When I was a child Easter was an exuberant time. With my specially selected Easter bonnet new from the store, visions of chocolate bunnies danced in my head. After giving up sugar for Lent, forty days without sumptuous sweets seemed like an eternity. But this holiday of hope and renewal brings real spiritual sweetness indeed. As I have grown up, my faith has grown and deepened and so too has my appreciation for Easter when we celebrate the risen Lord.
My own kids have loved Easter and the thrill of the Easter egg hunt, but they have also learned lessons along the way. Lent prepares them; it is a time of preparation, patience and perseverance.
Raising children, I have found that Easter can be a time ripe for example setting. Our kids learn so much through absorption. We teach by example. As parents, it is our job to instill morals and values into our children. When they see us treat each other with kindness and respect, it leaves an imprint on them.
Early childhood education is society's obligation to its young. It sets the course for learning, not just in the mind, but in the heart. I know that once you feel something deep inside and you make an emotional connection, then a lesson is learned forever. Once you feel it in your heart, your heart never forgets.
In today's content-driven society, entertainment is an ideal way to get through to our children, whether it's putting on a DVD, pressing 'play' on an iPad or learning the ABC's on an iPhone app. We can enforce literacy and moral lessons through 'entertainment' and we will watch as our children's entertainment transcends into moralistic behavior as well as learning important life skills.
I have always turned to the good book to guide me throughout my life. The Bible is full of stories and parables that teach the moralistic way to approach a situation. My new series, Little Angels, combines both example setting for children and the rich stories of The Bible guided along the way by some special guardian angels
The characters are Alex and Zoe, preschool twins who often need guidance when their parents aren't around. Blessedly, they have eight little guardian angels who can help them out. Taking them back in time to Noah's Ark or Jonah and the Whale, they learn lessons that directly apply to their young lives and they feel God's amazing and unconditional love.
The series was inspired by a sweet prayer my Father taught me I when we was young:
God in heaven, my savior dear,
Watch over my children and draw them near,
Send your little angels to be at their side,
To light and to guard,
To love and to guide.
This was a way my Father could pray for us; I in turn have shared this prayer with my children. I have tried to help them learn important lessons that will help them be kinder and more caring individuals,
Chocolate eggs may dominate the home this Easter Sunday. But spring brings with it the promise of hope and transformation, Easter holds the same promise of life renewed. We can help our children discover this holiday to be much more meaningful and an easy way we can have them learn how to be in the world is through our loving actions and our kindness to each other, so come on, share the candy!
Roma Downey is an actor and producer. Her animated DVD series "Little Angels'' teaches pre-school children basic learning skills, and introduces them to spiritual, moral and ethical principles from the Bible.
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