The Floor Is Yours

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By Rebecca Teti

Tuesday: Open Forum

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

This is the Open Forum Coffee Talk. That means ... anything goes. Ask a question, make a suggestion, share a story, offer some advice -- the floor is yours!

Rebecca Teti


  • What do ya'll do for evening/night/ before bed (or whatever you call it) prayers? We've been just ad libbing a prayer (either my husband or I). It lasts about a minute and then we all say Amen and help the kids with their signs of the cross (kids = 3 and 1 years old). But I don't like it anymore and am looking for a change. For one thing, most of the time the 3-year-old asks me to pray... which means hubs just says Amen at the end. I would like something where we BOTH participate every night. Also, I think the kids (at least the three year old) are ready for more than just saying Amen and doing the sign of the cross. I don't know what the next best step is, though. I was thinking of maybe a few "formal" prayers that are short and maybe a hymn to do with the liturgical season... I don't know....

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 7:12 AM by Jen

  • Using a formal prayer is good. At their age they should be learning the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be. We use a formal followed by everyones prayers. Everyone has to say something to God then we all say Amen with the sign of the cross. This will get them talking and communicating with God so it is easier when they are older. Make sure they thank God, praise God, petition and adore him. We also throw in guardian angel prayer or the Now I lay me down to sleep prayer. God bless you and your family and may you continue to hand on the faith. Peace

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 8:25 AM by wendy

  • We start with an informal prayer, but part of it is each of us (those old enough to talk) saying something we thank Jesus for and something that was hard/sad/we need Jesus' help with. For the younger ones, this can be a bit repetitive (3 y-o says almost exactly the same thing every night), but it seems a good intro to prayer. Then we sing the Angel of God prayer and dh blesses all of us with holy water using the OT fathers' prayer. ("May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May he look upon you kindly and give you his peace.") We've added in a decade of the rosary too (which is sometimes skipped if it's really late). The 6 y-o likes to lead sometimes, the 3 y-o is supposed to be quiet and chime in at least some of the time - and the 10 mo-old, of course, doesn't do much yet but chew on the holy water bottle. :-)

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 8:26 AM by Anna

  • My children are older (12, 10, 7)but we started praying with them as soon as they were born. We pray a combination of our traditional Catholic prayers along with free form prayers with our children every night. I'd suggest starting with the Our Father and Hail Mary. Our kids picked up on those quickly. We eventually added Guardian Angel prayer and a few others. Then we move into the free form prayer and ask/thank for blessings of our family and friends, thank Him for specific things ask for help with others, etc. Try some things out and see what works best for your family. I hope this helps.

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 8:32 AM by unknown

  • I think it's nice you're teaching your kids spontaneous prayer. Maybe you can begin to share introduce intentions. You might still be the lead pray-er (you probably can't force/cajole your husband to pray aloud if he's not comfortable), but everyone would be contributing an intention and/or something to be thankful for, and that would teach your kids that they can approach Jesus as a friend. Then if you want to end on what feels like a more formal or solemn note, you could pray a Hail Mary or Guardian Angel prayer or anything you like, or maybe sing a simple hymn. I think kids appreciate singing as prayer, and it forms hearts like nothing else. Just some ideas, but keep it simple and non-threatening. It's fabulous that you've already made this a nightly habit. Keep it up.

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 8:34 AM by Rebecca

  • We’re having major difficulties getting our daughter, who is almost four, to go #2 in the potty. I don’t think she’s ever done it, actually. She’s been fine with #1 for a long time, but when it comes to #2, she wants to go in a diaper. Sometimes she even resorts to putting on one of her little brother’s diapers if she can’t find one of hers. We tried hiding all the diapers, but she still wears diapers at night, so sometimes she’ll do it either right before she goes to bed or when she first wakes up. I thought about just not putting a diaper on her at night anymore, but I’m afraid she’ll wet the bed a lot. I’m not sure if she’s old enough to wake up at night and go to the bathroom. Any advice??

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 8:35 AM by S

  • Prayer in your own words -- there's nothing wrong with it. That is how you have a relationship with God. Ask a priest. Do you ever do that before you come here and ask everyone else? Then, listen.

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 8:40 AM by Ok, so it is Jeanne big deal!

  • Ladies, I love ALL the prayer ideas! Thanks!! I will talk to my husband about them and see what he likes, too. I especially LOVE the idea of hubs blessing everyone with holy water and using that Old Testament prayer!!! Jeanne - Nope, I never go to a priest first. I don't expect them to have practical advice on parenting; just moral issues.

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 9:54 AM by Jen

  • Anne: I love your method of having each person thank God for something, and ask for help with something. I'm going to start this with my son. We usually ask him if he has something to pray about, and sometimes he does, but I think asking him to thank God for something and ask for help with something might encourage more prayer. We also use sacrifice beads to "count" presents for God (things he's done throughout the day that made God happy).

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 11:01 AM by Claire

  • 38 yrs old in a few weeks and pregnant with #5, someone please remind me being pregnant at 37 is way way different than being pregnant at 27! I feel like I can barely get through the days and I'm in the "energetic" second trimester! of course, there's 10 times more to do than there was when I was 27 and pregnant too-I can't nap my way through the day, but my body just isn't kicking in, I can barely even pick up the toddler without feeling winded and like everything is just too heavy. this is not a complaint, I am super happy, we are super happy, just so best best vitamin recommendations?

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 11:07 AM by Josie

  • @Josie - I'm expecting our 4th at 41. Our 3rd was born last year when I had just turned 40. I noticed in both these pregnancies I never got passed being tired. With the first two full-term pregnancies (I was 31 and 36), I had some more energy. But, as you correctly point out, there's a lot more to do now here! I make it worse by staying up too late. And I'm having trouble hauling the toddler around, too - esp. the steps.

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 11:20 AM by Carolyn A

  • Re: poop: hmmm.... my daughter had this issue, too, for awhile. It really bothered me, but what could I do? She kept pooping at night (or 1st thing in the morning)... until one day she started complaining that the diaper was making her itchy / uncomfortable. She said the same thing the next night, so I offered to put her in underpants at night. My husband and I held out breaths... but no poop accidents have happened! She seems to know that, unless she's wearing a diaper, the poop must go in the potty. And she doesn't want diapers anymore (she asked for one once after the itchy experience, but I just told her we don't use those old itchy things anymore and she never asked again!) For whatever that's worth, that's how it worked for us.

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 11:27 AM by re: diapers & poop

  • Re: Praying with little ones. We have three kids (7,6,3). Every night before the earliest bedtime we say an Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Angel of God. The three year-old doesn't really chime in much on the formal prayers because she can't keep up. Then everyone does "Thank-you Prayers.," basically personal, spontaneous prayer. They are not all "thank-yous" but we started with the thank-yous as soon as they could talk. We would say "Thank you God for," and the child would chime in with a person or thing. Even your one-year-old could do that! Now they do the prayers themselves, of course.

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 12:00 PM by Andrea

  • @ Josie. I am with Carolyn and you--it is definitely not the same!!! I started late (first one born 10 days before I turned 35) and I had number 7 in August at the ripe old age of 43. #7's pregnancy was much more tiring and perhaps a year or so longer (or so it seemed) then #1 or #2. I was joking with an OB doc about it at lunch and she seemed to think it was the number of kids I have but I think it is AGE!! LOL

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 12:08 PM by Lisa

  • Do any of you wear a cross? I would like to, mostly because I think its so pretty when modestly dressed ladies wear a little cross. I think it gives a testiment that women can be young, chic, modest, and Christian. But its holding me back because I feel it might be vain to wear a cross for this reason... as though I want to put for an "image" of the cute Christian mom. So, to anyone out there who wears a cross, I'm just wondering what your motives and beliefs are about showing your Christianity...

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 2:54 PM by question about crosses

  • Question about crosses, I do wear a cross, and sometimes I change it for a Miraculous Medal. For me, everytime I happen to glance at it, it reminds to say a small prayer. I have many of them - some with just the cross in nice stone or silver work, and some with the crucified Christ. I especially wear these during lent as a daily reminder of the season. I think it is ok to wear them and I like to be constantly reminded to say little prayers. They are mostly meant for me and reminders for me - they just happen to look nice.

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 4:45 PM by Nadine

  • I haven't worn a cross in a long time, but I used to. I now wear a Miraculous Medal and when I'm pregnant a St. Gerard medal, too. I really don't give them any thought fashion-wise. They're attractive enough and babies like to fiddle with them. If you like your cross, I'd continue to wear it and if you feel like there's an element of pride to it tuck it under your clothing when possible or say a little prayer asking God to grant you humility when you have that vain feeling.

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 5:48 PM by Carolyn A

  • @Jen Here's our prayer routine (with 9, 4 and 1-year old). We ask for blessings on all of our family members by name, pray for the deceased family by name, say the guardian angel prayer, allow each person to chime in with what they want to thank Jesus for that day and then any prayer intentions (usually sick friends, family). We end with an Act of Contrition. Lately we've been adding the St. Michael prayer for a special intention.

    Posted on Dec 4th, 2012 at 6:00 PM by Carolyn A

  • Before my husband walked out on us we each took one prayer at bedtime. First I would bless them by laying my hands on them and saying, "My God bless you with wisdom for your mind (touch head), strength for your body (touch body) and courage and compassion for your heart (touch heart). Then my husband would say the traditional, "Now I lay me down to sleep..." and when they were old enough encourage them to ask God to bless the people in their lives. We also encourage our children to comfort themselves to sleep/back to sleep by talking to God and their guardian angel at night.

    Posted on Dec 6th, 2012 at 6:10 AM by Becky Le

  • Crosses: I have many and it's the only jewelry i wear. I don't really like to wear jewelry so I usually just wear a cross on Sunday. Under my clothing I wear a scapular. I don't think there is any problem as seeing a cross as both adornment and a witness to your faith. They are not mutually exclusive. If you are a nun or priest, you would only wear a cross for the religious reason but we are lay women and it's okay to wear jewelry so if you are going to wear jewelry, isn't a cross the best kind?

    Posted on Dec 6th, 2012 at 12:29 PM by Monica (momof2)

  • Josie and Carolyn A. God bless you and help you have healthy babies. May your husbands help you with your older children more. Take your toddlers by the hand and teach them to climb steps, climb into the car and even get you a book to read with them so you may rest. My four were born when I was 33, 37, 39 and (17 1/2 months apart) 40. They all gave up naps at age 2 so we had quiet story time sometimes with three near or on my lap while the oldest was in school. Go to bed early, the chores will still be there the next day and might be easier. You need rest. Do what you can sitting down and accept help from you husbands and any relative or friend. Some day you might laugh at their early years and I pray you do. Mine are all adults and still living at home with us and make it quite lively around here. With God all things are possible.

    Posted on Dec 9th, 2012 at 12:59 PM by Nita

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