5 Ways to Help Your Preschool Child Develop a Relationship with God

Mrs. Dolores Satriano, PreK3 Teacher
As a PreK teacher, I have often been asked, “How can I, as a parent, help my child develop a relationship with God?“ This is a vitally important question. The answer to this question will likely serve as your child’s faith foundation and does not involve one perfect answer. Rather, as a result of my experience, I have found that when establishing an initial relationship between your child and God, there are a combination of activities that, when practiced, will inspire your child to try to get to know God better.

I believe that parents are the primary religious educators of their children. Below are five activities that you and your child can participate in, to help you introduce faith into your child’s life:
  1. Pray at Meal Time
    I recommend that before each meal, you encourage your child to thank God for the meal he or she is about to enjoy. Children need to understand that, because of God’s abundant blessings, we enjoy the gift of food. Since children love to eat, especially foods and treats they really enjoy, they will be pleased to thank God for all the tasty treats that they enjoy at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and daily snacks. This will establish a growing connection with God and will help your child recognize God’s love for us through the blessings of food and family during meal time. PS. Don't be shy to pray a blessing in public places.
  2. Pray at Bedtime
    Bedtime is a wonderful time to quietly reflect with your child on the events of the day. Parents should take the opportunity to pray with their children each night. Explain to your child how God has played a part in his or her life that day. On joyous occasions, explain to your child that God permitted good things to happen that day. Also, on not so joyous occasions, explain how God’s love permitted the strength and encouragement to get through those particularly challenging parts of the day.
  3. Attend Mass/Church as a Family on Sundays
    Attending Mass or your church service on Sundays as a family teaches your child that each Sunday we must dedicate time to God by entering into His house to praise Him, thank Him, and ask for his Blessings.  For Catholic families, Mass allows children to prepare themselves to learn about and accept the wonderful gift of the Eucharist, which they will eventually receive at their First Holy Communion. By attending Sunday Mass or your church service, you are teaching your child that he or she  is an important member of your greater Catholic/Christian community. This time as church allows your child the opportunity to get to know God in a deeper way. Always permit your child to ask questions about what they are experiencing at church.
  4. Pray a Rosary or Devotional Once a Week
    Pray the Rosary once each week or find a prayer or devotional to pray weekly with your child. Our Blessed Mother is the PERFECT EXAMPLE of faith. Her example in saying “Yes” to God and her example of extraordinary faith serves as a wonderful example of faith. Children should be encouraged to develop a closer relationship with Jesus and the Blessed Mother. Emulating her extraordinary faith can bring your child closer to God. Also, teaching Jesus’ special relationship with His Mother will serve as a great example of the relationship that you should strive for as a parent. Helping your child establish a bond with God will also help you teach the bonds of family and the importance of the child/parent relationship.
  5. Talk Openly about God and Your Faith
    Your child should repeatedly hear references to God and faith at home. Doing so will provide an excellent foundation for your child in in his or her faith life. Simply, if you talk about God, your child will become more familiar with God and will also talk more about God to you at home. Encourage your child to speak to family members about what he or she is learning in school or at church about faith. This, too, will help your child build that foundation in faith, and will help to establish a familiarity with God for which to build a strong relationship with Him. Loving God is knowing God. That is exactly what you want to do with your child. You want to teach your child to love God, and accept that God has a regular role in his or her life.

Regularly practicing each of the above will help develop your child’s relationship with God. I have often marveled, through the years, the manner in which young children recognize God in their lives. It is an absolutely beautiful thing to watch. My greatest hope is that what they learn in the classroom about God they will take outside the classroom and into their lives.

Mrs. Satriano has taught PreK at Pinecrest Academy for 11 years and is married to husband, Nicholas.They have two daughters, Jessica and Gianna, both of whom are graduates of Pinecrest. She can be reached at dsatriano@pinecrestacademy.org. You can learn more about Pinecrest’s PreK program here.
Pinecrest Academy is a private PreK3-12 Catholic school located in Cumming, South Forsyth, just minutes from Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton and Suwanee. We serve families of all faiths seeking a Christian education for their children. To learn more about our unique educational philosophy, visit our Welcome page.

The mission of Pinecrest Academy is reflected in the word Integer, which is Latin for “whole,” or “entire,” and reflects our goal of forming the whole child as an authentic “Person in Christ.” The school motto Semper Altius, means “Always Higher,” and challenges our students, parents, staff and faculty to strive for excellence in all areas of Integral Formation® - intellectual, spiritual, human and apostolic.