After the Holy Mass, the Rosary is the most powerful form of prayer! It is so powerful that the Blessed Virgin Mary actually gave 15 promises to those who recite the Rosary devoutly. Wouldn’t it be great if your kids receive all these promises and enjoy all the graces promised by Our Lady to those who say the Rosary?
Why it’s important to make our kids fall in love with the Rosary is quite clear. What’s not clear for many parents is the HOW. How exactly can we get young kids to actually fall in love with praying the Rosary? I am sure that not a few parents have heard complaints from our children whenever we invite them to pray the Rosary: “It’s too long…it’s boring…can’t we just say 1 decade?”
As a mother of 6 children myself (15, 13, 10, 7, 2 and 1 month old), one of the things I am most proud of in life is the fact that my children do pray the rosary with us every day. Let me share with you three (3) practical tips on how to make your kids fall in love with the Rosary, based on our own experience.
Have a Regular Time for the Rosary
The first and most important advice I can give is for you and your family to set aside a regular time for praying the Rosary. This needs to be at a very specific time, every single day. No deviations allowed. No excuses. At a specific time, all of us will drop everything and pray the Rosary for fifteen minutes.
In our family, our regular Rosary time is at 630pm every evening. I find this schedule quite perfect. This is the in-between time between our children’s outdoor play and taking a bath before bedtime, and dinner. So after they play in the afternoon, at around 6pm they take a bath already. After that, we pray the Rosary at 630. Dinner follows, then after that it’s bedtime for them.
It will be hard at first to impose the schedule. There will be lots of excuses and delays. But the key thing is that you need to absolutely stick with it, and really insist on a regular schedule. The kids need to realize that praying the Rosary as a family is an integral part of your day - it should be as regular as taking a bath, eating dinner at a particular time, etc.
Once you establish this regularity, you are already halfway there. At the start, many of them may not really pray that well - some will be noisy, some won’t answer and actually pray, etc. - but that’s okay. Eventually, the habit is established, and it becomes part of their daily routine.
It’s also quite important to start this process very early in the lives of your children. Starting this practice late (eg, teenage years) will be extremely difficult. This is all about establishing habits at a young age. Once it is established as a habit, at a very young age, your children will eventually fall in love with the Rosary, since the Blessed Mother will grant your children the grace to love the Rosary through the constant and regular prayer.
Let them Take Turns Leading
One practice that has worked quite well for us in terms of engaging our children in the Rosary and making sure they really answer and not day dream is letting the children take turns in leading the family Rosary. I have four children, so each of them take turns in leading one decade of the Rosary, while the rest of the family answers. For the 5th decade, we ask one child to repeat and lead.
What this does is that it keeps them active in prayer, and makes them participate more. We actually even bought a microphone which they use whenever they lead the Rosary! Not only did this let their tiny voices be heard by our relatively big household (all our househelp also join us in prayer), it actually thrilled them to hold the microphone and hear their voices out loud!
Another key practice is to have specific prayer intentions. Before we start each decade, we usually ask different people to recite their intentions for that decade. It can be any intention - help in their studies, prayer for health, for the eternal repose of the soul of a loved one, or any other intention. The key thing is that this intention needs to come from the child, and needs to be from the heart. Let your child speak from the heart and say his or her intention prior to the start of the decade. This way, the Rosary becomes more personal for them.
I hope the above 3 practical tips help you and your family make your kids fall in love with the Rosary!