“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
The Preamble to The US Constitution
Having just spent a day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania…the birthplace of the United States of America, I was inspired all over again by the incredible providential history of our awesome nation, the brilliant leaders who were our founding fathers and the eloquent and influential words that have stood the test of time in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
As I stood and took this photo of my husband, Dan and my two eldest daughters Michelle and Amy, I was motivated to write on my blog how important it is for us, as mothers and fathers, to instill patriotism in our children by not only teaching them the history of this great nation but also by motivating and influencing them to be actively involved in this constitutional republic.
We, the people of this great USA, must not only be involved and active in the government of our cities, counties, states and nation ourselves but we must teach and train our children to be involved as well….if we are to secure the blessings of liberty to our posterity!
I will confess that this comes easy to me, as a product of a military family where things involving the government, politics, citizenship and patriotism were a part of our lives growing up. (Ie: My Mom & Dad did a fabulous job of teaching & training their children!) It also doesn’t hurt that I am a passionate person and am always 100% involved and intense in the things I believe strongly about. I will also admit that during election years I am a bit “obsessed” with the governmental process and often need to pry myself away from election news. (I recently realized that political talk radio was on in my house and car constantly when my five year old daughter asked last week….”Mommy, Who is Joe the Plummer?” )
But even if you are not as passionate as I happen to be, I still believe that it is important to teach your children to be involved in the process. Here are a few things that we have done with our family:
1. Praying for our country and our leaders. This is something everyone can do. Whether it is around the dining room table during your daily meals or at the foot of the bed before saying goodnight, take some time to pray with your children for Gods blessing on our nation and for His direction for our leaders. We always attend a National Day of Prayer Event in May as well.
2. Talk with your children about our nation’s history, our past and present leaders and the governmental process. Listen to the news or radio during election season and talk with them about the issues. Don’t assume your children are too young or not interested….you may just be surprised.
3. Make it come alive by going on “field trips” to historical places and government offices – there is nothing better to fan the flame of their interest and generate enthusiasm than by actually being there. If you live on the East Coast – you have it made – with multitudes of places to visit but even those of us in other parts of the country can go to our city hall, state capitol or visit a local government official.
Michelle & Amy in front of the Liberty Bell
4. Teach them patriotic songs like Our National Anthem, God Bless America, She’s a Grand Old Flag, Oh Beautiful, My Country Tis of Thee and one of our family favorities – I’m proud to be an American. Music inspires and uplifts but it also is a great teaching tool. We remember easily things we sing about. (If you don’t think so – just put on a song you listened to decades ago on your youth & see how easy it is to sing every word!)
5. Get them involved in the election process! These pictures tell the story of how I have had my children be involved. We take a day or two every election season to help distribute campaign materials. My eldest daughter even was a volunteer for our local Republican Central Committee Office (as an 11 year old!). This past June my four eldest girls distributed pro-life election literature to local churches. And as a senior in high school, Michelle volunteered to work at our local polling place. There are truly multitudes of ways to be involved in the process that don’t take much time at all.
Joy, Grace & Daniel outside of our local Republican Office
Joy helps pick up some lawn signs & bumper stickers to pass out to our friends one afternoon
6. Take your children to the polls with you when you vote. We have done this many times over the past two decades. It is a great way to role model voting to your children as well as have some great discussions as to why it is important to vote. (even if you live in a state that is sure to go to a candidate other than who you are voting for – you should still cast your vote) I share with them often how men and women have fought and died for the right to vote and that we need to be diligent about expressing our freedom by voting. This year since we will be in New York on election day….we voted absentee for the first time. This did not stop me from making voting an “experience” for my children! Here they are mailing off Dan & my ballots last week.
And after this week in Philly, I was inspired to add another idea to the list —
7. Have them memorize some or all of our countries great documents. As I read the words once again, I decided to have my homeschool age children memorize the Preamble, sections of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence (High school & College age daughters feel free to join us!) And don’t think for a minute that this is too hard for children to accomplish! Not at all! I have been amazed as my girls in past years have memorized entire chapters of the Bible, The Apostles Creed as well as countless scripts for plays they have had a part in simply by reading it over once a day! I can’t wait to get started with them.
Here’s to all of us securing the blessings of liberty to our posterity!
May God Bless America
6 responses to “We the people….”
I am on the other side of the political spectrum from you, Beth, but I agree with all your points! We used the Schoolhouse Rock songs to teach our kids the Preamble and all 50 state names when they were 6 and 8. The kids loved them and they were – and still are! – very singable.
I visited Berlin in 1989 before the wall came down, and two teenagers died trying to get across that wall the very weekend I was there. And just last week, there was an NPR story on Christians all over the world who are dying for their faith.
Our freedoms are precious – people literally die every single day trying to attain them. Your vote DOES matter, reader, regardless of where you live or what election it is. Please, PLEASE exercise your PRIVILEGE to vote this week!
Bravo, Beth! We spent the last two afternoons at our county’s Republican headquarters where my 13-year-old daughter made phone calls for 3 hours each day, and my 10-year-old son and I went to several neighborhoods distributing literature to over 150 households encouraging them to get their ballots mailed in (our state is all vote-by-mail). They enjoyed the experience so much I wish we’d started weeks ago! We took our ballots to the County Clerk’s office at the Court House, so they got to see where the ballots will actually be counted (by machine). My only regret is that I forgot to take pictures!
Just watch school house rock and you will already know a lot of our history and the entire preamble too!!!
WOW!Philadelphia! That doesn’t happen every day
OK Now you have to share with everyone how you
manage to swing a family trip to the east coast in these tough times!!
Certainly there is an amazing story behind all of this! 🙂 Hope your time is incredible!!!
So Happy to hear that Prop 8 passed in your State!
I went to bed Tuesday night with prayers that it would!! What a wonderful thing for traditional marriages and families acrosse the country!!
God Bless your family! I enjoy your posts!!
~Crystal from Maine
We have our kids entrenched in politics with us…whether it was local races or state issues since they were babes. We strolled them around neighborhoods passing out fliers for our school board race and took them down to phone banks.
Anthony’s first site words were Vote for Dirk Fulton. When he met Jeanne Steinmen in person(from the sign in our yard and the picture on our mailers) she was like a celebrity to him. On the other hand, I tend to be on the more cautious side of talk radio…I find many (not necessarily all, but many) of the pundits on both sides to be arrogant and just downright offensive. I will teach my children to listen with a cautious ear…to research what they hear to learn the facts and truth behind it, and to know why they believe what they do. We had a conversation with Anthony this year to not just take what we say for granted either, to research on his own for the truth. If we could have afforded to go to the inauguration this year I’m sure Anthony would have been thrilled, but it was exciting enough for him to watch it on television as the entire school district stopped classes that day between 8:30 and 9:30 so we could all take part in such an historic moment!