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Helping Make Lent Matter to Your Kids
With Easter quickly approaching, parents may have noticed that it can be difficult to find ways to make Lent a meaningful time for their children and teens. At Mercy Home, we also want to make Lent a significant time for our young people.
Our Manager of Spiritual Development Marc Velasquez shared some ideas that will help make Lent matter to kids.
Above all, intentionality the most important thing when thinking about the season of Lent, Velasquez said. When discussing Lent with the boys and girls at Mercy Home, he said that he doesn’t focus on the topic of sacrifice, which is what many people think of when they think of Lent.
“WHAT ARE YOU CHOOSING TO DO AND WILL IT MAKE YOU BETTER OR THE WORLD BETTER?”
While some of our kids do choose to give something up, that is never the sole purpose of this season. Instead, our kids are challenged to see how much more mindful they can be during this period.
“What are you choosing to do and will it make you better or the world better?” he asks our kids.
Of course, it can be difficult to teach your kids how to be intentional. At Mercy Home, one way we help our kids be more aware of the world is through a potato activity.
In the potato activity, each of our kids is asked to select a potato from a box filled with seemingly-identical potatoes. The kids then examine their potato, making note of any marks or other identifying details it has. They even make up stories about how their potato got its marks and details.
After the kids have studied their potato, they put it back in the box. The box of potatoes is then dumped on the floor and each kid is asked to find their potato. Velasquez said that, without hesitation, our kids are always able to immediately locate their potato.
This activity is a great one to teach kids how to be more intentional with what they notice each day! That is a helpful first step to helping kids be more aware of the needs of others around them, as well as their own behavior. And this increased awareness will ultimately lead to a more meaningful Lenten season for both kids and adults.
“Lent is about being more conscious of the world around you so you can be a better person,” Velasquez said.