Laura Nelson outlines seven simple and practical ways to share God with your children.
When you met your child for the first time, what was the first thing you did? Smile at them? Hold them? Embrace them? Probably all of the above, right? More than likely, you also spoke to them.
One of the first things I do when I meet a new baby is smile and say “Hi!” I speak to them in a sweet tone and talk to them in words they don’t yet understand. Most parents do this for their children. It’s a natural response. It’s how we bond with them and also how they begin to learn language.
Often, what isn’t natural to us as parents is how to speak to our child about God. We want them to share our love for Him and to experience His love for them but most of us feel at a loss when faced with the task of introducing our children to our loving Father.
But it doesn’t have to be complicated to start your child on the journey to a lifelong relationship with Christ. Here are a few simple and practical ways to share God with your children.
- Introduce God to your children early when you speak to them. “Hi Baby! I love you! God loves you! He made you. You are so precious to Him!”
- Use God’s name in your conversations each day. “Didn’t God give us a beautiful day today?” “This is hard. But I know God is with us.” “Thank you, God, for __(food, swimming, new toys, clothing, our family, etc.)__”
- Have conversations with God (also called “prayer”) in front of your children and with your children. “God, can you help me with this? I don’t know what to do right now.” “Let’s tell God about our day. I know He’d want to hear about it. He loves it when we come to Him.”
- Tell stories to your child about God (also called “reading the Bible”). You can read from a child-friendly Bible or you can share the stories with them in your own words.
- Share the story of Creation in the book of Genesis with your child at an early age This key Bible story shares with them God’s identity as Creator and Father. It can also help them grow in awe and wonder of God, His power, and how He reveals Himself to us through His Creation.
- Tell your child the story of Christ’s birth. Children relate to other children. Thinking of Jesus as a small baby makes Him more approachable to them (and, often, to us as well!)
- Bring your child to Mass with you and point out things in the sanctuary to help them see what’s in the space. “Do you see Jesus on the cross? He loves us so much!” “Can you find the candles? I see six of them.” Do you hear the bells ringing? That means something very special is happening. Let’s pay attention!” “What color is the priest wearing today?””Let’s listen to what they’re reading. They’re giving us God’s word!”
There are so many great Catholic resources for parents that are available to help you share your faith with your child. Here are a few resources that you might find are helpful to you:
- The Sacred That Surrounds Us: How Everything in a Catholic Church Points to Heaven by Andrea Zachman
- The Catholic Children’s Bible
- Child’s Guide to the Mass by Susan Stanton
- Anything from Ascension Press for kids, especially My First Interactive Mass Book for young children.
Copyright 2023 Laura Nelson
About the Author
Laura B. Nelson is a Catholic wife and mother of three children. She is also a Catholic blogger, author, speaker, teacher and life-long student of the Catholic faith. Laura likes to be busy but she most enjoys spending time with her husband and three children at their home in Grapevine, TX. Find out more about Laura at LauraBNelson.com.