Children naturally sense of the presence of God, even from a very young age, but often they just don’t have the words to help them identify and express it.
Intellectual understanding will come in its own time, but a child’s innate spirituality means that it is never too early to introduce him or her to the concept of God.
Sometimes it can seem like God is too hard to explain, so when you talk with your child about God, think of it not as an explanation, but as an invitation to explore.
Take for instance the story of Francisco Garcia’s 18-month-old daughter who enjoyed her own special moments with God, became part of a community, and what’s more, reignited her mother’s spirituality as well!
This excerpt was taken from a great resource for any new parent: Changing Diapers, Changing Lives. It is inspired by Plato’s words, “Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence.”
Inviting childlike reverence
“When my oldest daughter was about eighteen months old, she started receiving communion regularly. As she was getting older and I was explaining to her what it meant, I called it ‘God’s bread’. While I knew that she wasn’t fully comprehending what this meant, I trusted in the work of the Spirit and attempted to explain the theological significance to her in toddler-speak. Mostly, I just wanted her to feel the experience, sharing in our sacred act of Christ’s love, redemption, and transformation as a faith community.
“Over time, she would look forward to receiving her ‘God’s bread’ every Sunday. It was a beautiful sight to see her cup her hands together, look up at the eucharistic minister at the communion rail, and say “Amen!” with such gusto after she received communion. She knew it was a special moment with God and would get upset if we were not going to church, because she would not be getting any ‘God’s bread’. Now she is approaching four years of age, and she can explain to you what she is doing when she receives communion.
“In seeing my daughter develop her own relationship with God through our sacramental life, I am so glad that she has had this experience from such a young age. As parents, we plant spiritual seeds in the hearts and minds of our children, and only later do we see them develop. In doing this, we are inviting our children to live a life of reverence, and we also reignite our own spirits as God’s beloved children.”
Want to learn some tips, actions, and easy language to help your child explore their spirituality? Download the FREE guide, “How to Talk to Your Children about God.”