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6 Great ways to help children stick to their Lenten promises

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Cerith Gardiner - published on 02/22/24

Help your kids hang on in there with these creative and meaningful tools of encouragement.

As we enter the second of Lent, the novelty factor of giving something up for Lent, or promising to do something during this special period, might already be wearing off on your children — it’s totally normal, 40 days can seem very long for the young!

However, the notion of sticking to a promise is not only important from a spiritual point of view, it’s also a vital virtue for life in general. Therefore, a little parental encouragement during Lent might go a long way.

By infusing Lenten practices with creativity and joy, children are more likely to stay motivated and engaged in their promises throughout the season. You can make this Lent a memorable and transformative experience for your little ones with these creative tips.

Lenten recipe challenge

Going without meat or favorite treats is common practice in Lent. However, kids might find it hard to go without a specific sweet treat. You could challenge your children to come up with meatless recipes or snacks that they can enjoy during Lent. Get them involved in meal planning and preparation, emphasizing the importance of making sacrifices joyfully and creatively. Or have them try making one of the tasty dishes on Aleteia’s Meatless Meal Planner for Lent!

Secret Lenten pal

Pair each child with a “secret Lenten pal” (similar to Secret Santa). Throughout Lent, they anonymously leave notes of encouragement or small treats for their pal to remind them of their promises. It’s a delightful way to foster camaraderie and support.

Buddy system with saint trading cards

This is another pairing option that might work better with older kids. Pair each child with a “Lenten buddy” who is a saint they admire. Provide them with trading cards featuring different saints and their virtues. Encourage children to emulate their buddy saint’s qualities while sticking to their Lenten promises. They can even collect stickers or points for each successful day of keeping their promise.

Family Lenten challenges

Make Lent a family affair by setting weekly challenges that everyone participates in. Whether it’s volunteering together or praying a rosary, doing activities as a family fosters support and accountability. Plus, it’s a great way to bond and grow spiritually together.

Lenten promise jar

Create a special jar or box where children can write down their Lenten promises on colorful slips of paper. Throughout Lent, encourage them to add notes of encouragement or reflections on their progress. On Easter Sunday, gather as a family to read through the notes and celebrate their accomplishments together.

Rewards with a twist

Instead of traditional rewards, incorporate Lenten-themed incentives that reinforce the spiritual aspect of their promises. For example, for every week they stick to their promise, they earn a “virtue voucher” that can be redeemed for activities like leading family prayer, choosing a charity to donate to, or spending quality time with a sibling.

Catholic LifestyleChildrenFamilyLent
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