Featured Books: Family & Parent Faith Formation
Family Faith Formation
10 Building Blocks for a Solid Family
Jim Burns (Regal, 2010)
10 Building Blocks for a Solid Family contains a vision and essential ingredients for creating a healthy home filled with joy, peace and love for God and each other. It is also a handbook of tips and techniques for making that vision a reality. You will hear personal stories from parents and family experts that explore every aspect of parenting—from helping children deal with stress to disciplining with consistency, from learning to play together to handling the influence of media and youth culture. You will also find discussion questions and tools that can help you identify problem areas, and guidance for addressing difficulties in a way that builds up, rather than tears down, your child.
Families and Homes Matter!
Home/Family MattersPosted By: Leif Kehrwald |Posted In: Do What Matters , family |August 18, 2015 |1 Comment
While relationships provide the traction for faith to stick, there are several additional factors involved in the faith-forming process:
Home / family Matters
Some things you probably already know:
Something you may not have thought about: Lack of faith and religious practice is also transmitted from one generation to the next in similar ways.
As just one indicator among many, a recent CARA study asked Catholic parents if prayer was a part of their family meals and family gatherings. Only 13% reported “Always” while 49% reported “Not often” or “Never.” The same study found that 68% of Catholic parents do not have their children engaged in parish or school faith formation programs. (They don’t even drop them off anymore!)
Transmitting faith to the next generation has less to do with teaching the content and whole lot more to do with the quality of the parent/child relationship, and with how faith is modeled.
The forty years of research by Vern Bengtson concluded that faith is more likely to be transmitted when the relationship between parent and child is seen as warm, loving, and open to questions vs. distant, dictatorial, and black & white. (SeeFamilies and Faith: How Religion is Passed Down Across Generations, Oxford University Press, 2013.)
Bengtson also concluded that faith is best transmitted in the home by the manner in which faith and religious practice is genuinely modeled by parents, grandparents, and other adults in the family.
By the time our children are ten or eleven years old, they have figured out if faith practice is really real and important to their parents, or if they do it only for the sake of the kids. If children perceive that it’s truly important and crucial, they are more likely to take it with them as they emerge into young adulthood. If they perceive that parents do it only for their sake, they are more likely to leave it behind. If the parents don’t do it at all, well then . . .
How do we encourage and empower faith expression at home? A perennial tough question. Again, a few things you probably already know: Families grow in faith when they . . .
One way is when the faith expression helps the family navigate key moments of their day such as bedtime, car time, meal time, exits, and entries. Also, key moments of their lives such as memory-making moments and milestones. When these moments are navigated well it boosts family well-being. When navigated well with a faith practice it boosts family faith.
So what if we gave them simple faith-based activities (from the six categories above) that are actually designed to help them navigate key moments? When faith practice feeds family health, they will come back for more. Here are some examples:
Bedtime Meditation (young family – bedtime)
Tripping Together (adult / couple – car time)
Family Pause (teen family – exit or entry)
Eating Together Well (teen family – mealtime)
Bad Days Jar (teen family – bedtime or entries)
Reading Together; Being Together (young family – bedtime)
Serious Illness Simple Prayer (young family – memory making moment)
Prayer is SADness (young adult – memory making moment)
These activities are found on Vibrant Faith @ Home where you can find more than 600 faith forming activities for use at home.