Independence Day with our family is about as cliché as cliché gets! It’s family, food and fireworks.
In typical Texas fashion, the weather will be scorching hot. We will head over to my in-law’s home and the older kids will immediately run into the backyard and jump in the swimming pool. The toddlers will beg for attention from the grandparents. The women will congregate in the kitchen where we will talk about Pinterest and the kids. The men will stand around the grill, watching the older kids swim and taking turns flipping the hot dogs and hamburgers. As night falls and the sun-drenched children begin to tire, we will head out to see fireworks. Our family will jump in the SUV with pillows and blankets in tote and head to our favorite fireworks watching spot. After the fireworks show, we will drive the sleepy kids home, tuck them into bed and call it a night. What a day!
All of this fun… that’s what the day is about, right? Well not exactly. I’m pretty sure there is a significant reason for the holiday and it’s not BBQ!
Like other holidays, the significance of the day can be over-shadowed by fun activities. That’s why it is important to talk to your kids about holidays and help them understand their importance.
Conveying the Importance of Independence Day to Children
Before we have our family fun time, we will sit the kids down and explain the significance of the day. Here is what we will be telling our kids:
- Independence day is the day we celebrate our country’s freedom. While today we will have lots of fun, it’s important to know why we are so thankful that we are free.
- We are blessed to live in a free country where we have the right to choose our religion, worship God how we want, and vote. That is a freedom that not all countries have.
- There are many men and women – including Uncle Jay – who work very hard to keep our country free. We must always remember to be grateful for those who serve our country.
For the little kids, you should keep it short and sweet, but drive home the things about Independence Day that mean the most to your family. If your children are younger, use words that they will understand, including things that they know and people to whom they can relate. These small talks help shape your family’s values and inform a child’s understanding of why holidays are so special.
One great activity you can do with your younger kids is have them write letters to our U.S. Military Men and Women, past and present, for their sacrifices, dedication, and service to our country. If you have a relative or neighbor who has served in the Armed Forces and they are home, today would be a great day to hand deliver a note of thanks![You can even send members of our military inspirational books like the Pocket Prayers for Military Life: 40 Simple Prayers that Bring Faith and Courage by Max Lucado].
If your children are older, you might read to them from the Declaration of Independence or a book like In God We Still Trust: A 365-Day Devotional.
Whatever you do, enjoy your Independence Day and God bless the U.S.A.!
How will you talk to your child about Independence Day and what are your family traditions for this holiday? We’d love to hear from you!