Top 10 Tips To Teach Lent To Young Kids and Lessen Their Time Spent on Social Media

10:03 PM

It was a regular Facebook browsing. I was reading a post of a friend about caring. It made me reflect on what kind of personality have we cultivated in social media nowadays.

In my observation, people have morphed online (and that could suggest attitude towards real life, too). Since we became significantly hooked on the Internet with the birth of many interactive features of Facebook, Instagram and the likes, people prefer virtual interactions rather the actual face-to-face communication. That's largely due to convenience that we can gain from the Internet.

Fact is social media has given free flowing information on a speedy manner for us but somehow it has a voice of its own that has negative impact on us, too.

The truth is we’ve transitioned from getting valuable information from social media or maybe an entertainment or updates from our long lost friends and relatives to something liberating that harmfully controls us unknowingly.

With its downside like giving you the feeling of cold shoulders, annoying posts with all sorts of drama and even to extreme and alarming cases like harassment, mockery or violent threats - it is not healthy anymore to just let the young minds pick up the habit of interacting more thru social media.

Then what can we do to lessen their time spent on virtual interaction and shield them away from the negativities of it?

It can be as simple as using the Lenten Season as cue on teaching your kids the value of self-denial as much as it is a time for prayer, repentance of sins, service and almsgiving. Lent is about giving something up to achieve the greater good.

We have to start teaching again the traditions, reflect on what Lent really is and put those teachings into action. I encourage everyone to be creative and I find the following suggestions as applicable to everyone - Catholics or not, to make this break a meaningful one.

Here are simple strategies to teach self-denial to effectively veered them away from spending too much time on social media and help them understand the teachings of this season.

1. Decide as a family to sacrifice during this Lent some hours or days of checking your accounts on social media.
Do it on a clear schedule when everybody can participate. Doing something together is effective to form a good habit since everybody has the chance to encourage one another especially when someone feels like giving up.

2. With the time given up from using social media often, make use of the time gain to have better relationship with God.
Now is the time to start praying again as a family if you have not cultivated this habit with your children yet. Be prayerful.

3. Memorize prayers that children may still be unfamiliar with.
For Catholics, teach praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary to recollect on the life and passion of Christ. It is the summary of mystery of salvation and we can teach our children the importance of this season highlighting God's great love for us.

4. Have a date with your children on a park or a garden.
Walk around with them while telling the story of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane.

5. Visit a church even when there is no mass and let the kids explore it.
Look around and introduce them on praying silently inside an Adoration Chapel or Tabernacle.

6. Do a volunteer work together as a family. 
Service is one of the highest form of returning our love to God and that is important to let the young ones see on us. Make a simple service in your community to teach them how to have better relationship with God.

7. Teach kids to declutter their rooms, sort their toys and help them to learn not to get attached to material things.
Do some "spring cleaning" which as the tradition signifies the preparation of giving up the old and preparing for good news of the risen Christ to the world.

8. Watch a religious or Easter theme movie as your family bonding time during the Holy Week break.
For Catholics, it's common to do The Way of the Cross together but you should explain each station to the young ones to make them appreciate why we do it.

9. Read a simple story from the Bible before bedtime.

10. Teach more of the Lent by doing some crafts like the one I found in

These are just few of the many things you can teach young kids about the Lent. When before it can be quite a challenge to teach something spiritual to them, nowadays there are plenty of resources to help them understand the teachings of The Lenten Season.

Truth be told that adding good things to our lives, teaching the young ones with positivity may be a long journey with all the noise of this world. But giving our time and effort to help them understand the Lent more and teaching them to form good habits will bear positive fruits that will somehow safeguard them from being gullible on what the social media could negatively suggest them.

At the very least I hope this Lent becomes meaningful to you and your kids when you refrain them from sweets or have to have a meatless Friday. :)

Got more ideas on how to teach the young ones about Lent and keeping them away from social media? Please comment below.

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