In Bethlehem’s Itty Bitty Book Club for February, we read the book “Jesus is With Me!” by Debby Anderson. What I love about this little board book is recognizing the fact that wherever we go, Jesus goes with us! (Plush baby Jesus helps to visualize Jesus going with us!) But to expand on that topic, we talked and shared ideas about developing faith lingo at home and out about in the world.
Developing Faith Lingo
Varied Backgrounds: Some parents grew up in families that identified as Christian, prayed at bed time, and did devotions. Other parents grew up only doing faith based activities at church. And, for some parents, this is their first time entering into a congregation with young ones in tow. Wherever people are in their faith, learning to speak about matters of faith with children, for most adults, is easier than with their peers. Kids ask questions, are curious, and as a family can go about faith matters together.
Parents are the Most Influential People: Kids will spend 90% of their time with their parents between newborn and 18 years old. Parents are the most influential people in the lives of their children. When parents model a life of faith (reading the Bible, going to church, service, prayer), faith trickles down and into the DNA of a child. Watch this video on how important parents and family are to kids.
Include God in Daily Vocabulary: Simple ways to increase faith lingo in your everyday life of your child is to include God in your phrasing. “What a rainy day God has made!” instead of “What a rainy day!” or “I love you, and so does God!” or “God is good, all the time!” “You are so sweet! God is sweet! Any way you can put a plug in for God, kiddos will catch on! They will be copying your words.
Read & Watch the Video: Read the book of the month as often as you can. If you have a Spark Story Bible and depending on the age of your child, read Bible stories. Connect Bible stories to daily life. If you see a rainbow outside, retell the story of Noah’s ark and the promise that comes with the rainbow. Watch video for the February book here.
Pray Without Words: There is a simple prayer before dinner that needs no words. It goes like this – point up to God, point to your food, point to your tummy, and fold hands in prayer of thanksgiving. If babies can learn sign language, they can learn this!
Don’t Give Up: Finding time to do everything can feel overwhelming. Do things in small doable chunks. Focus one week on the prayer and another week on vocabulary. Take a breaks as you need. You are all doing a great job!