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Teaching My Kids What it Truly Means to be a Patriot

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Over the last four years in the United States the divide between the two major political parties has become drastically larger. Both attacking the other over political and moral differences. Over this time there has been this vast idea that one party, the Republican party, is a party of patriots and the Democratic party is not. I firmly disagree with this position and I plan to teach my children this.

The definition of Patriot is “one who loves and supports his or her country.”

I believe that most people in both parties are this. Published in 2016 was a wonderful article with quotes from different US citizens their definition of patriotism. This quote is my favorite.

“Patriotism takes hard, thoughtful, informed, dedicated, humble, steady work. Patriotism means supporting and being responsible for your family, your community and all levels of government with your willingness to work, to volunteer, to pay your share of taxes and pay with your life if need be.

It means the majority rules, but the majority protects the rights of the minority. It means respecting your neighbor’s opinion, but not letting yourself be run over by it.

It means thinking for yourself, but also seriously working to educate yourself.

To be patriotic, you need to learn and understand where the biases in information you receive are coming from. Is the information objective, or captured by special interests on the left or right, or in between?

I volunteer, I pay my taxes without griping, I vote, I obey the law. I read something of real intellectual value everyday – generally in economics, finance or ecology (and I am no intellectual nor academic).

I do not wear my patriotism on my shoulder wrapped in a flag, nor do I run around with a gun (although I own several), but I try to practice patriotism honestly, knowledgeably and quietly every day.”

Patriotism does not mean that we should blindly love our country, flaws and all, but rather that we should strive day to day to make it better for ALL citizens. Protecting the rights of every citizen no matter their race, sex, creed, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Patriots should learn, research, and not blindly react to any one person.

This means also being open-minded to other beliefs, views, and being able to change your mind when something is posited to you in a logical and researched manner.

  • I want to raise my children to be patriots and to love the country they are citizens of, their home. I want them to understand that every person, city, state, and country, is flawed, however, and there will always be change and progression. I want to teach them that every individual deserves the same rights they are given without a fight just because they are white.
  • I want to teach them that symbols of the country do not define their patriotism. They do not have to wave a flag or stand for the national anthem to be patriots. But they should learn their meanings and if they do display items, like the flag, how to do so respectfully.
  • I want to teach my children that every veteran and soldier deserves respect and honor and this includes providing service to those in need.
  • I want to teach my children their basic freedoms but teach them how the country is still moving to truly provide those freedoms to every citizen. Discrimination and systemic sexism and racism often still get in the way of many citizens practicing those freedoms.
  • I want to teach my children that it is important to follow and understand what the government is doing. They should follow politics and understand how things not only affect them personally, but those around them, their hometown, their community, and their friends and family.
  • I want to teach my children to appreciate the diversity that has made the United States what it is today. The United States is made up of immigrants that have made our country better.

We want all what we believe is better for our country but our opinions on the ways to get there are different. Political differences are okay, welcomed, and enlightening. We should have different opinions and beliefs and we should learn from one another based on those political differences that provide all citizens with their basic human rights.


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  1. Teaching kids about patrotism is very important, it guides them to love their nation.

  2. I love that quote very much. I was having the discussion with my husband the other day that I wish we could just get rid of political parties and everyone runs on what they truly believe in. Different views is what makes America, America. Thank you for this great post. It is a discussion every parent should have with their children.

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