When the children were smaller we would bless them each night before bed. We would trace the sign of the cross on their forehead and say “God bless you and keep you safe.” We would pray together before meals as well. As they grew in age we would teach them the formal prayers, like the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be. Along the way came up with our own family prayer that we say each night now before bed. “I love you Jesus. Thank you for today. Thank you for dying on the cross and saving me from my sins. Amen” When the children were young and had short attention spans we really kept things simple. To create a habit of prayer we simply made sure each night before bed we would bless them and say our family prayer.
As the kids grew older we would add to our prayer time. I loved learning new and different ways to share more with the kids. I was always looking for new things to do as a family, different prayers we could teach them. New traditions we could create as a family. I’ve found lots of new and fun ways to teach the kids about the Catholic faith from other mom’s, by reading blogs, and other media resources.. Here are some things we have done together as a family. Please note I did not come up with all these ideas on my own, I’m not that creative!
Celebrate the faith! All of our children’s middle names were chosen after a Saint. On the feast day of that Saint our children get to pick their favorite meal to have with dinner and a dessert. We use this time to teach them about that Saint and pray for their intercession. We like to highlight other church feast days as well. Having a special meal to highlight feast days or Holy Days of Obligation are so much fun. On the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary we make a rosary out of food. As a family we pray the rosary and the kids get to follow along and eat a yummy snack. Again younger kids have short attention spans, so we like to find ways to make living out the faith fun!
Establish a prayer routine. This is so important. We tried lots of different ways to pray all together as a family. We’ve prayed all together in the living room before bedtime. We’ve prayed in their bedrooms before bed. We’ve tired praying with each kid separately. There is no one way to pray. It looks differently for each family, and ours tends to change based on our season of life. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Start simple, create a habit, and stick with it! Once you have created a habit of prayer, don’t be afraid to try new prayers. Last year for lent we wanted to explore different forms of prayer with the kids and expose them to things we hadn’t done before. We came up with a list of things we wanted to try and each week we focused on that prayer. I’ll share a few of those ideas with your: reading a bible story, divine mercy chaplet, praying a novena, meditation, and journaling. Learning different prayer styles was really fun to do together as a family.
What’s really been exciting is being able to attend things at the Church and bring the kids along. Taking the older kids with us to the monthly Heart of Jesus Holy Hour and our Holy Spirit Encounters. It has been amazing to share these encounter opportunities with them. Sharing with them God’s love is huge and for them to experience His love is so cool!
Our September Heart of Jesus Holy Hour is going to be geared towards families. This is an opportunity to spend time in prayer together as a family. This event is open to everyone, but we are encouraging parents to bring their children. There will be Adoration, music, confession, and prayer teams available. If you have never done this before as a family this is a great time to try it. This will be a great opportunity to start the new school year off together. Spending time before the Lord in Adoration is so powerful. Pray for your spouse, your kids. Pray for guidance, understanding, or courage. Being able to cover your family in prayer is so important, Having your children witness you spend time with God is huge. Share you faith, but letting your kids see you live it out.