I was brought up in the age of the computer. Apple had those giant computers set up all over the school and we were constantly doing something with them. Remember those? The ugly off white maybe yellow boxes with the selector switches. They would teach you how to code. I watched the computer age unfold. IBM, Apple, Dell, Compaq, Windows 95, the list goes on and on. Indecently, nothing prepared me for being a blogger!
Luckily, I have my 15 year old daughter, who now has a class on Saturday mornings for her father, on Pinning? She is the go to for all my social media questions and yes, even some of the complicated computer questions, like “Where is my email?”. I swore I would never be that guy. Guess what, here I am!
Catholic Parenting, let them join in!
I enjoy learning new things and the challenges that come along with them. I would say it’s what energizes me most. Children are like that as well. They all want to be a part of the family, helpful and needed. I know, I forget a lot of times to include the younger ones in on “helping”. What seems like a small task for us, isn’t for them. They look for opportunities to be us, to be like Dad! Therefore, I work to make opportunities for them to help.
For example, each night of the week one of them, helps with cooking dinner. Now, it is according to skill set, I am not that crazy….Ok maybe a little. I’m drinking a beer, the four year old is frying fish, got the 11 year old with the pressure cooker and the 8 year old has the Ginsu knives juggling and dicing tomatoes, its a party! No really, I have little jobs planned for each.
The same goes for prayer, I have ones that read, ones that get us the books. We have a prayer table and consequently then a sacristan. We do have some liturgical rites at home and then we have some altar servers. HOWEVER, let us not forget the ones who do NOT want to do anything and do NOT want to be a part because of whatever reason.
For example, all my family is outgoing except for one of my girls. She will not put herself in any situation where she can be picked on (She is the middle child) so what I do is have her preplan who we pray for! She comes up with the intentions, hands them too me and BAM! Think outside the box!
The Advent Miracle
That’s why beginning in Advent we decided, as a family to have night prayer together. I have more than enough ” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener sponsored nofollow”>Liturgy of the Hours books, and night prayer is pretty much the same week after week. In addition makes it very simple to teach. We prayed in choir, boys on one side girls on the other.
So as the Father of the family it was my job to lead. Consequently, we have all sort of authority as Fathers, such as: to perform certain blessings and liturgical functions in our home (We will have to have a post on that one day too), and we are to invite into our home peace and love. I am responsible to lead the family in prayer, like the priest over the congregation. I find it to be something I am greatly humbled by, and enjoy very much.
But something very special happened, one evening after several weeks of praying as a family, my oldest son came up to me and asked, “Dad, can I lead us in prayer? Very proud of his desire to accept such a responsibility, and sensing in him the desire to lead. I agreed to his request.
Teaching them and allowing our children to take part in certain duties, results in helps them grow. For example, Look at the generations past, they helped on farms, put into summer internships, paper routes, store clerks and baggers, they watched and learned by participating in society. Indecently, they knew how to behave, what was required of them. The same is true of our faith. Certainly we all learned by watching our parents, and now it is our turn, to teach our children. Therefore, go get them!
Look around and take notice. Your children want to be present, and active in the family. It is our job to teach them. Include them, allow them to step up and be the important role they want to be in the Home too.
Learn from the Saints
Learning from the Saints can be a great way to help us on the path. Examples of their lives, what fostered their growth, these things can give a better understanding of what we lack. For instance, I will talk to the kids about Saints as we sit down to Sunday breakfast. I pick out a Saint for the family to learn about, we study them, discuss them over the meal. You can use this as family time, time to discuss your faith. Above all else, use it to grow in holiness together.
Recently, I did a blog post on Saints and how they can help us along the way. Check out that post HERE and see if it is any help. There are some suggested books on there too that might be helpful!
One little book
When I began my life of renewal in the faith, I can remember as a young parent sitting with my brother and sister, my wife, grandmother and mother around the table discussing the Church. I found a book that had questions in it about the Church. They would say things like “Pope” on one side and then on the other would be a description of who the pope is in relationship to the Church. We began asking the words and seeing who knew about each one. We laughed and cut up, sometimes realizing how dumb we really were concerning our faith. Afterwards the book went away and on with the week, but just as Sunday rolled around again someone said, “hey where is that book, that was fun ask us some more questions.” I blame that book for my families deep participation in the faith. We were, until then, nominal Catholics. For some strange reason that book set us on fire. You never know how God will work, the little events that he will choose.
What is your take on it?
In conclusion I would say, involve everyone! . Being a Catholic means, being active in your faith. The Domestic Church is where it begins! What does that mean? Keep checking back as we will cover the Domestic Church and its importance in our lives!
The topics we looked over, are fun and simple and will make teaching and being a Catholic Parent FUN, and will help you learn a little something in the mean time. Enjoy the Journey- It is the Reward!
Do you have suggestions on what activities children can take part in, in the home?