Catholic Prayer: Parental Blessing
Many of our fathers and mothers do not know that they have this privilege. This is one custom which by all means should be fostered. The importance of this blessing was brought out by St. Ambrose when he said: "You may not be rich; you may be unable to bequeath any great possessions to your children; but one thing you can give them; the heritage of your blessing. And it is better to be blessed than to be rich."
How it is done: Archabbot Esser suggests that the parents place their hands on the head of the kneeling child and say: "I bless you, my child, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Then they make the Sign of the Cross upon the forehead with the thumb of the right hand. If all of the children are blessed at the same time, the parent simply traces a cross over them while the words are pronounced. He says that other appropriate words may be used. They may be varied to suit any occasion. A letter to an absent son or daughter might include a "God bless you, my child." Also, the parents, when they are at the point of death, should give their last blessing to their children.Prayer Source: How to Make Your House a Home by Rev. Bernard Stokes, O.F.M., Family Life Bureau, Washington D.C., 1955