Vicky (19) relating her first remembrance of God, about age three:
I remember thinking that He would keep all the babies in a pocket next to his heart and he would hand pick the parent of each child. I believed that he would sit on his throne in heaven looking down on everyone and that you had to ask him to be able to get a gift or to do something, in sense believed him to be my father. I remember not being scared of him because I know he loved(s) and cared(s) for me. Also not being as curious of him as I was when I was a young teenager. He made the world make sense for me.
I have asked fellow Catholic moms for questions that they might have on such questions about motherhood and spirituality, children’s spiritual development, finding time for yourself, or just to learn more about Spiritual Direction; I have received four: Thank you so much, a great start.
From Marisa, she asks: How do you encourage children to pray when they don’t believe it works? Thank you!
Thank you, Marisa. Since I am no sure the ages of the children it might be helpful to review their spiritual development.
|The “global” stage – Infant to seven zzzzzz||
|The “concrete” stage – Eight to 12 zzzzzz||
|The “personal connection” stage – 13 -18 zzzzzz||
Reference: David Elkind, Ph.D., professor of child study at Tufts University
Now how can moms help their children develop a relationship with God?
|Parents with children ages birth to 5||
|Parents with children ages 6 to 9||
|Parents with children ages 10 to 15||
|Parents with children ages 16 to 18||
Note for moms of teens: Be open to following your teenager’s lead if she/he introduces you to spiritual passions and commitments that are important to her/him, but are different from yours. If she/he moves in directions that cause you concern, share your perspective and listen to what she/he has to say.
Now I would ask what has happened, a divorce or death of a significant person in the children’s life; because this can break the bond of trust that is developing. It is important to talk with the children to help them process what has happen. Children will by nature think that they have somehow created the situation, helping them process out what happen and how they were not responsible can help rebuild a relationship with God.
You might want to get the Prove It book series by Amy Welborn. Amy Welborn is an American Roman Catholic writer and activist, as well as a public speaker. Formerly, she was a theology teacher at a Catholic high school in Lakeland Florida and served as a parish Director of Religious Education; here is her website
Marisa, I hope this helps.
Reference: Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence at spiritualdevelopmentcenter.org.
Next answer to question 2: When did Jesus knew.