We have many books at our house that my kids love to read. One book that we recently acquired and that is rapidly becoming a favorite of my children is called, “Will You Forgive Me?” by Sally Grindley and Penny Dann. The book deals with a little fox who has made a mistake by playing with her friend’s tickling stick and ends up losing it. When her friend begins to look for it and can’t find it he tells Figgy he’s going to be angry if it doesn’t turn up. Figgy wants to tell JB what happened (as she was being naughty when it disappeared) but she’s scared to. Instead she sets out to find the tickling stick herself so that maybe, just maybe, she won’t have to confess what she did. The story shows Figgy ultimately finding the stick and bringing it back to JB. She confesses to JB what she did, telling all that she did to lose it and then find it again, and asks for forgiveness. JB, while upset, gladly gives her forgiveness.
As parents we try to introduce to our children our morals and values. One way we can do this is through reading to them. There are so many books out there, both religious and non-religious that can help us introduce our beliefs, our morals, and our values to our children. This particular book, while not religious, is a perfect starting spot to introduce to our children the Sacrament of Reconciliation and God’s beautiful gift of forgiveness. It not only shows how we may feel after committing a sin (as Figgy felt… panicked that JB would find out, guilty that she did it, upset with herself that she would do something to upset her friend, scared to tell the truth) but it also shows how by telling the truth and asking for forgiveness we heal the hurts that may be between us and God. It shows how we will feel when we confess our sins and receive the gift of forgiveness.
Sometimes it’s hard to find new and interesting ways to teach our kids. Finding books that connect our children to their faith, even when they are not specifically religious, is such a great way to do this. They give us a starting point at which to begin a conversation with our kids that should last a lifetime. The best time to start these talks are when they are little and eager to learn, to hear, to live what we teaching them. When we begin while they are tiny we stand a better chance of helping them live a life set in those morals and values that we hope to instill. Reading these types of books also reinforces our own faith. As with this book we get a gentle reminder to attend the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Many of the books we read our children can have just as important affect on us as they do our children.
We have heard it said that reading to our children is one of the greatest gifts we can give them. I challenge that by saying reading to our children books that impart our Catholic beliefs and values is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children. It takes such little time to do but the lasting effects are great.
What books have you found that help impart our Catholic faith to your children? What are their favorites?