Tuesday, 21 January 2014

How to raise a patriotic child?

Images from www.40to40.com
Have you ever wondered on how to develop patriotism in your little one? Yes, at least I have, with Republic Day around the corner, I look forward to raise a patriotic child in 2014. Though I would not like to impose any of my thoughts on my little one. I would be more than glad if at all she to adapts at least one quality from our national heroes. On 15th August 2013, we were in UK due to my hubby's project, nevertheless I made Erishka watch the Parade, flag hoisting and National Anthem. Thanks to Youtube!

 I still remember during my childhood days I was always amused by the stories of freedom fighters of India, and always aspired to be the one. I use sit the kitchen and my mom use to tell me the child stories of Iron man of India (Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Gandhiji, Jhasi ki Raani and so on.

My favoruite of all national heroes were Rani LaxmiBai and Tipu Sultan. Moreover, I was so much of carried away with persistence and courage of Rani LaxmiBai, that I participated in one of the 'School Fancy Dress Competion' as a 'Jhansi Ki Raani'. I received lots of accolades for my dialogue , 'Main Apni Jhani Kissi bhi Kimat Pe Nahiin Doongi, Nahiin Doongi, Nahiin Doongi'! With this powerful dialogue I not only received appreciation but I also won the prize for the same. 

Why I loved Tipu Sultan during my childhood days? You may give credit to Doordarshan for that, they use telecast the TV series on this period story of 'The Tipu Sultan'. I use to like the war scene, the elephants and army forces and all. I also asked my mom to get me the toy-sword just like Tipu Sultan. We also hunted for the Pagadi (head gear) he donned while his ruling regime. But no luck, but ui was happy with my Sword and shield, I use enact the war scenes and so. Trust me, I use to actually feel that time that shooing away the British invaders. 

I also recall that every year on 26th january and 15th August my mom use to prepare Tiranga Rice (made from natural colors of spinach, carrot, saffron adn white onions) with Chole Masala(Chickpeas with Indian Tomato gravy). I also attempted it once, after my marriage and it did come out well. 

So how can we as a young parents can inculcate patriotism in our child? Below are few pointers, which I have highlighted as per my childhood experiences and tips from other parents. 

1)Expose them to historical and Political figures:

We as a responsible parent and Indian citizens should always make sure that they do no miss a chance to visit national museums an other historical place. Never think that it would be boring, rather they find it more interesting as it answers to their curious nature. A visit to birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi ( Father of Nation), Tipu Sultan's Fort  and other such places will really excite them to learn more and more about national heroes. Trust me by doing this you are actually instilling the value of patriotism in your children and which is a worthwhile. It allows your little ones see life beyond an individual and understand the real meaning of 'being Indian'. As a parents and responsible citizens we should give this legacy of patriotism to our children as they grow up in this magnificent country. Indian history has abundance amount of facts to introduce it to our children. And here school authorities play a major role in introducing political and historical figure

2) Celebrate Patriotic holidays

Do not treat any national holiday like just another sunday in your daily life. Make it speccial by involving your little one in the celebration. You may celebrate it by doing charity, by watch DD (Doordarshan) live programe together, raise a flag in house/car, attend community/school flag hoisting, create a DIY Tiranga batch for all members in the family. By doing such tasks it makes them feel special  and proud to be an Indian.

3)Clarify their doubts

Little minds are always at work and end come up with all sorts of questions like why we celebrate 26th january?, why it is called Republic Day?, what is the difference between 15th Augus and 26th January? What is Independence Day? and so on. Such questions shouldn't block their learning of thier motherland, make sure you try to answer each question in sel-righteous manner, if you do not know then tell them you get back to them with right awsers soon. An see to it you do so.  Schools play a big part in filling our children’s reservoir of knowledge in this subject area. You may go beyond school teaching on patriotism, take a visit to city library and read a book on national hero or historical figure and make the learning more interesting. Make them watch TV series on same like Maharana Pratap, Jhansi Ki Raani, Chanakya and so on. 

4) Talk to them

Make them learn about all the freedom we experience on being an Indian. Explain them our our political system in simpler ways. Talk to children about the freedom to vote, freedom of the press/speech, and the freedom to practice any religion. Take your children to the voting booth to see you exercise that freedom. If they see these places and become comfortable with them, it will be an easy step for them to take on that responsibility when they become eligible to vote. You may talk about constitution in detail with your grown up kids .e. teenagers. Make it interactive, ask their opinions about rights such as the Freedom of Speech, discuss about current tropical and political news daily. Open this world to them so that it is a comfort zone for them. 

5) Play Games
For grown up kids you may play a game like quiz contest on historical and political figures, role play a democratic election within family, take family votes for family outing or menu for family dinner. This will make them more involved and will make it easy for them to understand the 'Power of Choice' and 'Power of Freedom'.

6) Tell them facts and trivia
On such national celebration days, make sure you share some trivias and facts on patriotic things like who wrote the constitution? who wrote the 'vande-matram'? or who wrote our 'national Anthem'? Tell them some childhood stories of our national heroes like Gandhi, nehru, sardar Patel and bhagath Singh. 

To develop more interest you may make them to watch periodic movies like bhagat singh, Gandhi and sardar. I stil remember my dad made me watch 'Shaheed-e-Azad Bhagat Singh(1954)'. I was not so interested to watch it as it was in black and white. But as the story moved on , I ended up crying for the song 'Mera Rang De Basanti Chola'. 

It was the first film based on Bhagat Singh's life. The movie was directed by Jagdish Gautam and had Prem Abeed, Jairaj, Smriti Biswas and Ashita Mazumdar playing lead roles. though it did not have commercial element like todays periodic film, but I was still glued to watch the film. 

I also grew up watching, Ben Kingsley's 'Gandhi'. the movie depicted the his journey from South Africa to India and playing a role in getting India her freedom, his political decisions and his death. I still remember the last scene where he dies right after being shot by someone in mob, and Gandhi succumbs to death calling 'Hey Ram'. These picture are still playing live onmy sub-conscious mind and gives me goose bumps till date. 

7) Make them participate
Always encourage them to participate in any events happening on these national days. Encourage them to be a volunteer for such community event happening in neighborhood. You may also push them participate in competitions like elocution, fancy dress, extempore, sports activity and so on. 

8) For lil 'Desh bhakth'
Yes for little ones who are to young to understand about what patriotism is allbaout. Youmay just make them do small stuffs like how to salute the national flag, watch live parade on Doordarshan, listen to patriotic songs. Tada, trust me your little one will love doing these stuff and you'll soon notice pride in your eyes.

So all you smart mommies, bring on your patriotic spirit and pass that legacy to your little one. Be proud and make them feel proud of 'being Indian'.

Nidhi @Moms' Space
Also read;
Super Momz>>Why Indian working mothers feel guilty?
Lets' celebrate 'Festivity in Diversity'
Defining an 'Uber Cool Mom' in my way

Goodbye 2013>> Embracing 2014
Christmas Calling>> Bienvenue à Pondy
10 Things Motherhood taught me

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