I love praying with my little sister, but she is only 5 years old. So, we definitely run into being bored, or having trouble sitting still. She’s very mature, but everyone struggles with things like this at that age! I’ve accumulated some tips to share since beginning my prayer journey with her. I hope they help you in some way!
Tip #1: Before praying the rosary, introduce all of the prayers you will be using. Maybe talk about them at lunch or explain what the prayers mean right before you get your beads out. the history of the prayers can be found online as well.
Tip #2: Recite the prayers together. What I mean by this is that you should have them repeat each little segment of the prayers after you say them. Maybe translate them along the way as well so they can make some sense of the archaic language.
Tip #3: Get them their own set of rosary beads. I found some pink plastic ones at my local Catholic Supply shop for 45 cents. She loves them, and even gets them out herself and comes and asks if we can “do the Jesus thing”. Alternatively, you can draw a rosary on a piece of paper and they can touch each ‘bead’ as you go through the prayers.
Tip #4: Start small. If all you get through is the recitation of each of the different prayers, then good on you. I began by just writing down the prayers of the rosary and reading each of the different ones. Eventually, we’ll work up to doing a full decade of Hail Mary’s, or the tail and some Hail Mary’s. It takes time and patience, but the child will appreciate the time you’re spending with them, and will have an instilled love of the rosary.
Tip #5: If they get distracted easily, go somewhere special each time you pray the rosary with them. Maybe outside under a tree, or next to your family altar. It really could be anywhere, but the quieter, less busy the area, the better.
Tip #6: Encourage the child to kneel with you. It helps with concentration, and will promote humility in a healthy way. It also reminds the child of mass, and they’ll have that same mindset in their mind while praying the rosary.
Tip #7: Make the child a spot for their rosary, or even create a prayer bag with them. It makes prayer time more of an occasion when everything has a special place. You can craft a rosary hanger with them using supplies from a craft store as well. Have a go at making an altar for their room too.
Tip #8: Allow the child to wear a chapel veil/mantilla or take off a hat if they’re wearing one, since it is said in the bible that women should cover their head, and men uncover it.