5 Ways to Evanglize Your Toddler

As the primary educators of our children, parents have a really awesome task of being the first ones to announce the Good News to them.

This process can happen the minute the child is born and at every milestone as they grow. When we teach the Faith there will always be a variety of methods depending on the time, culture, and audience. But the central message stays the same: Jesus.

But it seems like it’s not very often we actively consider how we are (or are not) evangelizing our children at each stage. One exciting (and stressful) age that has tons of potential is toddlerhood. They naturally absorb everything happening around them and learn fast! The toddler years are the perfect time to start planting the seeds of faith.

Here are five simple ways you can start inviting your toddler into a relationship with Our Lord:

1. Pick him up and walk over to a crucifix at home. Point and with a cheerful voice tell him “look! There’s Jesus. He loves you so much! Can you blow a kiss to Jesus?” Do this with images of the Blessed Mother as well.

2. Read a (very) short Scripture verse directly from the Bible and then kiss the Bible once you close it. Invite her to kiss it as well and say “we show reverence because this is the living Word of God.” Even if she doesn’t understand it yet, this practice of reverencing the Scriptures will be ingrained in her from her earliest memory.

3. Teach him the Sign of the Cross. Don’t worry if it’s just a tap on the forehead. You’re building a habit and being a witness each time you do it even if it isn’t perfect yet.


4. Stay late after Mass and bring her up to the sanctuary and point out Jesus in the tabernacle. This is another great place practice the Sign of the Cross or to blow a kiss. The simple gesture will help her see there is something special and set apart about that space.

5. Be sincere and love your child. The greatest form of evangelization is to be a living example of God’s love to your child. Take the time to learn about healthy and Christian parenting practices and put that into loving action.

And at the end of the day, trust that God has made you the father or mother of your child for a very specific reason. Your unique personality and gifts are what God wanted for your child to learn and grow in the faith. Choose love and be at peace knowing that He didn’t choose another parent or set of parents for your child – He chose youNow, go love that toddler and lead them to Jesus!

What would you add to this list? How have you evangelized your toddler? 

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7 comments

  1. This is so great. Thanks for writing!! I am constantly amazed by how much of the faith my toddler absorbs. She notices and blows kisses to crucifixes, and loves the sign of the cross, especially if there is holy water involved. She also gets very jazzed about the sign of the peace.

    A couple other ones that seem to happen naturally are explaining parts of the mass (“we are going to hear a story about Jesus now”, “do you see where the candles are?” ect) and prayers at meal and night time.

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  2. Although both my daughters went to Catholic school for their elementary and middle school years, I’m ashamed to say that we did not raise them with God being first and foremost in their life and although we said prayers every night, and had crucifixes, statues, bibles, etc. we did not evangelize in the home the way we should have. My 3 year old granddaughter lives with us and we (my husband and I) are pretty much her primary caregivers and raising her and I vowed I would not make the same mistake as we did raising her mother and aunt. God is foremost in her life, we wake every morning thanking God for his blessings and gifts, and every night we pray. She has a holy water font in her room and loves blessing herself and me, she loves to acknowledge Jesus on the cross hanging above her door, and every time she gets her hands on a rosary she kisses Jesus, and says “I love you Jesus”. We make the sign of the cross every time we pass a Catholic church, and she understands that Jesus is in there, and she is the one who brings it to my attention when I am distracted, although it is too cute that she wants to do it in front of every church she sees. It amazes me how much they pick up at this young age, she was given some crosses for her baptism that don’t have the corpus, but are in pink, and she has even asked me “where’s Jesus, why isn’t his body on the cross?”. She even asked me this past Sunday during Mass, as she was looking at her religious kiddie books I pack for her, and noticed that one of the pictures of Jesus depicted him with a beard, and she asked me in a very loud whisper while pointing to the large crucifix hanging above the altar, “Mimi, where’s Jesus’s beard?” “Did he shave it?”. My husband and I couldn’t hold back the giggles. I try to explain what’s going on in Mass, however it’s hard not to not disrupt other people, but she does know that when she hears the bells ring during the consecration that the bread and wine have become Jesus, because she always says in a very loud whisper with love and gusto, “Jesus!”. We have gone to some churches that don’t ring the bells (which I find very sad), and she’ll ask me, “where’re the bells?”. We do need to start praying the rosary in front of her and not at our bedtime like we are used too. I do try to tell her bible stories but I need to break them down and simplify them, because I loose her attention many times.
    Okay, I know I got very wordy, and I apologize for the lengthy post!
    I pray we are doing right with this precious little baby we are raising, and doing this a second time around at 53 and 54 is a challenge, but I wish I knew then when raising my girls, what I do now, and I thank you for your wonderful blog and all the others you reference! I learn so much from my younger, wiser, Godly friends on Facebook and other social media! May God continually bless you and your family!

    Reply
    1. Angie @ Yellow Pelican April 13, 2016, 2:55 pm

      Oh it sounds like you are doing absolutely wonderful with that sweet soul! I love praying “Jesus, repair what I’ve done badly and make up for everything I’ve left undone” when I feel heartache at my past failures in parenting. The beard story is so funny, too! And what a gift for both you and your granddaughter – it’s obvious God gave you each other for a reason! Thank you for reading and following <3

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