A few months ago, I was chatting with a friend about wanting to do a family Rosary. Well, actually, about NOT wanting to do a family rosary. My reasons:
- I have too many little kids.
- My kids are seriously rambunctious.
- We're pressed for time in the evenings.
So while I'm chatting with this friend, I start to realize a few things.
- She has just as many little kids as me (about the same ages, in fact)
- Her kids are seriously rambunctious.
- She's even more pressed for time in the evenings than I am.
So my excuses were nil, and I begrudgingly brought it up to my husband. He, of course, was REALLY excited about it. (Not kidding.) We made a firm resolution to start it that very night right before bed.
So we are on month three of the Family Rosary. I have to admit, we don't do it EVERY night--we reduce to a decade when we have been out or it simply gets too late. But for the most part, we pray an entire rosary each night.
Here are some things I've learned:
- Provide religious books to look at. Most kids DO NOT have a long attention span for listening, but if they have a book they can flip through, the Rosary becomes much easier for them to pray.
- (I got this one from a friend) Do the rosary right before bed, after teeth brushing and pajamas. That way, their choices are "Go to sleep" or "Pray the rosary." Every kid I've ever met would rather get the extra 20 minutes with Mom and Dad instead of going to sleep. (Note: We don't actually verbalize this choice...but some day, a rebellion may arise, and that would be our solution)
- Try to relax. I've found myself in this scenario: "Hail Mary, full of grace, JOHN PAUL, SIT DOWN! The Lord is with thee. Blessed--JOHN PAUL, HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU??--art thou among women, and blessed is the--JOHN PAUL, DO YOU NEED A SPANKING?--fruit of thy womb Jesus. You get the idea. Don't be that Mom.
- Pray! Sometimes, it's the most obvious thing, and you forget anyway. You might be focused on a little guy sneaking a Winnie the Pooh book instead of his Blessed Mother book, or trying to make sure that the baby doesn't eat the broken arm of a football action figure. But offer those little inconveniences up to God and ask Him to give you the grace to handle them like our Lady would have. And when things are melting down, skip a few Hail Mary's and say them later!!
- Just do it. It's half the battle.
- Get ready to see some FRUIT. Our Lady always delivers. Stay tuned for part 2 of this post to see how it's worked for us!