Sunday, September 18, 2011

How Do You Plant Seeds of Faith Formation in Young Children?

Several weeks ago, when I began this series on Training Happy Hearts: A Call to Faith Formation for Young Children, I promised to share ideas and resources for guiding the young children in our lives towards God and hoped that we (fellow parishioners, blog readers and I) might enter into an open dialogue about our successes, questions and challenges in helping faith among our young loved ones.

To that end, I would like to offer an invitation today:

Might you share how you plant seeds of faith in the young children in you lives?

Leave a comment letting us know how. Or, if you have a lot to say and have your own blog, leave a link. Or, if you don’t have your own blog, but would like to share, leave a comment with contact information in it and I’ll get in touch about doing a guest post here. Why? Because I would love this series to become a bit of a conversation, not just a monologue from me.

Faith Blooms Even in the Darkness in Our Home

In the meantime, I would like to share a little story about how I enjoyed witnessing faith bloom the other night.

Like many children, my four and five year olds do not like to go to sleep in the dark. Thus, we have the requisite night light for them. But, still, they sometimes claim to be frightened by the darkness around them.

Among the way I quell their fears is by telling them that all the angels are around them as they sleep and that if they ever wake afraid, they just need to say a payer to God. He is always there.

Well, the other night, I did not have to soothe them with such reminders. Instead, I broke into a smile as my four year old burrowed into her bed, holding glow-in-the-dark prayer beads in her hands, while singing, “When I feel afraid, I trust in you, I trust in you, I trust in you… When I feel afraid, I trust in you.” Seeds strewn here and there over time were bursting into bloom with this simple prayer of faith. It was beautiful!

What seeds?

I can only guess which seeds of faith I witnessed blooming the other night. I think some were:

  • the many bedtime prayers and chats my children and I have shared
  • our latest breakfast time devotional reading, Psalms for Young Children , which includes a number of paraphrased psalms about calling out to God and trusting him when we are afraid, which the kids and I have discussed
  • the craft our wonderful friend Allison, of Reconciled to You, directed the children in making after the Holy Hour for children she put together this month. It was a glow-in-the-dark one decade chain to remind the children that Jesus is the one true light.
  • listening to hymns at Mass, which reinforce that idea of love and faith “shining through the darkness”

Each exposure to the concept of trusting God, turning to God, knowing about His light and embracing it has been a seed planted in the gardens of my children’s hearts. What delight it is to see some blooming!

What seeds have you been planting in your children’s hearts lately? Have you witness any blooming?

Please share. As always, I welcome your thoughts and questions and encourage you to join in on this ongoing discussion of how we might work together to train up the young children in our lives to love and live the faith.

Please continue to join us here each Sunday for new thoughts, tips and sharing about Training Happy Hearts: A Call to Faith Formation for Young Children. And, if you would be interested in me making this series into a Blog Hop or Linky, let me know. It could be a fun way to bring more of us who blog into the “conversation” as well as to give those who just read a place to find ideas from many others.

Disclosure: If you click on any Amazon links here and make a purchase of any item,, I may receive a small percentage to help defray the cost of training my children up.

1 comment:

Montessori At Home! said...

Beautiful post and ideas, Martianne - thank you!


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