What is prayer?
For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy. St. Therese of Lisieux
God's love is communicated to infants and young children primarily through parents. Parents have shared the gift of human life with their children and, through Baptism, have enriched them with a share in God's own life. They have the duty to nourish it. Parents are catechists precisely because they are parents. Their role in the formation of Christian values in their children is irreplaceable. They "should speak naturally and simply about God and their faith, as they do about other matters they want their children to understand and appreciate. (National Directory of Catechesis 48)
In order for catechesis to take root in a child, reinforcement at home is necessary.
Don't know how to form your child in the faith? Here's a few helpful tips:
- Pray at home with your child. Start by using and helping your child learn the familiar traditional prayers which are often found in the back of your child's textbook. You may also receive some assistance with prayer ideas from items sent home by your child's catechist.
- Pray for your child, daily, and openly. Set a specific time to pray with your child. Bless you child with holy water before leaving the house. Bless your child in the car, before dropping the child off at school. Let your child see your reading the Bible or praying.
- Make it a priority to take your child to Mass weekly. Studies have shown that young adults who attended Mass as children and adolescents are more likely to remain Catholics when they leave home.
- Talk about faith with your child. Ask them about God. Share stories about times when you felt closest to God. Make it a natural topic of conversation.
- Support what your child is learning. Talk about what they are learning, just like you would any other subject. Your child's catechist may send home parent pages that explain what is being covered in the current unit, or you can find this information at the end of chapters in your child's textbook.