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Kids are growing now. The tiny babies are in a process of transformation into men. We can no longer carry them on our laps and hands. On the other hand, they might carry us one day. How to get kids pray faithfully has been one of our family “curriculum” as kids are growing and parents are getting old. Only God that take care of their life.
I thank God for all blessings, guidance, and chance for us as parents to be able to watch them growing. There isn't any certain things that can guarantee how children would have great life forever. We also don't know to what extend we can live with them. They should be able to live independently soon.
Beside other life skills they need in the future, getting kids pray is the most important thing that should be prioritize in character education in our family.
- In many religion, pray is a mean of communication with God, our Creator and the Owner of everything. Pray can keep us peaceful as we will be more confident that Our Creator should have held our life.
- Because of the confidence, pray will make us strong to face hard things in our life. As parents, of course that we hope that kids won't give up on temptation in the future. Therefore, pray can help them to be strong.
- Pray will make us to keep our life on the right track under the guidance of Our Creator.
Unfortunately, as the earth grows older, the value of pray in people's life is getting decreased. The relation between human being and God is getting loose overtime as the human life span is getting shorter and shorter. It seems that the personal relationship between God and human have been decrease going through the time. When we read about Adam and Eve in the bible, we observe that God spoke privately to Adam and Eve. Adam achieved more than 900 years old. The life age span has been getting shorter and shorter. We don’t know whether it has relationship with the way people communicate with God or not.
Anyway, since my husband and I have been bound in a marriage sacrament of Roman Catholic, we vow to educate our children under the Roman Catholic education and religion. Therefore, we try to get our family pray consistently. It is not an easy work to get kids pray and follow the religion. Here are some tips that might be useful for other family. I think most parents try to educate the children to follow the religion they believe in. For those who are not Christian, there might be any points you might follow in your own religion.
- You pray with them first. Give them a good model of praying. It can be a spontanous prayers, devotional prayers, mass prayers, etc. whathever the prayers are, model from parents are the most important things. It starts with the manner.
- Make pray as a habit and culture in your family. We are a Roman Catholic family. Pray time as a habit means that we pray regularly during days or night. For instance, we pray before sleeping at night, wake up in the morning, before meals, after meals, before school and after school.
- Create a supportive environment where everyone is quiet to prepare their heart, soul, and mind to talk with God, the creator. In some occasion, a quiet music or chant can be used to help the mind being calm down.
- Have a discussion about pray, like sequence of talking with God and the content of your conversation with God.
We start our prayer with being grateful for anything that God bless us with. We praise God for the greatness. We ask forgiveness for our sin. We ask for blessings and intention.
- Develop a sense of “afraid of God” and “trust in God”. You might be laughing when you know that kids will pray whenever they go with us to a shopping mall. They pray so that we get a parking lot. It sounds silly, but it shows that they believe that God will provide parking lot that we need in the shopping mall.
- Do some copy work of prayers. It doesn't only help kids to develop their handwriting, but also will they memorize the prayers indirectly and get them pray using the prayer. It is better to discuss the content of memorized prayers so that kids will understand.
- The habit of pray is very difficult to be separated from going to the place of worship like church, mosque, synagogue, temple, etc. By going to the place of worship regularly kids can see how other people pray.
- Involve kids in religious events or tradition. Parents can show how to pray in certain events or tradition such as thanksgiving, novena, rosary, fasting, etc.
- Reading scripture and even memorizing the verses will help us to see the role of pray in the history of human life in the scripture.
- Telling or reading some stories about religious experience of any famous figures that shows the importance of pray and the role of pray in someone's life will enrich kids' insight of the importance of pray.
Every family have different tradition and believe on pray, I think. For us, pray is like the well of life.
Pray is a facility to show our gratefulness to our Lord, to praise our God, to ask forgiveness of our sins, and to ask blessings. Basically, pray is the way we communicate with God, our Creator