This post is sponsored by Chews Life.
Mothers of young children are always being told how important the Rosary is as a spiritual devotion to help them raise holy families. And I totally agree. The Rosary is powerful! It is amazing. The problem is, the Rosary is hard to pray when you’ve got lots of little folks waking up before dawn and not leaving you with a quiet moment until everyone passes out in a tired heap at night.
When exactly are we supposed to have 15 uninterrupted minutes?! As mamas of young children, we gotta embrace the beauty of the interrupted Rosary and learn to pray it together as a family. Here’s some way to make it work:
Teach your kids the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be very early on.
This is the foundation of the Rosary. Help your children make these prayers second nature. We started praying each of these prayers with our babies from birth.
Once they started talking we would pause before the last word of each line and they learned to jump in and finish it. “Our Father, who art in….” “HEAVEN!” “Hallowed be thy…” “NAME!” Around age two they learned to say the prayers without help. Every kid is a little different, but I think that our expectations are often too low. Children love to memorize!
Familiarize them by praying one decade together.
Don’t worry about having one person lead, just start out by saying all the prayers together. And let them hold a rosary! Will they put it in their mouths? Yes. Will they swing it around and hit someone in the face? Probably. But kids are sensory (well, we ALL are) and having a physical object to keep little hands busy and to help them understand the structure of the prayer is awesome.
I have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t LOVE holding a Rosary. I consider it a gift from Our Lady who, a mother herself, knows a thing or two about teaching toddlers to pray.
At first, that one decade is going to feel LONG. But pretty soon, it will be second nature, too. Don’t be discouraged when it doesn’t go well and there’s wiggling and talking and even temper tantrums during prayer time. That’s completely to be expected. Try to make it a special time together and hang in there. We’re talking about the long haul, folks. (And if you need encouragement and inspiration try Leila Lawler’s The Little Oratory—great tips about praying with kids.)
Start explaining the mysteries of the Rosary and keep adding on decades.
Does the baby need to nurse through prayertime? Totally fine. Is the toddler wandering aimlessly with her rosary and forgetting all the words? No worries. A wonderful priest once told me that when a family gathers to pray the Rosary together, Mary is always in their midst praying with them. The Blessed Mother is there! It’s ok that it’s not perfect. There’s going to be grace.
In addition to have an object to hold, I think it really helps children to have an image to think about while praying. Introduce them to the mysteries of the Rosary. Tell a little story about each mystery before you begin the next decade. Pull out a picture or point to an icon if you have one that matches.
Pray in the car because car seats!
Now we get to the good part. Your kids know the prayers of the Rosary and they’re getting a little bit older. Now they can lead a decade! All your hard work is going to pay off because praying the Rosary is going to get a lot easier. But first, try this little trick. Pray it in the CAR. Sounds weird, but think about it. Everyone is in their car seat. There’s fewer distractions. No one can wander off and they just might be far enough away from each other that no one gets hit in the face with a rosary. (Win!)
Just designate who will lead what decade and give it a try. It’s not going to be perfect the first time, or the second time, or probably ever. But it’s going to get better and better until praying the Rosary as a fam is enjoyable for all involved.
Make it a habit.
Move things inside and start praying the Rosary after dinner or at bedtime or wherever it fits best into your family’s day. I especially like praying the Rosary after bathtime when everyone is in their jammies and ready for snuggles.
But what about me?
With a six-year-old, a four-year-old, and a two-year-old, I still can be distracted trying to help guide Rosary prayer time. So praying the Rosary alone is still something I try to do. But the chance to pray it all in one sitting rarely occurs. I try to pray if I wake up in the middle of the night but usually fall asleep in the middle. Or I’ll try to get up early and pray but my kids seem to have Rosary radar and wake before I get to the first decade.
At the first Edel Gathering, I met a lovely lady named Shannon and was introduced to her beautiful shop Chews Life. Shannon makes beautiful rosaries and products handmade in Michigan.
I’m in love with her Rosary bracelets that solve the problem of the interrupted Rosary. This is the Stella Maris bracelet made with black goldstones (I’m pretty partial to that title for Our Lady which I why Gwen’s middle name is Stellamaris).
The lovely idea behind it is that when you are inevitably interrupted (because lets be honest, you will be) you can save your spot with the movable crucifix charm. Just put it the bracelet on in the morning and you’ll have it on your wrist as a reminder all day, picking up where you left off whenever you get a minute. I’m currently looking at mine realizing that I have one decade to go to finish the Rosary I started earlier.
The Rosary Bracelets are all made of genuine semi-precious gemstones and are strung on stainless steel memory wire. And they’re simply gorgeous.
And….Chews Life is offering 10% off for Carrots readers with the discount code CARROTS! Just head on over to use your code.
After hearing rave reviews of Shannon’s Chews Life rosaries, I gave one to Gwen to try out. These rosaries are awesome! All my kids have wanted to chew on their rosaries as babies and toddlers and while I’m sure Our Lady understands, I didn’t like the idea of my kids choking on rosary beads or chewing on plastic or metal.
The Chews Life beads are made of food grade silicone, FDA certified and tested and do not contain anything harmful like phthalates or BPA. So I’m not worried about my kids sticking them in their mouths and doing serious teething. I love it and I’m giving one to my baby godson when we visit for Thanksgiving.
They also have a snap clasp at the back so they can be clipped on a stroller or carrier and those unbeatable teething bumps on the back of the cross.
I’m going to start bringing ours along to Mass, because Gwen is getting her two year molars in and it was a losing battle keeping her from chewing on the missal last week. Anybody else in the drooly missal club? No? Ok, moving on.
All Chews Life products come with a lifetime guarantee. If anything breaks, Shannon will fix or replace it because she’s just that awesome.
How do you introduce the Rosary into your family rhythm? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments! (And don’t forget about your code for 10% off from Chews Life: CARROTS. Shannon’s gorgeous items would make great Christmas gifties for children, godchildren, and sweet Rosary-prayin’ ladies in your life.)
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Chews Life. Reviews items were complimentary and links are affiliate links. I will receive a small percentage of any purchases you make through these links, so thank you for supporting Carrots!