As a parent, encouraging my children’s spiritual growth is a huge part of our daily lives. During each child’s Baptism, our priest reminds us of this immense spiritual task.
Let’s explore some ideas to help you in your quest for growing your children in the Catholic faith.
Create a circle of support
You’re not the only family trying to raise your children in our Faith. Surround yourself with people on the same journey. Reach out to others during Mom’s Club, preschool, VBS and parish events. By linking arms, you strengthen each other.
Go to Mass
We know how important attending Mass is, for the entire family. It’s hard, especially with many little ones, but put it on your calendar.
Lean on Our Lady for Help
During this Advent season, I have Mary on my mind. She understands the trials we face as mothers, from the discomforts of pregnancy to the anxieties of raising a child.
I try to follow her model for being a wife and mother, and following God’s plan.
Head to the Confessional
Parenting children in our faith requires grace and patience. Don’t ignore the benefits of going to confession. Take your children with you, so that they can see what you’re doing.
Protect Little Eyes and Ears
In today’s world, we’re bombarded from all sides with anti-Christian messages. Sex sells, and it’s used to sell everything from cars to burgers.
Be aware of what your children are exposed to, in books, television, magazines, movies and on the Internet. Protect their innocence.
Be an example
How will you expect your children to live their faith if you’re not leading them? Let them see you go to Mass, Confession and Eucharistic Adoration. Explain to them why you’re writing out a check for the church envelopes and tell them where the money will go.
Read your Bible, and encourage your children to do the same. Share Bible stories with them, and teach them about the lives of our Saints. Learn about the roles of priests, deacons, religious and laypeople and pass it on to your kids.
Make Your Priest a Part of Your Family
Even though my favorite priest has moved on to a new parish, we still consider him a part of our family. In the past 10 years, he’s seen us through RCIA, a wedding, confirmation, and numerous baptisms. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’ll be available when my children get married.
We stop by and see him when we can, send Christmas and birthday gifts, and always keep him in our prayers.
Explore Your Church with Your Children
Make a point to get to Mass early one day, or stay over later. Engage your children’s senses by touching the Holy Water, smelling the incense and candles and listening to the music or silence of church. Show them the different parts of the altar and sanctuary, the statues of Mary and Joseph and get them interested.
Pray with Your Children
A family rosary is a beautiful thing, but you’ve got to start out small. We do ‘Bless Us O Lord’ when we remember before meals, but bedtime prayers are non negotiable.
Even small children can learn the Hail Mary or Our Father. My daughter surprised me by learning the St Michael prayer simply by listening to me. Take a look at some Catholic prayer books and explore some new favorites for your family.
I’ll be joining some of my friends from the iHomeschool Network this Thursday to discuss growing your children spiritually. You can join us in the event room, or watch it live here. (Video will be embedded Thursday)
Do you have tips or encouragement for raising your children in the faith? Be sure to share your comments below!