I’ve really enjoyed pondering the ways in which I share my faith with my children and how being a parent enriches my faith so far in the Faith of Our Children series, but this final topic threw me for a loop.
We’re supposed to write about the tools we use to build our children’s faith, things like prayer journals, children’s Bibles, and the like.
And there I sit.
First, my kids are only six and three, so they aren’t writing much yet.
Second, we don’t homeschool, so formal faith formation isn’t all that formal, at least not at home.
Third, 95% of all our “stuff” of any kind is in a 10×20′ storage unit right now, so we definitely aren’t currently using anything to enhance our kids’ faith, not even their big wooden Rosary beads that they both received at their Baptisms.
My question, then, is do we need things to teach the faith?
As an teacher and a Catholic, certainly I understand the value of hands-on learning.
In education we use “manipulatives” to help kids understand concepts and learn by doing, and in the Church we have our “sacramentals,” quite literally tangible holy items.
They have their place in the passing on of the faith, and you know I appreciate the traditions of the Church as I teach my kids about God. But I guess my new favorite tool for raising up little Christians is not a thing at all, just a habit:
A Conversation to Teach the Faith
I’ve started asking my son a new question at the end of the school day, and it’s changed the way I go about my day too. Instead of, “How was your day?” or “What did you do today?” I ask, “What did God say to you today?”
As the mom, I have to have an answer too, to help my 6-year-old have an example of how to listen to the voice of God in the course of daily living. It’s not always easy, and it makes me have a new awareness of the presence of God throughout the day in my own life.
Now my prayer is that I can remember to keep the habit up so that listening to God becomes second nature for my kids.
Maybe I need some”thing” to remind me… 😉
When the Church year provides us with special seasons to celebrate, we do have a couple “things” that have been really cool to integrate into our nighttime prayer routine with the kids:
- The Advent Storybook with Benjamin Bear is a super favorite as I mentioned here
- The Garden of the Good Shepherd Sticker Calendar for the Easter season
- during Lent, we added a story to the bedtime routine, allowing 3 books instead of two with this winner: 100 Bible Stories, 100 Bible Songs. My son loves music, so music is certainly on “thing” we try to use to help him fall in love with Jesus more.
- Acts of service: my son doesn’t get toys for his birthday, but he gets this experience, which lasts a lifetime
You can find all the Faith of our Children posts here.
Read More from the Team
The other ladies on the Faith of our Children team have spectacular ideas for your holy library too:
- Mary at Owlhaven
- Amy at Mom’s Toolbox
- JessieLeigh at Parenting Miracles
- Amy at Amy’s Finer Things
- Toni at The Happy Housewife
- Katie at Kitchen Stewardship
- Connie at Smockity Frocks
See my full disclosure statement here.