As parents and our children's first teacher, it's our responsibility to teach them flag etiquette and rules. Yes, it's something that they'll eventually learn in school but that doesn't mean that we won't make the effort to start educating them about what the national flag stands for and why it should matter to them while they're young.
It would be kind of challenging to explain all these to them, especially if they're inquisitive (and you know how they can just throw you off your guard with their questions). For this reason, here are some tips to help you navigate the conversation effortlessly while instilling important values in them.
1. It all starts at home.
Not all of us display the national flag at home but in case you do, make sure to involve your kid in the process of raising and lowering it the right way. If they're old enough to know how to fold, you can also teach them how it's done correctly.
2. Take them to patriotic parades in your hometown.
Whether it's at their school or in the streets, allow them to carry a small flag during parades. Teach them to carry it in such a way that it will wave freely and remind them about how it should never be put on the ground. If ever that it passes by them, either on the parade or anywhere they are, teach them about how they should never fail to show respect by standing and placing their right hand over their heart.
3. Use outings with them to your advantage.
Grab the opportunity to talk about the national flag when out for shopping, errands, or a family trip. Point out to your children how for example, the U.S. flag is flown above municipal and state flags any time between the sunrise to sunset if the weather permits. On night trips, help them notice that it's illuminated when flown.
4. Teach them about important holidays.
For American parents, be sure to educate them about Independence Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Presidents Day, Veterans Day, and Memorial Day. Tell them the historical background of each holiday with the help of technology so they'll learn its significance and appreciate it more without being bored. Be sure to also address the common myths about the American flag so they know the facts.
5. Talk about the Pledge of Allegiance.
When your children attend school, their teachers will teach them about the Pledge of Allegiance. You can help make their teacher's job easier by teaching them about it at home. Get a coloring book related to the American flag and the pledge. If they're old enough to read, have them read the pledge out loud (while their standing with their right hand above their heart) phrase by phrase until they learn it by heart.
Among all other etiquette rules there is to know about, flag etiquette and rules is one of the most important to teach to your children as early as possible. A flag etiquette study with your children doesn't have to be a boring one. Use every tool at your disposal and remember these tips to help them learn its significance in an enjoyable way.