Keep her eyes fixed on Jesus

Keep her eyes fixed on Jesus

Mary Gibson has some nice words to say about my post on our bored, distracted, and overstimulated kids. She
recalls the example of some parents and positive steps they take with their child.

True story - some friends of mine had a 2-year-old boy (now 4). This child was as squirmy as any kid I’ve ever seen, but when they brought him into church for Mass, he was dead silent and awe struck at everything around him. Why? I think it is because they did not condescend his youth - instead, they constantly stayed with him, murmuring to him what was going on, why they were doing what they were doing, what was happening up on the altar. Instead of assuming that he couldn’t understand what was going on, and attempting to “time the distraction” of toys to the Consecration, they assumed he COULD know what was happening and who Jesus is. And so he did. And so can your child - if they’re not already addicted to the 30 second rule of entertainment!

This is what we do with Isabella, although Melanie is more successful at this than I am. At the Consecration, she points to Father at the altar and whispers to her, “Look at Jesus!” This builds on our home rituals of giving her the cross to kiss and every time she wakes up from sleeping, pointing to the cross above her crib, and saying, “Good morning, Jesus!”

Now whenever we pass by a church with a cross or a statue of Jesus or Mary or a saint (she still has difficulty sorting them out), she points and repeats, “Jees, Jees.”

It’s not rocket science. It’s persistence and consistency. We’re not perfect by any means. We forget, get tired, are cranky, or whatever. But we do our best to remember and there is a pay off.

I just read on a parenting blog some sage advice about the hard stuff in parenting: “Pay me now or pay me later.” Good advice.