Pope Pius XI said, “If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary.” What parent doesn’t want that? But sometimes getting your kids on board with praying a family Rosary can be anything but peaceful. In fact, sometimes it can be a battle.
That was the problem facing a listener named Julie, who called-in to Father Simon Says™ for some advice. Julie explained, “Our family started doing family Rosary before Lent, and my question is if you have some members of your family that are choosing not to participate can you use a consequence for that?”
Julie pointed out that if a child doesn’t want to go to school the parents make them go to school, and it seems like it should be the same for prayer. She said, “We honor and respect the Lord in our house, so we should have our kids honor and respect the Lord first and foremost above anything else.” Does that mean she should make her child pray the Rosary, and punish them if they don’t?
Father Simon told Julie, “I have hesitation in punishing a child for not praying. I wouldn’t punish him.” However, he encouraged Julie to approach this as a learning opportunity. A lesson in love.
Your child may be reluctant to pray the Rosary, not because they don’t love God or love their family, but because they have to sacrifice something. For them, praying the Rosary means sacrificing screen time, or playtime, or hanging out with their friends. Or maybe it means sacrifice in the form of boredom, discomfort, or sitting next to the sibling they’re currently mad at.
St. Maximilian Kolbe once said, “Let us remember that love lives through sacrifice and is nourished by giving. Without sacrifice there is no love.” For a child who is Rosary resistant, it is a wonderful opportunity to teach that love and sacrifice go hand in hand. While they may not love praying the Rosary, it is an opportunity for them to perform an act of love for God and their family. That’s a lesson that will have a positive impact on your family and on your child’s soul!
Father Simon reiterated, “I wouldn’t punish them for not praying, but I would let them know that there are consequences that are spiritual and familial. I would not force them to pray the Rosary, but I would certainly let them know this is our priority.”
Here’s another way to get your kids to love the family Rosary! Thousands of families across the country have found an interactive and engaging way to pray the Rosary with the Family Rosary Across America®. This LIVE broadcast brings the entire country together to pray with and for each other each night. Tune-in with your family weekdays at 7:00 p.m. Central and call in with YOUR prayer requests at 888-914-9149.