A bit of focus
We find that saying this short prayer before bedtime prayers really goes a long way towards collecting a distracted little person. Really little kids repeat each line after us.

Dear Jesus, I know that you are here.
(At which point everyone invariably looks around the room.)
I know that you can see me and hear me, and that you love me.
Please help me have a good prayer.

As it turns out, we’ve been using a simpler version of the following prayer that is often used before praying in order to recall the Presence of God:

My Lord and my God, I firmly believe that you are here, that you see me, that you hear me. I adore you with profound reverence, I ask your pardon for my sins, and the grace to make this time of prayer fruitful. My immaculate Mother, Saint Joseph my father and lord, my guardian angel, intercede for me.
(From Handbook of Prayers, James Socias, ed.)

Come away to a lonely place
Lately I’m finding that doing bedtime prayers alone with each child is a welcome change to the usual group format. Usually it serves to separate the gigglers from the giggle instigators, but I also find that the types of things that the children pray about alone can be different than the things that they pray about with the whole family.

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