A Question for Parents/Godparents


#1

Hi Everyone~
My husband and I have been together for many years and unfortunately were never blessed with babies (I had cancer~but I lived, so it’s good, I’m not a whiner). Especially since we have six nieces and nephews that we are, in one way or another, helping raise.
My question is this: I have an extremely bright five year old niece. When I say extremely, I mean she picks up on EVERYTHING~you can’t say a darned thing around this kid that she doesn’t analyze or pick up on, and now we can’t even spell around her. She’s figured that out too.
Her mom is young and her dad is currently incarcerated (she was overheard recently telling someone that her daddy was ‘currently incorporated’~so the use of six-dollar words don’t trick her either), and she is being raised, therefore, by the team~fortunately it’s a big family and she doesn’t lack for love and attention. But of all of us, I am probably the only true believer when it comes to prayer, etc. Or has any kind of religious upbringing that hasn’t been totally rejected in adulthood.
When she was three and just wanted to know where people and dogs and stuff went when they died and I could talk to her a bit about heaven and stuff, that was simple. But I wear a necklace with an image of the Virgin on it, and she was asking me about it yesterday. She wanted to know how, if she wanted to ask Mary for help, how to do it. Now, I’ve not been a practicing Catholic in a long time, since childhood, though I still pray to the Saints at times and like that. But I wasn’t sure what to say, even though it’s okay with her mother if I talk to her about stuff like this.
She’s the type of kid that wants to know exactly how to do something if she’s going to do it, and I was kind of vague at best. Anyone have any advice at all about this?
Thank you in advance.
This is a child that is very likely not to be raised in any sort of organized religion~I don’t know if that detail is relevant, but I thought I would throw it in there for clarity’s sake if it matters.
MM


#2

You are a good aunt. I read your other post. The Church wants you back! You are a very kind and perceptive woman. You have much to give of value to others. Your own experiences are a good teacher.

Our minds are made for the truth. Your niece seems to have a very perceptive mind and is very open to the truth. Do not let that be wasted or filled with something else. Considering her family background, know that the supernatural also abhors a vacuum.

Buy her some books geared toward young children. Check with a local Catholic bookstore. These books can tell her in a simple way on her level about Mary and the Holy family. Give her a small rosary. Your average Catholic church will have a book rack somewhere where you can buy these things inexpensively. A how-to-say-the-Rosary book for children will help her understand. Maybe even helping her a few times will be very special for her. You are the one family member who seems to care about her immortal soul. She’s smart enough to figure that out. Don’t ignore that girl’s brain. She will use it someday for good or someday for evil. Depends on who gets to her first and makes the most sense. There is also a wonderful little collection of books you can buy online for her by Daniel A. Lord, SJ. about the lives of the saints. stjohnfisherforum.org/display_results.cfm?category=148

She might find them fascinating. I did. The miniature lives of the saints books were so memorable from my own childhood I bought them for my kids.

God bless you for what you do for your family. :thumbsup:


#3

Just tell her plainly. You talk to Mary the same way you talk to God. You can talk out loud or you can talk silently. When you pray to God he hears your prayers because he is God. When you pray with the Saints, God allows them to hear you through his power.

She can always ask Mary for help and for her prayers to the Father. And mention that she has a guardian angel.

If she is interested, encourage her by giving her a Catholic bible, a rosary, or other Catholic children’s books (Saints). Plant the seed. Tell her when she is old enough, she can ask to be baptized.


#4

The St Joseph Picture Books are fantastic, you can find them on Amazon dot com or at Catholic outlets on line and IRL.

I’d start with “God Loves Us All”, and keep adding to her collection!


#5

Hi everyone~
I just want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the helpful suggestions~I will for sure look into the recommended books and just having a place to start as far as talking to her really energized my thinking about the issue. I was feeling at somewhat of a loss as to how to approach this at all {it’s somewhat tricky in the sense that, I’m not the parent & I feel like since I AM on the short list of people that her mother trusts absolutely with the kids, I’ve got an extra burden of responsibility in terms of doing it right if I’m going to do it at all, PLUS in the case of this particular child, anything I say on the subject is probably going to be the only thing she hears} but having some support is invaluable, really.
It’s made me think about not just this one little girl but the other five as well, though I won’t get too ‘detailed’ into the variety of situations that this involves {three different moms~all divorced or never married, two kids apiece and dads with different levels of involvement: some of them are being exposed to religious values I’m personally not so hot on, but there again, it’s tricky~I feel like it’s important to know my place in this situation or else I’ll have no influence at ALL, and if I were to be inappropriately pushy or go against the wishes of the parents, my right to voice an opinion SHOULD be taken away, I think}. But it does bring up some questions about what my level of responsibility is toward all of these kids in that area, and given me a lot to think about.
That said, Libranosamalo, I particularly appreciated your kind words and also a couple of things that you pointed out.Both of this child’s parents {her mother is my husband’s baby sister and was exactly my niece’s age~five~when we got married} are basically good people who mean well and want better for their little girls than what they are going through, but they are also both pretty lost right now. I see a lot of similarities between mother and daughter, and I can say for certain that this is a situation where teenage pregnancy saved two lives because if her mother had not gotten pregnant, I honestly don’t know if she would still be around: I mean, I was a wild teenager, so was my husband. But his sister was on such a bad road we didn’t know what to do to even begin to help her except pray, and I can say that becoming a mother was the only thing that could have brought her back from the edge. When you said that she’s going to use her gifted mind for good or for evil, and that the supernatural world loves a vacuum, that really rang true in this case. I appreciate your input a lot.
Thanks again, everyone. MM


closed #6

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