teaching children

Hi
In this culture, how do you pass on on your faith to other peoples kids? In other words- if you had a youth group of 7 to 9 year old’s, how do you influence them so hard that they’ll be more than Sunday Catholics and instead be Catholic their whole lives?
My theory is that if they think they’re doing something important in the world they’ll try getting more involved. Let me know what you think of my ideas
1- we can give badges like boy scouts do. For example they’ll get badges for various activities. The badges will be joy, love, self control and whatever the other fruits are.

2- they will spend time with physically handicapped kids and make friends with them. They will personally bring them to every Saturday youth group and Sunday mass. I’m a bit hesitant to bring mentally challenged kids but maybe I’ll change my mind.

3-the same thing with old people. They can help each other grow in faith and enjoy together.

4-making church grounds beautiful and some can help make a healthy post mass meal and games to glorify the body.

5- emphasizing living like a christian (I don’t believe children should read the bible) but clearly stating that creation didn’t happen in 6 days or that god sends people to burn. My version of hell is more orthodox ( heaven and hell are in same place but non believers will ‘gnash their teeth’ seeing gods love for his believers)

So tell me what you think. You think my ideas will work? Please list some of your own ideas.

Also if you can, I have one other question that needs answering.

Hi Renarax,

Like your thinking but why the hesitation about ‘Mentally challenged kids’.
They have so much to offer and may surprise you. :slight_smile:

2- they will spend time with physically handicapped kids and make friends with them. They will personally bring them to every Saturday youth group and Sunday mass. I’m a bit hesitant to bring mentally challenged kids but maybe I’ll change my mind.

3-the same thing with old people. They can help each other grow in faith and enjoy together.

4-making church grounds beautiful and some can help make a healthy post mass meal and games to glorify the body.

5- emphasizing living like a christian (I don’t believe children should read the bible) but clearly stating that creation didn’t happen in 6 days or that god sends people to burn. My version of hell is more orthodox ( heaven and hell are in same place but non believers will ‘gnash their teeth’ seeing gods love for his believers)

So tell me what you think. You think my ideas will work? Please list some of your own ideas.

Also if you can, I have one other question that needs answering.

Hi Renarax,

Like your thinking but WHY even consider excluding ‘Mentally Challenged Kids’.
They have so much to offer and may surprise you. :slight_smile:

Children this age love to hear about saints and, their Guardian Angel and they like to hear about the graces received by saying the rosary, and the more holy pictures the better for reference. You can also have a saint of the week-and involve activities that relate to the saint.

I would also start a rosary challenge: A check box sheet with saying a decade a day with prize at the end when they fill it out with 10 complete rosary recitations at home.

I would revolve the youth group around things like this. Too often, the lines between Catholic morality and secular morality become blurred if the group just focuses on-be nice, and help others. Of course this will be taught too, but a reinforcement of the spiritual is important.

The graces that will come of this are enormous. I think if you arm them with worship, spiritual and traditional practices too- it remains with them, and becomes very special.

Hi Emily
It’s not that I am against mentally challenged kids coming. It’s just that in the beginning I’ll need to familiarize myself in dealing with them. Otherwise the others will just end up confused and make them uncomfortable.
But you’re right. The only difference between us and them is that we react differently in different circumstances and maybe will think twice before expressing what we feel out loud. We have control over our emotions and they don’t.
I think it may really be a good experience. Thanks you and the other answerer

First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing your heart and mind to the instruction of our children, and for trying to strengthen them in their love of Christ! What a blessing and gift God has given you in your passion for their souls. May He richly bless you and grant you wisdom as you move forward!

I do have a couple concerns with what you present, and so I offer the following thinking points:

As a public school teacher, a Catholic, and a mom, I find it a little “off” that you are separating your kids from those other type of kids – the handicapped, the mentally challenged. If the archdiocese has special classes for mentally disabled youth and adults, then fine. But otherwise, if you don’t include them, who will?

I’m not sure what you mean by mentally challenged. Children with autism, for example, might have trouble with controlling their emotions. But I have many students who are developmentally disabled and they are the sweetest, most loving children you could ever hope to meet. AND when our special ed children (including those with autism) are included in the regular classroom, the “normal” children rally to befriend them and help them.

All that being said, this all may be a moot point.** I would just be very cautious about setting up an “us and them” mentality in the minds of young children.**

One other question I have is about not having children read the Bible :confused: My son is only 10 years old and he’s been reading and studying the stories of the bible since he was old enough to read on his own. This past lent he and I memorized 10 passages from scripture – including Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

He LOVED memorizing these passages! My hope is two-fold: that he will be armed against protestant attacks in the future that Catholics aren’t biblical; and that he will have God’s version of things firmly in mind and heart as he faces increasing challenges as he grows up.

And I think the posters who suggested that you include Catholic traditions (e.g., the rosary, Eucharistic adoration) and the lives of the Saints in your instruction are bang on the mark! The lives of the Saints especially inspire the minds and hearts of children. They also provide a direct connection between your ideas for service :thumbsup: and the life of a Christian.

God bless you for giving so much thought and love to bringing our children to Christ!

Gertie

Perhaps teaching the children about God’s nature would help, ie. God is love, truth, justice and mercy. He knows everything, sees everything and is present everwhere. You must not make up your own ‘hell-light’ because that is heretical and harmful to the children’s religious understanding.

You could have the children to cook a meal for the homeless once a year at your church.

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