Catholic Activity: Courtesy in Children
Your child will learn the gracious ways of Christianity through your knowledge of the Church and its teachings, as well as by your example.
The teachings of the Church lead toward the development of a strong and pleasing personality. Consider a few everyday practices which not only point toward heaven but enhance life on earth as well. Saying grace at mealtime is just ordinary politeness. The child who is taught to say grace is being taught how to show gratitude for favors received.
Morning prayer compels one to give some thought to his plans for the day. Even the little child can do this in a simple version of the Morning Offering. Even if he does not fully comprehend what he is doing, he is learning to direct his energies into a worthy channel. He is being taught to make good use of his time. As evening approaches, the excitement of the day is forgotten in the quietude of prayer, and the soul is composed for sleep.
There are many other examples of graciousness taught by the Church. The genuflection is one; the inclination of the head at the name of Jesus is another. Catholic parents are indeed fortunate to have the direction of Holy Mother Church in instructing their children. She is old and wise and thoughtful of them. She offers a leadership of love, such as the people knew who followed Jesus in Galilee. As members of the Mystical Body of Christ, you share this leadership. Try to learn all you can about the Church and teach your children the proper attitude toward its precepts. It is important to establish this foundation early, so that in later life your child will not forfeit his salvation for a passing worldly attachment.
Activity Source: From Crib to Stroller, Parent-Educator Series 1, Leaflets 0-12, Birth to Three Years by Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, 1961