Ideas for including kids in prayer

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  • #2231

    anastasia
    Member

    I have three kids, and I’d like to start a family religious life for the older ones (4 and 2). Does anyone have experience with this? They really need something besides Mass in their lives, but I don’t want to push them into saying the rosary too soon.

    #3869

    ashersmomma
    Member

    This may not be much but with my son (who will be 3 in June) we really just try to incorporate prayer into everything. If I know my husband has a big presentation then that day we take time to get on our knees and pray for Daddy. Anytime we see a fire truck/ambulance/police, we pray for those who might be hurt or in trouble. We pray for his boo boos, I encourage him to ask Jesus for forgiveness after he lies to me…there is always an opportunity for a quick prayer and always ending in “the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”. He also has his very own picture Bible that is almost comic book style…my only problem with it is that it is a Protestant Bible, my husband’s best friend gave it to him. If we are out for a quick bite to eat and forget to pray, he reminds us and that shows me that prayer is already a part of his young little life. He does have his own set of rosary beads. They are great, very durable and cannot fit over his head. He doesnt pray the rosary with me but likes to hold them like Mommy does. I would recommend getting some kid’s saint books, they are also great for them to look at during Mass without anyone thinking they are being disrespectful. We listen to Christian songs and watch Veggie Tales together, although it isnt a Catholic cartoon, they have wonderful Christian values that children can remember. Hope this helps! May peace be with you, Gina

    #3870

    daps
    Member

    The Guardian angel prayer is a great first prayer. This one has been passed down on My husbands side. We say it before bed. As they get older we include an Hail Mary, Glory be And Our Father.

    Catholic Prayers
    Guardian Angel Prayer #1
    Angel of God,
    My Guardian Dear,
    to whom His love commits me here,
    ever this day be at my side,
    to light and to guard,
    to rule and guide.

    Amen.

    #3871

    mamamama
    Member

    I was raised in a somewhat Catholic home. My mom was the Catholic and my Dad was Jewish. But we were Catholic in name, not in practice. When went to church every Sunday and my brother and I were both altar servers. However, Catholism was not practiced within the home. My parents never prayed except for before dinner, constantly used the Lord’s name in vain, and never went to confession. As soon as my older brother was old enough to drive us to church, my parents stopped attending Mass. Needless to say, I had no clue how to be a Catholic or how important prayer is in our lives. Through my own struggles, I found my faith and my deep relationship with God through prayer. Now that I am a mother, I want to impart importance of prayer to my children.

    This is what my husband and I are doing. Our children are still very young (one and two years old) but they are learning.

    1. Attend Mass every Sunday and participate as much as possible. This can be really difficult with two small children, but we try. We emphisize how special that time is. We always dress up nice because it’s a special time. We don’t bring toys or run around. My husband and I hope that our children will see how important the Mass is to us and find importance in it as well. (REALLY IMPORTANT NOTE – After each Mass, my husband and I discuss what worked and what didn’t work with the kids. What factors helped, what didn’t, and what we can do better as parents in teaching them to participate in the Mass.)

    2. We pray with our children before meals and bed time. Since they are young they can’t really remember prayers but they do fold their hands and listen quietly (generally – of course we still have to remind them every now and again). My oldest can make the Sign of the Cross and both say Amen at the end of the prayer.

    3. We take our children with us to confession. This is something new that we just started. We are trying to regularly go to confession with the kids (every other month).

    This can all be really hard and frustrating to do with young children but it is worth the effort and it does get easier. My husband and I are already seeing results, A couple of weeks ago, while I was praying after Communion my oldest daughter stood next to me and asked me what I was doing. I told her that I was talking to Jesus and thanking him. She told me she wanted to talk to Jesus too. I told her to fold her hands and say “Dear Jesus.” She repeated after me and then looked at me for what to do next. I told her that she could tell Jesus whatever she wanted to. She then thanked him for her family and told him that she loved him. I choked back a few tears.

    #3873

    michianamom
    Member

    This is one of my son’s favorite websites:

    http://www.ewtn.com/ewtnkids/home.asp
    This site is really great. My son loves the Divine Mercy Chaplet show. The site takes a little bit of work to figure out how to navigate it, so I suggest looking at it before when the kids aren’t with you. The trick is to go to the “treehouse” and view the map. This will give you a list of all the activities/prayers/lessons. Then click on the picture of the city and actually go to whichever building has the activity.

    Here are some great sites full of activities, crafts, lessons, prayers:

    http://www.catholicmom.com
    http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0251.html
    http://catholicism.suite101.com/article.cfm/lenten_activity_for_kids
    http://www.sundayschoolkids.com
    http://www.domestic-church.com

    HTH!

    God bless,
    Sara

    #3874

    michianamom
    Member

    This isn’t a prayer per se, but it’s a great way to teach the idea that our work/play/rest/everything can be offerings to God.

    Following is an article I wrote for the Lenten edition of the St Pius X Catholic School HASA Herald:
    ************************************************************************
    Create a large vine to put up on a wall. On it, include words from John 15:1-5

    I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
    He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
    You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
    Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.
    I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.

    You can go all out and create an image of God, the Father, as a vine grower. Create bags of “fertilizer” with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Be creative illustrating the passage in as much detail as you want.

    Create a branch for each family member. Create a basket of grapes and leaves. Whenever someone sees a family member doing a good deed or acting piously, that person can add a grape or leaf to the other person’s vine. Here’s the catch: you can’t put grapes/leaves on your own vine. By the end of Lent, your family should be able to see the fruit grown by Our Lord.

    This idea was inspired by http://www.catholicmom.com/lenten_grapevine.htm.
    ************************************************************************

    I hope you enjoy this one as much as we do.

    God bless,
    Sara

    #3875

    michianamom
    Member
    #3872

    angelenesmom
    Member

    I know I’m late but say the family Rosary, it is a good start to a family prayer life.

    Peace in Christ,
    Kathleen

    #3876

    jounderw
    Member

    My parents always used dinner time to include us in any prayers we may have that we wanted others to help us with or pray for. Its a good time because everyone is gathered around the table and ready to be thankful for a bountiful meal.

    #3877

    rosejell
    Member

    that is a good idea.

    #3878

    carlanigel
    Member

    This would not be too much for them. As early as possible, we should integrate prayers to their daily activities in every means we could, even reciting a three o’clock prayer in the afternoon or a rosary. A kid who was raised with good values is a trouble-free kid. You could even send them to a christian boarding schools to learn good values as they grow old.

    What a lot of parents don’t realize is children attract what you project, so the outcome is very much determined by your behaviour. So if a parent primarily is disrespectful of children guess what? You will have very disrespectful children back.

    #3879

    I have young kids also, ages 6,5,3 and almost 2. One thing my kids love is a morning and bedtime blessing. Trace the cross on their forehead and pray for them each morning and night. Thank God for them and ask for His blessings on their day or rest. Then invite them to bless you. My kids from the age of 2 were able to pray the meal blessing, Our Father, Glory Be, and Hail Mary. I let them choose their favorite for bedtime prayers and we kneel before a crucifix in their room and pray together. I was not raised in a home that had a prayer life at all so this has all been new to me.

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