I’m not a super religious person, but I still have my beliefs and like to think that I’m, in fact, teaching my son those beliefs. Without going into my personal beliefs, I will state that my family prays every night; it is part of my son’s bedtime routine. First I pray. Then my husband prays. Then my three year old son prays. When we first started having him take a turn, he would simply mutter “Dear Lord” followed by “Aaaaaamen”. A very short prayer, indeed.
But by now, my son has had more time to learn more about the different things you can pray about and has incorporated them into his own prayers. We still take our turns – me, my husband, then my son. But now, we get to listen to an adorable prayer, often with the inclusion of other people’s well-being.
“Please help daddy drive safe to work.”
“Thank you for grandma and grandpa’s house.”
“Thank you for Scout.” (Scout is our dog.)
He does fill in a few self-gratification prayers.
“Please help me see Grammy soon.”
“Please let me have my bucket.” The bucket he is referring to is the Halloween bucket filled with a few leftover pieces of candy.
His prayer is not a forced thing. This is something he chooses to do, even though it might be a tad habitual by now. But regardless, I enjoy hearing him every night beginning his growth in my beliefs. His beliefs may change when he’s older, of course. But for now, I see my own, as well as my husband’s, morals shine through in this simple act.
My son also busts out a few snickering-inducement phrases. The other night, we spent the evening at my mom’s house. My dad accomplished his usual after-work treadmill run (in which he is enclosed in the exercise room), and my son did his normal response to that; just a simple comment about his grandpa exercising. Later that night, back at home, my son took his turn praying and I heard him mumbling something that I couldn’t understand, followed by “…and Grandpa exercising” along with a mumbled continuation of a sentence. I’m not sure why this was brought up or what he was actually praying about, but it was amusing either way.
Another night, he mentioned about how he was “naughty at Walmart”. That caught both my husband and I off guard, and we accidentally let out our separate guffaws before returning back to our serious faces.
I am glad we started this routine. Not only does it incorporate some of our religious beliefs, but it also allows my son to experience it, however a tiny task it may seem. Also, my son’s praying is just one of the many ways I can see the compassion and empathy he possesses. I can only hope and pray he continues to include these attributes in his life for many, many years to come.