Involving my children in activities


#1

I am a single dad of 3 children, Gabriel 7, Marilyn 5, and William 3. The oldest two attend catechism because they go to public schools. We visit the cathedral regularly, simply because its my favorite place to pray, and they enjoy the short visits. We pray every night, and read and discuss the Baltimore Catechism books.

What are some ideas for teaching my children our catholic faith? I feel like I am missing something, or i’m not doing enough. Retreats have come to mind, but i don’t know where to start. I thought of volunteering to help a cause, but again, i don’t know where to begin. Thank you.


#2

A couple of ideas: I think the more you do personally- going to daily mass if possible, regular confession, regular prayer learn about your faith and so on, the more you will transmit your faith toyour children. Also, we try to make prayer w/ our kids a normal part of the day and not an event, we can pray together in the car on the way somewhere, before & after meals - we’ll pray an Angelus together. Some families pray a portion of the rosary with younger families, maybe the first 2 or 3 prayers.

If there’s a Catholic bookstore you can get to, they maybe have Catholic Bible stories of stories about the saints for children - can find on line as well. You can look through them for one that matches the ages/attention level of your children.

Sometimes our younger ones play games on the EWTNkids web site and while they’re having fun w/ it, they’re learning something about their faith.


#3

PS This should go first, but we have taken our children to adoration, here and there, and only for a brief while as age allows. Also, there's an annual Catholic Family Conference that we try to get to. There are special sessions for the children, by age, that they partake in. Not trying to overwhelm you. If you're already doing Balt Catechism w/ them you're already off to a great start.


#4

We pray a decade of the Rosary a night, and we have tons of catholic books with bible stories, and we randomly pray throughout the day…I love the idea of adoration as well as attending a conference. When you pray with your children, what is the best way to convey to them the seriousness of concetration during prayer? I mean they are still little, but their little minds seem to be so far away while they are praying. haha

Thank you so much for your help!


#5

the natural way is with the seasons and celebrations of the Church year, teaching them the customs and observances, introducing at their level from a children’s bible or resource the relevant scriptures, and relating the cultural customs to the actual feast or season. Liturgical colors, symbols and the stories make natural teaching resources. aks your DRE or the child’s cateshist for references as their textbook publisher may have free on-line resources for parents.


#6

Friendly Defenders Flash Cards game.

Catholic movies - Steve Ray’s “Footprints of God” would be an excellent investment.

Volunteer together, go to pray at the Abortion clinic, go to the DC March of Life each year.


#7

Fellow single parent here:
For the feast of St. Joseph a few days ago, my kids and I held our own mini candle-light procession around our apartment. My oldest (8) held a blessed candle (one of those with a high enclosement around it so there wasn’t flame danger)…or you could let them hold a flashlight, and the other kids held a picture or holy card of St. Joseph. We went around to each room and stopped, I talked briefly about one of his holy attributes and we prayed a Glory Be. It took about 5 mins total but they loved it so much they want to do it for other saints too.

Picture books of saints are great. I purchased a few dozen holy cards of saints that I thought they might like, and at the beginning of each month each person in the family selects one to be their own special “Saint of the Month”. We read about them and in during our bedtime prayers we say a mini-litany with those saints (ex: St. Lucy, pray for us, St. Gerard, pray for us, St. Stephen etc). They’ve really enjoyed feeling like they have their own special friend in Heaven.

Bless your children with holy water in the evening, teach them about their guardian angels…I also second the suggestion of Adoration!

God bless


#8

you are doing great!!

My only recommendation is to get really chummy with devout Catholic families. you can find them at daily Mass, Catholic conferences, homeschool events (even if you aren’t homeschooling–homeschool families are very friendly and welcoming).

for boys, ConQuest clubs are awesome. They start at age 5.

And, you might check into Catholic familyland. What part of the country are you in–only if you want to disclose?


#9

Try making games of it. Kids love games of knowlegde. I remember in CD as a kid, we'd take the games we all played for spelling and math in public school and give them a religious spin. PLaying Who AM I with Biblical heros and figures, acting out our favorite stories, etc

There are some good religious ovies for that age too. Prince of Egypt, for example, is a story that sall children to grown adult can love and understand. I watched it just a few days ago, and I remember my cousin watching ti for the first time at age 4, and having a lot of good questions about it.


#10

south louisiana. And what exactly is conquest and familyland?


#11

not for kids this small, but there are good children’s videos, but far more helpful and your instinct is right is doing things together. Going to Mass and adoration, visiting Jesus, lighting candles, waiting quietly while you to confession, letting them see you living your faith are most important. Praying at home, grace, the rosary. Practicing reconciliation and forgiveness. Grace before meals in public. sign of the cross when you pass a Church. All these traditions are in place because they are ways to educate the children from an early age. Holy water, looking at the pictures and statues in church all the natural catechetical symbols that are all around us.

making a little Marian shrine in your yard, even the youngest can help plant marigolds.

see if your parish has preschool or early childhood CCD or on Sunday morning and volunteer to help, a perfect way to connect with other families who have the same concerns, and to get involved in the parish, your biggest ally.


#12

Familyland: familyland.org/content/Content.aspx?CategoryID=120
In Ohio - family-fest, week-long vacation/retreat for the family- fun - fellowship - faith -, ‘a little taste of heaven . . .’ highly recommended.
Note: most of 2010 is ‘booked’ - word is getting out on this jewel; get on waiting list anyway;

Also for the kiddos, Saints videos; animated (while they are young - lookup the CCC series). catholicfamilycatalog.com/saints-and-heroes-dvd-video-series-for-catholic-children-by-ccc-of-america.htm
Ours (now teens) enjoy watching classic B/W saints videos (Netflix).:thumbsup:


#13

Different kids are interested in different things. Many school age kids are bright enough to watch non-cartoon things.


#14

[quote="garyr, post:12, topic:191432"]
Familyland: familyland.org/content/Content.aspx?CategoryID=120
In Ohio - family-fest, week-long vacation/retreat for the family- fun - fellowship - faith -, 'a little taste of heaven . . .' highly recommended.
Note: most of 2010 is 'booked' - word is getting out on this jewel; get on waiting list anyway;

[/quote]

Going to the 3rd fest in July:thumbsup:


#15

Familyland sounds awesome, but it is a little pricy and a little far. Anyone know of something like familyland down here in the south?


#16

Take a family trip to EWTN!

Go camping at The Pines

thepines.org/

Book a retreat weekend at Subiaco

subi.org/

Call your Diocese for retreat houses and camps near you.


#17

conquestclubs.com/

missionnetwork.com/find-a-club/US/LA


#18

I have a 6 year old daughter.

My parish homeschool program uses these books, and I love them. They are age appropriate.

www.faithfirst.com.

EWTN also has “Faith Factory” programs like “The Friar” and “My Catholic Family.” I really love these shows.


#19

As a mom of many, I can say that young children learn their faith by watching you live yours.

Activities are great reinforcement, but it's the daily life of a faithful father that will transmit the reverence, awe of God and love of God to his children.

Other posters have given you wonderful suggestions.

I'd recommend letting them see you pray the rosary and general prayers, read your Bible or missal, attend Mass, use sacramentals and provide the children with age appropriate religious literature.

Put a Holy water font or several in your home so the children get in the habit of blessing themselves. Let the older ones take turns leading a decade of the rosary. Make a celebration of Name days and anniversaries of their baptisms. Teach them about their patron saints and the other saints. Keep it short, sweet and simple because they are young. Take them to a perpetual adoration chapel to say hi to Jesus. Again, it will be a short visit, maybe a wee bit noisy one, too, in the moment, but it will teach them to appreciate and value their Faith. Oh, what about a home enthronement to the Sacred Heart? Have a special area in your home for a home altar. A little statue of the Holy family always appeals to little ones.

There are so many little things you can do right now. Once the kids are older, they can get more involved. (Like altar serving once your 7 year old receives 1st Communion.) take your time. The little actions will build a strong foundation for the future.


#20

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