As Catholic parents, it is so important to pass on the knowledge of our faith to our children and no age is too young to begin learning. But some days it can feel like a chore, rather than a blessing, to share these amazing fruits of our faith.
Here are some simple tips that, when applied, can turn showing our children the gift of the Rosary from laborious and frustrating into a truly enjoyable blessing for the entire family.
Don’t force it. The Rosary can sometimes take twenty minutes to pray which, as adults, seems like a blip in the day. But for some children, twenty minutes sitting in a chair is quite a feat of strength. While you may be hoping to enforce the self-discipline aspect of prayer, forcing your child to sit for the entire Rosary may actually be detrimental to exhibiting its positivities. Remember that our Lord created these little ones with rambunctious bones, so try not to make them sit in a chair for too long.
Model it. While your children are actively playing, coloring and exploring through their day, sit in the midst of their fun and begin praying your own Rosary. Invite them to join if they wish, but keep the focus on your prayer and love of it. Modeling prayer with joy in our hearts is the best way to teach our children what it is all about.
Shorten it. The Rosary is not meant to be militant and strict, but rather to be used as a tool to bring us closer to our Mother Mary. Instead of making it a full twenty minutes, invite your children to participate in one decade. Their attention span is more apt to stick around and over time it will grow. Rejoice in the ten Hail Mary’s with your child or change it up and pray all five decades while shortening each to two or three Hail Mary’s.
Make it fun. Kids love activities more than sitting and listening so turn the Rosary into a fun and interactive activity instead of just a chair. Using construction paper, create a large Rosary on the floor for them to hop around on while you pray. Or make a board that they can move a piece along like a game. Find some online printouts of the mysteries and encourage coloring as they listen or even purchase books that will help explain the meaning and purpose. If your children are really crafty, have them make their own Rosary to use each time they pray.
The Rosary is filled with so many blessings and praying it together as a family can really strengthen you as a unit while educating your children about the beliefs of the Church. By taking the steps early on to teach them that prayer is an uplifting and joyful activity, you can set them up for a lifelong of resources to strengthen their relationship with Jesus.