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  #1  
Old Jan 27, '10, 5:58 am
Merry's Avatar
Merry Merry is offline
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Default Help explain baptism to a 5 year old!

I am currently in the RCIA, and hope to be baptized etc. at the Easter vigil. Our RCIA leader told us last night that they are hoping to have our children baptized the Sunday after Easter. I am really pleased it will happen so quickly.

My concern is my oldest son. He is 5 years old and very curious. I talked to him briefly last week about him being baptized soon. He asked me why he needed to be baptized, and I couldn't give him a good answer on the spot. I think I went with "to make you part of the Church family". And he said he didn't want to be baptized! He wasn't angry or upset. He just said "Oh! I don't want that!" and I said that was disappointing, or something, fairly non-committal and left it. It wasn't a good time to get into an argument.

My husband has been supportive of my journey, but is not Catholic. He was baptized Lutheran, has been coming to Catholic mass with me since I started attending in the fall, but never before attended church in his life. He has told me that he will not allow our son to be baptized it the child says he does not want to be baptized. I believe it is important that I accept his wishes in this, if for no other reason than that it would be very difficult to force a 5 year old boy to be baptized! It would end up with a LOT of screaming at the front of the church in the middle of Mass!

Overall, my 5 year old son has been really enjoying everything that my religious journey has brought to his life. There is a Sunday school program at our church that he has been attending and that he LOVES. After many repetitions, he is now the one who says our prayer before meals! I have talked about God with him and it has helped him move past some of the normal 5 year old fears about leaving me someday by dying.

So, without bullying or scaring, how do I explain baptism to him? I admit, my own ability to explain it to myself is still pretty shaky! Help please! Oh... and of course, this is the child that hates water and still gets upset when I pour water on his hair to wash it. He really needs to want this so we can make it easy for him!
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  #2  
Old Jan 27, '10, 7:22 am
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Cathhsmom Cathhsmom is offline
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Default Re: Help explain baptism to a 5 year old!

You were close, but Baptism is to make your son a part of God's family. The church is the bonus. Yes, it would make him a member of the church, but the main thing is to become a son of God. Is there anyway to get the RCIA people to let you do it with your son. Then it could be something special and a little less scary for him, especially since he doesn't like water. The other thing would be to do a mock run through with him at home where he gets to see you doing it to one of his stuffed animals or if he has a sister, a doll. Then let him do it to you. Show him that it is a little water and only 3 times on the top of the head. Talk to the priest who will be doing the baptizing and see if he can talk to your son about what to expect. If he is still not ready, then he isn't ready. You still have 2 years until 1st Communion which he would not be able to do if not baptized. Also, check and see if he is scared about doing this in front of a large group of people. He may feel more comfortable doing it with just mom, dad, the priest, and godparents.
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  #3  
Old Jan 27, '10, 7:32 am
kage_ar kage_ar is offline
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Default Re: Help explain baptism to a 5 year old!

Read the Baptism section of the Catechism, then, tell your child about what you read, the chapter begins with:

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c1a1.htm#1213

ARTICLE 1
THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM

1213 Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua),4 and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word."5
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Old Jan 27, '10, 7:51 am
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TamM TamM is offline
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Default Re: Help explain baptism to a 5 year old!

My four year old was baptized last Sunday. He has a speech delay, and doesn't understand concepts like death or afterlife. He made a fuss and said NOOOOOOO a lot (he doesn't like water on his head, washing his hair is a challenge every time), and spent most of the ceremony hiding under his chair. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Baptism opens heaven's gate to him, so that he can be with God and his loved ones again after we pass away. If your son is capable of understanding that, that's what I would tell him. Don't worry about him making a scene, as I can assure you, he won't be the first or last child to do so!!
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  #5  
Old Jan 27, '10, 8:26 am
kage_ar kage_ar is offline
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Default Re: Help explain baptism to a 5 year old!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merry View Post

So, without bullying or scaring, how do I explain baptism to him? I admit, my own ability to explain it to myself is still pretty shaky! Help please! Oh... and of course, this is the child that hates water and still gets upset when I pour water on his hair to wash it. He really needs to want this so we can make it easy for him!
When he goes to the doc, to you explain why he will get a shot and make sure he wants it?

Nope. You know it is good for him, and if he cries and screams, you know it is for the best.

How much more important is his eternal salvation?
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  #6  
Old Jan 27, '10, 8:31 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Help explain baptism to a 5 year old!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merry View Post
I My concern is my oldest son. He is 5 years old and very curious. I talked to him briefly last week about him being baptized soon. He asked me why he needed to be baptized, and I couldn't give him a good answer on the spot. I think I went with "to make you part of the Church family". And he said he didn't want to be baptized! He wasn't angry or upset. He just said "Oh! I don't want that!" and I said that was disappointing, or something, fairly non-committal and left it. It wasn't a good time to get into an argument.!
he may not understand what it all means, like, you are sending him to another family! they can get some funny ideas.

ask his Sunday school teacher or the RCIA leader for a children's video on baptism adn the other sacraments

or if he is really resistant to the whole idea, allow him to witness the younger child's baptism, explain what is going on, and let him decide. Once he is 7 or so he will have to make this choice on his own, albeit guided by you.
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  #7  
Old Jan 27, '10, 8:47 am
gmarie21 gmarie21 is offline
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Default Re: Help explain baptism to a 5 year old!

Between now and Easter I'm sure your church will be baptizing babies on Saturdays or Sundays (whatever the policy is). Bring your son to one to witness what it is. Also, there are plenty of books on Baptism, buy one (some are under $5).
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