|Perhaps if we used this, they'd know that |
there's no such thing as "stewman".
With these thoughts circling in my mind, I began paying extra close attention to the way the prayers sounding coming from both him and the Ninja Monkey during our nightly Rosary. While this is made up of prayers they've said or at least heard every day of their lives and that I specifically taught both of them over the last two years or so, I noticed they were not only not saying them clearly, but they weren't even saying all of the words. Specifically, neither of them say the words "the fruit of" in the Hail Mary. According to them both, the prayer is, "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongstewmen, and blessed is they womb, Jesus." Every time they say it, I have this great urge to interrupt them and correct them. I haven't yet, but I have tried to correct them afterwards, and to over emphasize them when I say the prayer myself. While it doesn't seem to be having too much of an effect on them, I don't think I'm ready to break in to their prayers with corrections just yet.
You see, this is where the dilemma comes in. I truly believe that they mean every word they say in those prayers, and that, to the best of their young hearts' abilities, they believe them to be true. I also know that they love the Blessed Mother greatly, and that they know that praying the Rosary is a way we can show her how much we love her Son, and vice versa. I'm not sure that perfectly reciting the words is what matter the most at this age. I know it matters, but is it of the utmost importance? Perhaps all that really counts right now is the meaning, the intention, the love pouring out of their young hearts, and not the jumbled mess of words pouring out of their young lips.
So when does the balance shift from placing the importance on the fervor to placing it more equally on both that and the pronunciation? I don't know the answer to that one just yet, but then again, my oldest is only six. He's getting ready to make his first Penance and First Holy Communion. Both of those are events where the words matter and matter greatly. He can't very well make a confession is he doesn't know the proper form and it would terrible if he didn't respond with the proper "Amen" after receiving the Precious Body and Blood. I think about now is the right time to start really emphasizing the words themselves, and the importance of saying them as clearly and correctly as one can. But I still believe that God, in His infinite wisdom and mercy, who created these children, knows what they mean and knows that the heart is willing, even though the words are failing, and He accepts prayers full of "Stewmens" and lacking "fruits" as much as the ones that are full of them.
So now I want to know: Do you interrupt your children while they pray to correct their mistakes or do you leave it up to good modeling on your own part and hope they figure it out on their own?