They’re just second graders…
Formal preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation has begun. Yes, it really is a seamless process that aligns with our children’s psychosocial development. Parents need to be assured that it’s not meant to be a time of doing “mental gymnastics,” wondering if we’re covering everything, and will the children know what to do, or do they know all of the prayers. For all of us, myself included, sacramental preparation is not designed to heighten our levels of anxiety. We are on this journey together….They’re just second graders….
We all follow road maps and meander down different paths according to the social emotional needs of our child. Advice for the parents, throughout the process, be yourself and KNOW that during this time GOD reads your heart, knows your intention and will guide you to address what your child needs. Take time to listen and ask God to help you. With that said, I’m including the profile of the child in the primary grades. The characteristics written below in the Catechist Manual [T11] and at the Creemos/We Believe website.
Where they are developmentally: They are moving from an egocentric stage to a more concrete operational one. Thus, they are starting to make larger connections that go beyond their immediate concerns. What we can do: Engage their worldview by connecting children’s experiences with those of others. Invite children to imagine themselves in the biblical story or in a scenario in which they make a choice. Ask questions about how they might feel, react, or respond.
Developmentally second graders have an average attention span of seven minutes. They are lively, curious, and easily distracted. What we can do: be brief, and engage children in activities with a level of simplicity, and “do-ability” that sparks their curiosity and retains their interest.
Developmentally second grades are growing in their ability to work with others. What we can do: When engaging children in partnering activities, stress the importance of love and mutual respect in the community of faith and beyond.
Developmentally, second graders have a great capacity for wonder. It forms a natural foundation for developing a life-long appreciation for the awesome mysteries of God. What we can do: Allow time for [your child] to be silent and reflective. Set aside a prayer space where [your child] can be quiet and listen to God. Foster their sense of wonder about all of God’s creation.
Most importantly, the greatest lesson we can give our children….as Catechists, our primary role is to “echo” our experience of God’s love.