Some great suggestions oferred here. As a parent i dont think we can have a greater preocupation or responsability than that of instilling the faith and a true relationship with our Father to our children.
I was a cradle Catholic but I think that one main reason why I fell away was because there was a disconnect between my faith and daily life. My mother took us to church, prayed the rosary with us, read to us from scripture and the lives of saints but when it came to practically integrating all of this in our daily lives- at school, with friends, in the work environment, formation as future spouse and parent, we were really lacking. The world taught us its ways when it came to that.
So, with our children, we have started from a very tender age to make them aware of God’s ways, desires, emotions in relation to everything we do. We remind our oldest- the 4 yr old, that our Father and Mother Mary, our guardian angel and the saints are ALWAYS with us, especially when she complains that she doesn’t want to do a certain thing alone. We remind her that if she just calls on them they will respond promptly because they are sooo eager to be with her/ help her etc.
Of course she got into the princess (Disney) craze as everything she was receiving from others was usually with that theme. We started discussing what it means to be a princess of God and why the Disney princesses are not pleasing to Him - I.e they make exterior beauty an idol- she knows all about not having false gods from the OT so she willingly picked up every Disney princess book, puzzle, picture, penciletc that she had, put it in a bag and asked us to throw them away. she is also very aware of " modesty" and why we don’t wear mini skirts or sleeveless tops and dresses in church- and no where else really other than in our backyard. Technically, think of where you would want your 18yr old to be like and consider whether he has reached the appropriate level of those things at the current age.
I think overall, the mistake we have to avoid is letting our children believe that prayer time and mass time is when we’re with God and the rest of the time we just carry on normally.
Of course, my husband and I have to make the effort to indeed always remember that Jesus is always there, whether we’re going to church or shopping or visiting, just verbally saying, “Jesus, let’s do this, or go there” has a huge impact.
I would really love to hear more on this subject as I always feel we can do better and in all honesty, it’s nice that the kids learn their abcs early and know how to share, but if at the end of the day they don’t know Jesus on a personal level I will considered we have failed on the greatest level.