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8 Ways to teach kids the Catholic faith without preaching

Visiting an elderly person in the hospital

DC Studio | Shutterstock

Cecilia Pigg - published on 01/28/20 - updated on 04/27/24

Actions speak louder than words, and the way we live every day teaches our children a lot about what it means to be a Christian.

Have you ever been overwhelmed by the number of things you want your child to learn?

I have a toddler, and I’m really excited for the day empathy clicks for him. Oh, and reading, and table manners, and the importance of wearing socks when it’s cold, and I could keep going. There are only so many little talks and explanations that I can give him every day. But, I have already noticed how much my example teaches him, and I often forget what a powerful tool that is.

When I react calmly to a situation, it’s always better than when I’m frustrated and impatient because he senses my mood and acts accordingly. So, if my example is a good way to teach now, why not use it to help him learn about Christ and what it means to be a Christian?

Here are eight ways we can show our kids what Christianity looks like.

1
MAKE QUIET TIME FOR YOURSELF TO PRAY EVERY DAY

This might mean praying when your kids are asleep, so they may never know that you have this habit of prayer. But you will be a better mom and a better person because of it. And they will appreciate that change.  

2
PRAY OUT LOUD SPONTANEOUSLY AROUND YOUR KIDS

When you hear an ambulance while on the road, pray for the people who are hurting. Share what you’re thankful for that day on the way home from school by thanking God out loud. Kids will love to have a turn. When you hear about a sick friend, pray out loud: Jesus, please bless so-and-so today. Make it normal to talk to God throughout the day. 

3
SPEAK WELL OF YOUR PARENTS AND YOUR HUSBAND’S PARENTS

You can discuss grievances or disagreements that you have privately, when your kids can’t hear. But teaching them to respect their relatives, especially their grandparents, is important.   

4
TAKE YOUR KIDS TO MASS

Show them that Sunday is important. If your kids are little, Mass might be a stressful experience as they struggle to sit still and listen. But take them anyway. If you form the habit now, it will be easier to continue as they grow older.

5
SPEAK WELL OF OTHER PARENTS

Avoid gossip during your conversations with your friends. Gossip is so common and easy to fall into. But it does not respect the person gossiped about, and it eats away at the gossiper’s integrity as well. One way to truly love someone, especially someone you may not particularly like, is to consciously choose to speak well of that person. 

6
PARTICIPATE IN ACTS OF CHARITY

Find a soup kitchen nearby to volunteer at together. Greet homeless people when you cross their paths, asking people’s names and how they are doing. Later you can pray for them by name. Take an opportunity to visit a nursing home or an elderly neighbor who is in the hospital. Perform simple acts of kindness for homebound neighbors, like raking leaves for them or cutting their lawn.

7
BE PRESENT

Try to be present to each circumstance you are in. Parents are great at multitasking, but sometimes we overdo it. Make time for the things that are important to do each day, and then don’t cross-pollinate. If it is time to recharge for you, do that. If it is time to spend quality time with your kids, do that as fully as possible. 

8
SPEAK LOVINGLY OF YOUR SPOUSE, OR IF YOU’RE A SINGLE PARENT, SPEAK WELL OF YOUR KIDS’ DAD OR MOM

They will notice how you speak about their parent, especially when you speak to others about them.  

In little ways, we can live a life focused on Christ and that way, when we do talk with our kids about faith, it’s all the more convincing because we’re living what we trying to pass onto them. 

Tags:
FaithFamily & EducationMotherhoodParenting
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