Veterans Day can be a difficult holiday for children to grasp. It’s embedded with mature themes like war, sacrifice and patriotism and is much more somber than occasions that occur around the same time like Halloween and Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, it’s good for children to understand the significance of Veterans Day from a young age so they don’t come to see it as just another day off from school. Here are some tips for talking to children about Veterans Day.
- Make sure they understand what a veteran is. Explain to your children that a veteran is anyone who’s served in the armed forces and put themself in danger to defend their country. If you have friends or family members who are veterans, indicate this to your children and consider having these individuals talk with them about their experiences serving.
- Explain the meaning of Veterans Day. Tell your kids that Veterans Day is a time reserved for thanking all the veterans in our families and communities for risking their lives to protect us. That’s why we celebrate veterans with parades and other tributes on this day.
- Ask them to choose a way to celebrate Veterans Day. Suggest some ways that you can honor vets as a family this Veterans Day; for instance, by attending a parade, making thank-you cards and care packages or volunteering in a local veterans home or hospital. Ask your kids to choose what activity you do and explain why they think it’s the best way to support veterans. After you get home, discuss the experience and what you learned as a family.