Family Evening Prayers
#1
I'm the father of three young children (ages 3, 2 and 8 months). We do evening prayers together as a family, and our practice thus far has been to make the 3 and 2-year-olds to kneel with us, sitting still for the duration of our prayers (our current family evening prayer routine only takes about 4-5 minutes). While much of the time there aren't issues, often enough the kids are fidgety, trying to wiggle away to get toys, occasionally throwing tantrums when we make them sit still. In those times, our prayers are often accompanied by screams and frustrations from my wife and myself.

On one hand I want to instill in the children obedience (thus not awarding their tantrums by letting them get away with fooling around while we pray), but on the other hand our method begins to seem counter-productive if our prayers are constantly interrupted by screams and scoldings.

How have you other parents in the group handled this situation? Do you force your young children to partake in family prayers, and at what age did you begin?
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#2
5 minutes might not seem long to you, but to a 3 year old it probably is.
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If you can get some of the Hail Mary done, you are probably doing well.
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It is a balancing act.  On one hand you want to be quiet and reverent and on the other hand, you don't want to be overbearing and make them hate prayer time.
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#3
(06-12-2019, 09:35 AM)MaryTN Wrote: 5 minutes might not seem long to you, but to a 3 year old it probably is.
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If you can get some of the Hail Mary done, you are probably doing well.
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It is a balancing act.  On one hand you want to be quiet and reverent and on the other hand, you don't want to be overbearing and make them hate prayer time.

I think 5 minutes shouldn't be too long for children as well, I believe it's just a matter of habits. If they were used to being wild at other times, naturally 5 minutes being still would be too much. On the other hand, if they were used to studying and reading, 5 minutes or even 10 minutes shouldn't be too long. That's only my opinion, I might be wrong.
In my parish, there is a family, they got 4 children - all boys, all of them behave very well, they never got annoyed during the 1 hour Mass.
They were even trained to receive Holy Communion in the tongue while kneeling. That's the result of training.
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#4
if your three year old were the youngest with older siblings setting a good example, it'd be easier for him/her to sit still. But with a 2 year old and an 8 month old in the mix, the three year old's gonna be distracted and led astray every time. Completely normal. Three is still pretty little. I would say let them cuddle with mommy and daddy while mom and dad pray, setting a good example. If they crawl out of your laps, I'd let them provided they keep the noise level down. Then read them a story about the saints or Jesus and then say a short prayer they can start to learn.

No screaming; make it a really pleasant time.  Heart If it doesn't work out, maybe they're tired. I'd put 'em to bed and finish without them.
"Not only are we all in the same boat, but we are all seasick.” --G.K. Chesterton
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#5
(06-17-2019, 02:13 PM)JacafamalaRedux Wrote: if your three year old were the youngest with older siblings setting a good example, it'd be easier for him/her to sit still. But with a 2 year old and an 8 month old in the mix, the three year old's gonna be distracted and led astray every time. Completely normal. Three is still pretty little. I would say let them cuddle with mommy and daddy while mom and dad pray, setting a good example. If they crawl out of your laps, I'd let them provided they keep the noise level down. Then read them a story about the saints or Jesus and then say a short prayer they can start to learn.

No screaming; make it a really pleasant time.  Heart If it doesn't work out, maybe they're tired. I'd put 'em to bed and finish without them.

This is basically what we do with the kids. Two under four with another on the way, so no experience with older kids yet. We'll include them in our evening rosary when they turn... not sure yet. Smile
Filioli mei, non diligamus verbo neque lingua, sed opere et veritate.
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