Lent as a teaching opportunity to grow
As carnival approaches, I start preparing for Lent at home.
Lent, gives us tons of opportunities to teach our children even when not christian (you might want to use Lent to teach about different religions instead).
Starting with the Resurrection itself, we are teaching waiting for the good things in life, rather than the current way of having everything there and then. The giving alms aspect of Lent, can be used to teach kindness and love to others whether we know them or not. Giving up something we care about during this season teaches self control.
I love this season and over the years a lot has changed in the way I present it to the children.
For a while we did something for the 40 days of Lent. For the past 3 years I have opted for a simpler approach where we have something happening weekly rather than daily.
6 Simple ways to start celebrating Lent and add it in your parental teachings
- Do a Lenten Calendar. There are many variations available online if this one is not suitable for you. A calendar I used when they were younger was simply to have the outline of a lamb cut out of cardboard and split in 40 days and every day we glued a piece of cotton wool so by Easter, the whole lamb was full of wool.
- Make a prayer chain. Together with your children, think of whom or what you wish to pray for and add them into a chain, every day, take one out to pray accordingly. We’ve had prayers for rain, animals, old, sick and also specific people.
- Make a crown of thorns and every time you do an act of kindness, you take off a thorn. By Easter, you should have all thorns taken off and the children can get surprised with the crown turned full of flowers on Easter morning.
- Temptation Cookies: While baking cookies, tell your children about the temptation of Jesus in the desert. When the cookies are done, leave them on the table, but they cannot eat them until the next day. Talk about how tempting this might be and what we can do to resist temptation.
- Do resurrection cookies. It is a great way to teach the Easter story!
- Make a sacrifice bin. Everyone in the family, decides to let go of something they are really fond of throughout Lent. This can be changed weekly. It can also be anything from toys to screen time to sweets etc.
How do you celebrate Lent? Any other ideas you care to share?