Happy Fat Tuesday, everyone! For some, tomorrow marks the first day of the Lenten season. 40 days to grow closer to the cross. 40 days to dust ourselves off and clean ourselves up. 40 days to give our minds and bodies a little clearer vision of how we can best live our lives.
Growing up, I always believed that Lent was a time of great sacrifice of something dear to us. And yeah, it can still very much be that. But it’s really about the addition or subtraction of something in your life to focus more on Jesus during the Easter season. The point is getting back to where Jesus is the most important aspect of our lives. What is taking our time away from focusing more on our Higher Power? Did everyone’s mind immediately go to social media? Or was that just me? 🖐
I love this so much more than “you must give something up” mentality because it makes Lent so much more accessible to the average person. And it makes it possible to share the observance of Lent with our children.
Since Jackson and Colton are now 3 and 1, I wanted to start doing small things to help make this a time for the whole family and not just for the adults. I want to take more time to get them praying, talking about Jesus, and learning together this year. I want to focus on the three areas of Lent in simple, small ways to help my kids better understand and learn about Jesus: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
This is not an extensive list as this is truly the first time I’m including my children in the Lenten season. I found some really great ideas if you’re further along in this journey here! And some really wonderful kids activities to do in a paper chain for the Lenten season here!
Memorize a New Prayer
Say a prayer everyday together for the 40 days of Lent. Choose one before dinner or right before bedtime to say together as a family. Start with The Prayer to St. Michael or The Lord’s Prayer, or take one from this list on PrayWithMe.com I found. Find a prayer and say it together everyday for 40 days. Simple ways to get your kids thinking about Jesus every single day.
Donate Unused Toys
Such a simple way to show almsgiving from a child. Kids don’t grasp the concept of money well, but they understand the value of one of their toys and know what it means, from a very small age, to donate it to others. Have your child choose some of their toys to donate and have them take part in delivering to the Salvation Army or donation center.
Include Your Children
Instead of having your small children decide how they are going to be closer to their faith this season, do things as a family. If you’re going to fast, include your children (to reasonably levels!). If you aren’t eating meat on Fridays, neither are your children. If you are going to Ash Wednesday to receive your ashes, take your children with you. Going to adoration? Be brave mamas and take those little ones, too. Our children won’t know until they experience it. Let them be apart of your journey so they can learn and grow with you. Keep your kids connected to what your church is doing this Lenten season.
I’m not as knowledgeable about my religion as I’d like to be, so my boys are certainly the same. Learning together as a family is powerful. And mamas, don’t overwhelm yourself or your kids. Little steps, little decisions, can go so far with our little ones. Think of this as a way to bless your children, and don’t let it be something that weighs you down.
What are some of the ways you are celebrating the Lenten season with your children?