How can I get my 4 yr old to love the faith as much as I do? I am trying to slowly introduce the faith to her and DH and I read her little books about Jesus and God.She’s freaked out about seeing a picture of Jesus on the cross (even though we have a crucifix in every room of our home).I explained to her gently about it but she still seems to be a little nervous. She does not enjoy going to mass and usually can’t sit through it at all. We are not lucky enough to have a nursery of anything of the sort. We have “catechism” class for the 4 yr olds, but she went twice and came out of the class in tears both times and now refuses to go back. I know, I know- she’s 4 yrs old. But I don’t want to make her go to a class she does not enjoy because I’m afraid it could backfire on us. She will attend catholic school from now until 8th grade so I know she’ll get good catechism every day, but I want to give her a great start. any suggestions? twk
Do you have a Catholic preschool in your area? I sent my son when he was 4 to one run by the Sisters of Notre Dame, and he loved it. I think having that teaching and spirituality every day really helps. They not only taught the children about God’s love and praying but also about real spirituality and the value of quietness. It was a really calm place.
This particular son is fascinated with crosses and crucifixes. He will even try to build them out of legos and show me where Jesus is on the cross. He likes to bless himself with holy water, is interested in what is going on at Mass, will say grace before meals, will try to pray the rosary…A few weeks ago, after having gotten in trouble at school, told me that he decided he wants to stay close to God.
I think even 4 year olds can find a place for their faith in their understanding of their world.
I think the most important thing is to show, by EXAMPLE, your love for the faith. Kids pick up on example much more than words.
My son will be 5 in two weeks… and he went through a stage of difficulty looking at the crucifix too (so I think that’s normal)… but we just reinforced the positive over and over and over.
“Yes, Jesus died on the cross. But that’s why we CELEBRATE EASTER! It’s a wonderful celebration of Jesus coming BACK to LIFE! He rose from the dead so He could SAVE us!”
Make sure weekly family Mass is always a priority… and show your love of the faith by example… they’ll pick up on that.
Actually… readying dulcissima’s post reminded me… Jacob does the same thing!.. making lots of crosses. He’ll cut out paper and tape them on the wall in the shape of a cross… or build them out of Legos. Too funny.
Start with Mary. She’ll always lead anyone to her son. That’s how we started with my dd and now (she’s 3) she has no fear and actually enjoys going to Jesus’ house most of the time (hey, she’s still a kid with attention keeping issues like every other kid).
Also, I would suggest taking your dd to adoration. I’ve been taking my dd since she was born and now she is very comfortable there (almost too much at times because she’ll talk very loudly when telling Jesus about her day).
Granted, I’ve been teaching my dd since before she was born, but she is at the point where she is okay with almost any situation that involves life and death. In the past few months we’ve been to a few wakes and she now knows that the person isn’t sleeping, but that their body is dead and that their soul met Jesus (she’s not at the age to understand the whole heaven, hell, purgatory) and that we are to pray that Jesus has mercy on their soul so that they can live with him.
We also kiss Jesus’ pierced feet on the crucifix at church (it’s near ground level and is huge).
Maybe even a cemetery may be a good teaching tool (lots of pictures and statues of Jesus carved and etched and a peaceful place where noise won’t be a problem).
Our daughter is nearing only nearing 2, but so far (aside from praying for her!) I do a few things. I usually pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy in the car after I pick her up from daycare, so we “pray” it together – at least, she hears me praying. Also, I have a small picture of the Divine Mercy image tacked up between the front visors, so it’s right in her line of vision from her carseat in the back. Every morning as we’re driving, we “say hi to Jesus” by waving at His picture and saying good morning. At night, when I’m sitting in the rocker with her, we wave and say good night to Jesus (the same image on the wall in her bedroom, where she can see it from her crib). We also say some prayers – well, I do, and when I say “amen” at the end one, she’ll say “again” so I pray more! We also have a small statue of Mary in the kitchen, so sometimes we wave and say hi to her too.
And of course, we go to Mass each weekend. I want to take her to adoration, but she’s been testing me lately (terrible twos, here we come!) and since it’s supposed to be quiet, I haven’t yet for more than a minute or two. :o
I’m just trying to approach it at her level – saying hi and waving is something she understands. Oh - she also loves my Rosary beads – well, she likes to wear them, which I figure at this age, Jesus and Mary don’t mind. :rolleyes:
Even with my youngest who are 5 and 7, I’ve never tried more than a few minutes of adoration with them. Although, I think it is nice if I say “Do you want to go and see Jesus?” they always do. Usually though adoration is quiet time to myself. I will leave one of my teens with the younger two, so I can go and have that quiet time with our Lord.