by Tasneem Dhinojwala
Apart from teaching children social skills and moral values, teaching them the value of independence is equally important. Here is how to achieve it
In a few days it will be Independence Day. The markets are already flooded with everything in tricolor. The fervor and pride of belonging to a country so diverse in all aspects and with such a rich cultural heritage is a matter of great pride. For our little ones who were born in a global environment, for them to understand the value of independence is quite difficult. The idea of India under a foreign rule is something they read as a part of their curriculum. So, for them to relate to the celebrations of Independence Day, is just a customary thing, and another holiday added to their list.
Apart from teaching them social skills and moral values, instilling national pride and teaching them the value of independence is also important. These two things will help in strengthening the foundation of their belief system and will definitely make them much better and responsible citizens. But we have to keep in mind, it is a modern generation we are dealing with. Children today are very smart and question everything that is told to them. So how do we make them soak in the abstract called Independence? How do we make them value it?
Here is a list of a few things that can help you in bringing your little ones closer to the idea of independence and making them realize and value it as well:
1. Story-telling: Buy them books with stories of India’s struggle for independence. But make sure the stories have lots of pictures, and are not lengthy and boring. Otherwise they will call it another chapter in the history book. You can even make it a part of bed-time stories.
2. The story of the self: If you have memories of any real life incidents that might have been passed on to you from your grandparents, narrate it to them in an interesting manner.
4. History walks: Visit a historical town/city related to India’s freedom movement. While you explore the city with your little one, tell him/her stories about the struggle, the efforts and the sacrifices made by our forefathers. You can also narrate incidents from history that can help him/her to understand what kind of life they would have had to lead if we were still under a foreign rule.
5. Teach them the value of living in an independent nation: Tell them about countries that are war-ravaged currently and are under threat of foreign attacks. The comparison between those countries and our own country might enlighten them about the value of living in an independent nation.
6. Participate in the flag hoisting on Independence Day: Be it in your residential society or your neighborhood. The children need to feel and imbibe that feeling of celebrating India’s independence. It will surely happen when they see their elders keeping aside their work, forgetting the religious divide, class and caste differences, singing the national anthem and celebrating the day. If children see their elders doing it, the message will reach their little hearts, that yes, the life they are leading in an independent country is something they surely need to value.
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