Help! My Kid Won't Pray.
I have a stubborn child. I have very few pictures of him from age two to three. Not because he is the middle child, but because he just refused to have his picture taken. This picture was in his preschool hallway for months. It's his "Don't take my picture" face.
I pick my battles with him because when he decides he is or is not going to do something, it is hard to get him to change his mind. I know a lot of parents can relate to that.
Even if you don’t have a stubborn child, sometimes kids just don’t want to pray. This is a challenge if you value prayer and want to practice it with your kids. So we’ve come up with a few suggestions that have helped us.
Don’t Push too Hard
Prayer shouldn’t be a burden and it shouldn’t feel like a chore. Kids don’t like doing anything they are forced to do, right? Keep consistent and pray often with your child, and if they refuse try saying something like, “Okay, you don’t have to pray right now. But I love to pray and that’s what we do in this family, so I will pray instead.”
Pray out loud on your own and let your child see it. Research tells us that kids who have parents who pray daily report closer relationships with them, even if the prayers aren’t done together. It is so important that prayer is modeled! Pray before meals and bedtime, pray for patience when you’re in a long line, try a prayer of confession when you make a mistake. Your kids will pick up on it.
Remind your child that God cares about everything that is on their heart. Encourage prayer all the time, even if your kids want to pray about something silly. There is a lot of potty talk in my house with two young boys around, no matter how much I try to guide them away from it. When we play the grateful game, someone inevitably says “Thank you God for poop!” As much as I wish they didn’t pray that, I always respond, “Yeah, because every living thing has to do that or they would feel sick, huh? Let’s keep potty talk in the bathroom.” Don’t get too hung up on what they are saying (within reason of course). Let them pray for Princesses, teddy bears, owies that don’t exist, and whatever else is on their hearts.
Make it Fun!
We started Prayer Games with our kids because we wanted prayer to be easy and joyful. Take a look at some of the activities we have posted and be on the lookout for more soon. Let us know below if you have fun ways that you like to pray with your kids.