer and like to take kiddos to historical places, museums, Bal Bhawan, Science Museum, in the city and outside as well. I can’t forget their gleefully smiling faces when we took them to India Gate for the first time. They were astonished to see that gigantic building, only I and Aditya (hubby) know how did we manage to answer their queries filled with excitement and amazement!
- I’m developing a festive spirit in them: We live in a joint family and any festival means rejoicing our family values and sharing of happiness with each other. Be it Holi, Deepawali, RakshaBandhan, Janmashtami, the kiddos look the most excited at the festivals. At any festival, I explain to them the significance of that occasion and simply love their innocent expressions of faces; while I explain the reason -why it is a popularly celebrated festival in our country. Enjoy watching their recent pictures of RakshaBandhan and see yourself their excitement to be a part of the festival with the whole family and how cute they look in the traditional attires.
I know my kids are too small to understand the essence of patriotism but still, their journey has already been started, and by the time they are grown up, I am sure I would see them as compassionate, concerned, and caring citizens of this country. I hope you have enjoyed reading my thoughts on this.
Would love to know your views and how do you do to teach patriotism to your kids? I would be waiting for your comments.