Our priest the other day said that parents should teach their children to pray. I thought I would be able to leave this to the school as I don’t really know what to do. Where should I start?
The place to start is with your own prayers. There are many good prayer books that will help you to say some simple morning and night prayers so that you are used to spending a little time with Our Lord each day. You can also spend some quiet moments thinking about the truths of the faith (again there are some quite simple summaries available in many prayer books) and then asking Our Lord in your own words how to live well as a Catholic.
You are expecting your second child and I think that this is a good time to start praying with him. You will be concerned that everything goes well with your pregnancy and with the birth. In a very simple way, you can “share” these thoughts and prayers with your unborn child as well as looking forward to the moment when you first see his face. Saying the Rosary with and for your unborn child is a beautiful preparation for birth.
As soon as your child is able to walk and talk a little, that would be the time to kneel down and say some simple prayers, especially at bedtime. You can say prayers at your own choice; there are many good children’s prayer books that can help. It is also good if you say some traditional prayers such as the Our Father and the Hail Mary, and perhaps the Act of Contrition and the Prayer to the Guardian Angel. It doesn’t matter that your child doesn’t understand them fully as yet – he will start at school knowing these familiar prayers and will understand them better as he gets older.
If you can persuade your husband to take part in these prayers (whether he is Catholic or not) this will be a fine example to your children, help him to be a good role model for them, and bring blessings on your family.
Catholic Dilemmas column published in the Catholic Herald
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