How can I prevent this from happening to my kids?


#1

Was on a school field trip and having a conversation with 2 other moms. The subject of a Catholic family having 6 kids came up. Then one of the moms chimed in and said "I was raised Catholic, I could go to sleep in mass and know exactly when to stand,sit, kneel…boring, then I got divorced and was “ousted” from my church."
I could have debated that one, but let it go. I didn’t know her story and didn’t want to ruffle any feathers.
Then, the other one, knowing I just recently converted, chimed in “Yep, been raised in Catholic schools all my life, the mass is SO boring, I don’t see what people get out of it”. I replied “Really? I’ve been protestant for 37 years, and after joining the Church last year, I think the mass is the most beautiful thing, the liturgy, the Eucharist, everything!” The first mom said “well, the honeymoon will be over in a few years” This saddens me so much. I have 4 young children, and I pray to God that they won’t have this attitude when they grow up. This seems to be a very common thing. Please someone give me some encouragement! I know it all starts in the home. But I am afraid of going overboard and smothering them with it.


#2

Suggest to the bored Mom that she read they Bible starting with the New Testament.
Then that she read the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” first published in the US in March, 2000. (Make it clear that this is not the Catechism of the 50’s through the 90’s that she may have had as a child.)
This all ties together so beautifully that she should get a new appreciation for the Mass.

Further the grace received from reading the Bible and further study may improve many aspects of her prayer life, etc.

You will receive grace from God as well. Jesus taught than man not only receives and experiences the mercy of God, but that he is also called ‘to practice mercy’ towards others.
4 of the 7 ‘Spiritual Works of Mercy’ include:

  1. Admonish sinners
  2. Instruct the uniformed
  3. Counsel the doubtful
  4. Be patient with those in error.

I myself am also concerned that several Bishops and Priests seem to be neglecting basic Catechesis of cradle Catholics.


#3

Regarding your own Children -
The family that prays together stays together.

For grades 3 and under they can watch EWTN from 4 to 6pm est. They specifically have childrens programs.
They also have a childrens section on their website which includes games. See EWTN.com

Get them childrens' Bibles appropriate to their age group. And read with them.
Family Rosary's are also helpful.

God bless you and your family.


#4

Yes, get your children involved in praying together.
May Crowning of the Blessed Mother - this was always a big thing in my family and still i w/ my children. My Mom had different "veils/crowns" she had made (one was blue rick-rack crown and netting for her long veil). We "crowned" her.

October - Month of the Rosary - say the rosary ... not just in October, but make it special w/ drawings, stories, rosaries, etc.

As a small child, my wonderful Mom talked about our Blessed Mother on our level ... she called her "Blessed Mommy" ... my children did and now my 7 yr old grandson does.

Funny story: Went to our local catholic supply store. Upon entering, there are several steps you walked down. At both sides of the bottom of the steps were all different sizes of BVM ... my grandson exclaimed "MawMaw look at all the Blessed Mommies! There's a gazillion!" I told him "you know what we say ... you can never have too many Mary's" He agreed.

God bless.


#5

[quote="lizferg, post:1, topic:196766"]
Was on a school field trip and having a conversation with 2 other moms. The subject of a Catholic family having 6 kids came up. Then one of the moms chimed in and said "I was raised Catholic, I could go to sleep in mass and know exactly when to stand,sit, kneel....boring, then I got divorced and was "ousted" from my church."
I could have debated that one, but let it go. I didn't know her story and didn't want to ruffle any feathers.
Then, the other one, knowing I just recently converted, chimed in "Yep, been raised in Catholic schools all my life, the mass is SO boring, I don't see what people get out of it". I replied "Really? I've been protestant for 37 years, and after joining the Church last year, I think the mass is the most beautiful thing, the liturgy, the Eucharist, everything!" The first mom said "well, the honeymoon will be over in a few years" This saddens me so much. I have 4 young children, and I pray to God that they won't have this attitude when they grow up. This seems to be a very common thing. Please someone give me some encouragement! I know it all starts in the home. But I am afraid of going overboard and smothering them with it.

[/quote]

My sympathy to you - and shame on those women.

When folks walk away from their faith, they can be very quick to blame the faith.
In many instances, IMO, they should instead blame themselves.

For you, your children, your family, I applaud you for cherishing your faith. That's one way to keep it strong. Relying on God, in His Church in a joyful, peaceful manner is a good way to protect the faith of yourself and your children. (Choose your friends very wisely.)


#6

Wow, I am a new convert too and I love the church. I think what makes it so rich for me is the bible study and studying about all the saints. The Eucharist rite is so wonderful and it makes me so happy to be with RCC. I also am part of the RCIA committtee.

We have a family game nigt at our church where familes can bring their board games and such and I think this would be great for your kids if you can implement it at church.

Scientists have found that people especially children learn best when we can make it fun . I hope this works out for you. You sound as happy a I am, don’t listen to the “nay” sayers and disgruntled who don’t pray and don’t worship the Lord.

Best to :thumbsup:you and your children and God Bless.


#7

:clapping::clapping::clapping:


#8

[quote="lizferg, post:1, topic:196766"]
This saddens me so much. I have 4 young children, and I pray to God that they won't have this attitude when they grow up. This seems to be a very common thing. Please someone give me some encouragement! I know it all starts in the home. But I am afraid of going overboard and smothering them with it.

[/quote]

Every busy mother of one or two or four or 6 has a recipe book.
Let's see, what's the recipe for teaching kids to hate/be bored with anything?
Music:
I paid good money for these music lessons and you are to sit here and practice for an hour RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I SAID SO. It's called DISCIPLINE and you will do it RIGHT NOW and I'll be timing you and watching you and don't you DARE hit a wrong note!
Vegetables:
You will EAT YOUR VEGETABLES AND CLEAN YOUR PLATE and I don't care if YOU don't like them because YOU think they taste yucky! YOU WILL SIT HERE AND EAT THEM AND I CAN WAIT ALL NIGHT AND IF YOU DON'T EAT THEM, YOU'LL BE EATING THEM COLD FOR BREAKFAST!
Reading:
You are supposed to read for a half hour a night and fill out this time sheet, the teacher says so, and I AM SETTING THIS TIMER RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW AND I AM SICK AND TIRED OF HAVING TO CONTINUALLY NAG YOU TO DO IT!
God:
What are you doing still in bed? What do you mean you're tired! You've had plenty of sleep and we're going to be LATE! IF YOU MISS CHURCH YOU'RE GOING TO HELL! What are you doing falling asleep in Church? You're darn right I'm going to jab you in the ribs, you child of satan!

What's the recipe for helping kids learn *to love:
Music:
*I can sing. Can you sing?
I can play an instrument and make it sing too: check out these pot lids, this rubber band box, this penny whistle, this harmonica.... Can you make them sing too?
I can play the piano, I can play the guitar..... I can make them sing too....
be careful with them and you can try too!

Vegetables:
I cooked a whole bunch of vegetables and I left a whole lot of them raw and some of them I bought, and some of them I grew. I am trying to figure out which ones people like best and if they like them better cooked or not. We're all going to vote. Hmm. This is going to take a lot of thought. You want to vote, or you want to be stuck with what everybody else decides?
Reading:
I really loved this book as a child.... of course when I was a child, cars had fins
Fins?
Yes, fins. Come read about it on the internet... they were pretty silly looking.
Anyway, I really loved this book as a child, you might like that other one better... because I'm an old woman from when cars had fins.....
so what do YOU think?

Now it's your turn...
figure out the recipe for helping them learn....


#9

How dare you quote my mom! :smiley: And she wondered why I stopped going to Mass in college. :rolleyes:


#10

There's a lot of truth to what Former Catholic said. For what it's worth, I was raised Catholic, stopped going once I was out of the house, but was led back and now am strong in my faith. A lot of the reason why I stopped going to church had to do with the fact that, although I knew exactly when to sit, stand, what to say, etc. during Mass, I really didn't know anything about my faith! My parents just expected me to do it, and I was never able to talk to them about anything when I was growing up. It's actually quite shocking how much I just didn't know. All I knew was I had to go to Mass every week, and my friends either didn't, or didn't as much as we did. I think if children understand the "why" they are much more likely to keep their faith. You also want them to feel like they can talk to you about anything, because it's pretty likely that the message they will get outside the home will be the oppostite of what you are trying to teach them at home.


#11

Boy, this sounds familiar!

I have tried to keep it fun and interesting at our house by celebrating our faith in the following ways with our four children:

  1. Mardis Gras with everybody’s favorite treats, decorations, (masks that we make), a “parade” with instruments, and a family party
  2. Advent wreath that we put on the kitchen table and we light it every night before dinner
  3. Frequent conversations about saints and their lives
  4. Lots of good books on their bookshelves about saints, etc
  5. Lots of conversations about the Shroud of Turin and the Oviedo Cloth (shroud.com)
  6. Reading the St. Joseph’s Baltimore Catechism for an understanding of the mass etc.

As the kids have gotten older, they actually remind me to do these things if I forget!

I try not to judge others who are struggling in their faith (especially in front of the kids) . I remind my kids (and myself) to “weed your own garden.” I read anything and everything I can to help me understand why we are Catholic and this has helped answer many questions from my kids and from other moms.

Hang in there - I know it’s hard when kids are young. I especially learned from other moms that were like-minded and we were a great support to each other.


#12

Well, here is my protestant evangelism coming out of me, but I hope that I got them to thinking that there is more to this faith than the boring ritual they were used to. I actually think the second mom I quoted seemed like she may look back into studying it more. I think I peaked her interest. Her husband wants their family to be regular churchgoers and I see him by himself at the parish occasionally. I’m putting out a request for prayers for her family! Maybe she could go through RCIA and refresh her faith!


#13

[quote="lax16, post:11, topic:196766"]
Boy, this sounds familiar!

I have tried to keep it fun and interesting at our house by celebrating our faith in the following ways with our four children:

  1. Mardis Gras with everybody's favorite treats, decorations, (masks that we make), a "parade" with instruments, and a family party
  2. Advent wreath that we put on the kitchen table and we light it every night before dinner
  3. Frequent conversations about saints and their lives
  4. Lots of good books on their bookshelves about saints, etc
  5. Lots of conversations about the Shroud of Turin and the Oviedo Cloth (shroud.com)
  6. Reading the St. Joseph's Baltimore Catechism for an understanding of the mass etc.

As the kids have gotten older, they actually remind me to do these things if I forget!

I try not to judge others who are struggling in their faith (especially in front of the kids) . I remind my kids (and myself) to "weed your own garden." I read anything and everything I can to help me understand why we are Catholic and this has helped answer many questions from my kids and from other moms.

Hang in there - I know it's hard when kids are young. I especially learned from other moms that were like-minded and we were a great support to each other.

[/quote]

:clapping::clapping::clapping:


#14

[quote="former_Catholic, post:8, topic:196766"]
Every busy mother of one or two or four or 6 has a recipe book.
Let's see, what's the recipe for teaching kids to hate/be bored with anything?
Music:
I paid good money for these music lessons and you are to sit here and practice for an hour RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I SAID SO. It's called DISCIPLINE and you will do it RIGHT NOW and I'll be timing you and watching you and don't you DARE hit a wrong note!
Vegetables:
You will EAT YOUR VEGETABLES AND CLEAN YOUR PLATE and I don't care if YOU don't like them because YOU think they taste yucky! YOU WILL SIT HERE AND EAT THEM AND I CAN WAIT ALL NIGHT AND IF YOU DON'T EAT THEM, YOU'LL BE EATING THEM COLD FOR BREAKFAST!
Reading:
You are supposed to read for a half hour a night and fill out this time sheet, the teacher says so, and I AM SETTING THIS TIMER RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW AND I AM SICK AND TIRED OF HAVING TO CONTINUALLY NAG YOU TO DO IT!
God:
What are you doing still in bed? What do you mean you're tired! You've had plenty of sleep and we're going to be LATE! IF YOU MISS CHURCH YOU'RE GOING TO HELL! What are you doing falling asleep in Church? You're darn right I'm going to jab you in the ribs, you child of satan!

What's the recipe for helping kids learn *to love:
Music:
*I can sing. Can you sing?
I can play an instrument and make it sing too: check out these pot lids, this rubber band box, this penny whistle, this harmonica.... Can you make them sing too?
I can play the piano, I can play the guitar..... I can make them sing too....
be careful with them and you can try too!

Vegetables:
I cooked a whole bunch of vegetables and I left a whole lot of them raw and some of them I bought, and some of them I grew. I am trying to figure out which ones people like best and if they like them better cooked or not. We're all going to vote. Hmm. This is going to take a lot of thought. You want to vote, or you want to be stuck with what everybody else decides?
Reading:
I really loved this book as a child.... of course when I was a child, cars had fins
Fins?
Yes, fins. Come read about it on the internet... they were pretty silly looking.
Anyway, I really loved this book as a child, you might like that other one better... because I'm an old woman from when cars had fins.....
so what do YOU think?

Now it's your turn...
figure out the recipe for helping them learn....

[/quote]

Well said.:) I am definately not making church sound like a chore, like something we HAVE to do. I get excited and say, "come on, it's time for church! Yea!" and they scramble to get ready. The kids actually enjoy going. My older two just went through first communion together and they look forward to going up with us now to partake.
I appreciate everyone's responses! Thanks for the encouragement.


#15

You can’t prevent life from happening to your kids.

Becuase if it isn’t this it will be something else.

The best thing for growth is challenge. Encourage them to ask the tough questions and delve into why. Accept that they will drift from the faith at times and LET THEM work it out within themselves (as long as they’re not killing people or something).

Say “I don’t know” ALL THE TIME and then research it with them.

Encourage the discipline. While the op’s friend is making fun of the repetitiveness (sit, stand, kneel) that means the church is doing something RIGHT in it’s ritual. She had diciplined her body and once diciplined a body rarely looses it’s ability to do something (eg. Ride a bike). You can’t punish someone into liking someone but you can engrain a habit into a young child so that they will ALWAYS have it in them. Sometimes you do have to set a hard boundry…it IS better than hell. You have to slap the hand that tries to touch the stove, set a timer to enforce reading, force a kid to eat veggies. That’s part of life. For the most part you can work with kids, but you NEED to set a firm boundry for young ones. As teens this should be lifted, but for wee ones it’s all about making a habit of things. Most small kids don’t like brushing their teeth, no matter how man singing toothbrushes and blue tootpaste and pink mouthwash their is. But a habit for their developmental years is a habit for life.


#16

Ask those women, "Do you feel close to God now?"
If they say no, ask them, “Who moved?”

P.S. After being raised lutheran & then living an awful life for years, I heard Christ knocking on the door of my heart. I answered and entered RCIA. That was 12 years ago and I am here to tell you to not listen to that apostate woman. My faith is stronger after 12 years than ever. You get out of your relationship with God what you put into it.


#17

I was raised Lutheran and converted to Catholic in high school. At that point I found the Lutheran service absolutely boring and the Catholic mass... interesting (I can't think of the right word). But after being Catholic for so long sometimes I phase out during mass because I do know it so well. I think that going to a different mass, like maybe one of the modern ones, once in while will help prevent it from becoming pure rote.


#18

There is nothing like a Catholic (you) who are enthusiastic about the faith!

I suspect that many Catholics get bored because they are not sharing or praying with others who have faith. Mass is heaven on earth, and can never be boring unless one is so caught up with the things of the world that their faith has dimmed. Daily prayers with faith, whether or not one feels like it, is a necessity.

We don’t always feel elation and joy when at Mass, but prayer and making acts of faith open us up to the graces that the Lord is all too ready to give us. Keep praying for these “bored” people.


#19

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