What to Do: 3 – 6 Years


  1. Establish a family atmosphere that is secure, loving and forgiving.
  2. Cultivate and model an attitude of wonder and gratitude about human life and nature.
  3. Develop parenting styles which reflect Catholic/Christian convictions about the dignity and value of every person.
  4. Choose child care options that are consistent with your personal and spiritual values.
  5. Invite extended family members (grandparents, aunts and uncles, Godparents, friends) to participate in the care and faith formation of children.
  6. Set expectations for the child’s behavior which promote confidence and self-esteem.
  7. Encourage initiative and curiosity; reward effort more than success.
  8. Preserve family time and opportunities for one-on-one nurturing between parent and child.
  9. Participate in adult spiritual renewal and personal enrichment programs.


  1. Talk about God, Jesus, the Church and your faith.
  2. Help children identify signs of God’s presence in nature and in their own life experiences.
  3. Explain signs and symbols of faith (e.g., the church, its furnishings, statues, pictures, etc.).
  4. Read/watch bible stories adapted for children and other children’s stories with faith themes, bible heroes, saints, and examples of Christian values.
  5. Limit children’s exposure to contrary values and role models on TV and other media.
  6. Enroll children in pre-school religious education programs.
  7. Teach children to share, to be fair, and to be honest with friends and playmates.
  8. Teach children to appreciate and respect nature as part of God’s creation.
  9. Limit children’s exposure to conflicting values and lifestyles depicted on TV, other media, advertising.


  1. Teach your child the Sign of the Cross; use simple prayers at meals and bedtime.
  2. Use simple blessings or prayers for special family occasions (birthdays, anniversaries, first and last-time events, life-changes and family problems).
  3. Use religious symbols and objects (candles, pictures, statues, etc.) in family prayer and celebrations.
  4. Celebrate religious seasons and events (Advent/Christmas, Lent/Easter, feast days, holy days).
  5. Adapt or develop family customs and traditions which express religious faith and values.
  6. Sing songs and tell stories; develop arts and crafts activities that express your faith and values.
  7. Model an example of church participation and an adult prayer life.
  8. Model appreciation and respect for social, cultural and economic differences among people.
  9. Model an example of concern, respect and service to others, especially the less fortunate.
  10. Model being the hands and feet of Jesus by engaging in service through the parish or community. Serve as a family, and discuss before, during and after that we serve others out of love for Christ and for our neighbor.

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