They actually DO pay attention...well sometimes.
Brian and I have made an effort to center our family around our faith. We truly believe that part of the responsibility of being a parent is modeling a good example to our children. ( you can stifle your giggles now, we really do try!) One of the ways that we do this is to have family prayers in the evenings after dinner. I love to have our little brood gathered around the living room in their PJs smelling all clean and fresh from their baths. We have a set way that we do family prayers that works well for us. Everyone gets a chance to say things that they are thankful for and things that they would like to pray for and then they pick a prayer for all of us to say together. An example of these prayers could be the Our Father, Hail Mary, Angel of God...etc. Even with this simple format it is often difficult to hold the little ones' attention, but we do the best that we can.
We were recently at my Mema's house for a picnic where the little kids were playing with their cousins. Eventually they all made their way up to the porch and sat in a circle. I overhead Hannah say, " Ok ...now we are going to say family prayers. This is how we do it. Say something that you want to tell God and then we say a prayer. Simple! " And there on Mema and Poppy's porch the youngest family members held their own little version of family prayers. It was truly precious. Their petitions ranged from " Help anyone who is having a bad day. Help all those with cancer and any sickness. And please bless unborn babies." to "Thank you Jesus for fireworks...they are pretty. " To hear their sweet little prayers and the innocence with which they said them, just warmed my heart. It was also very moving to see the openness with which they willingly shared their faith with one another. We all need to be more like them and to strive to have the faith of a child.