Children of all ages need a sense of purpose and meaning in their lives. As a psychic medium, I am often approached by parents who believe their children are “gifted” and seek my guidance to help them understand their abilities. There are also those who just want to know how to simply help their children become more spiritually aware to their inner self. Parents today still struggle to do so and so I wrote this article in hopes of helping those who are trying to raise spiritual children. Enjoy.
Most parents want to instill a sense of ethics, morals, and spirituality in their children. Whether we take our cues from the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, or from our own personal set of beliefs, we strive to teach kids right from wrong, to help them develop compassion and respect for others, and to give them a sense of faith and purpose. While that’s not easy to do when children are young, it’s never too early for parents to start laying the foundation for a spiritual life. How can you best achieve that? I asked colleagues of mine who are wellness practitioners & researched what religious leaders practice, who are parents themselves, and this is what they shared!
Help Them Believe
“My wife and I try to help our daughters see that God is somehow here with us. We look for His presence in the concrete, sensory ways that we experience life. Watching hummingbirds at a feeder, looking at Mars through a telescope, seeing the miracles of nature — observing these helps kids get excited about the world around them. It nurtures their sense of wonder, and ultimately, I think, their belief in God.”
“Kids get a sense of spirituality by being involved, and in all faiths, there are many opportunities to engage children. Music is definitely one way to do that. We play a lot of Jewish music in the car and in our home. It’s a conscious decision to try to make our traditions a part of our everyday lives. When kids come to services, they’re more apt to participate if they’re familiar with the songs.
- The Reverend Mark Larson, counselor with Methodist Counseling, in Charlotte, N.C., and father of two girls, ages 4 and 8.
Show Them Your Spirituality
“How we live and what we make time for speaks volumes to kids about what’s important. Let your children know that spirituality is important to you, and it will become important to them as well. For the past year, my son Joseph has been asking me a lot of questions about death and dying. ‘Why do people die? What happens when they’re dead? Can you still love people who aren’t alive?’ At first, I felt completely unnerved by this, but then I realized it was an opportunity for me to teach him what I believe, which is that this life isn’t all there is. While that topic might seem like a heavy discussion to have with a 6-year-old, my son was interested in everything I shared.
“Encourage your child to talk to you about questions that arouse his curiosity. It’s okay to say, ‘I don’t really know. What do you think?’ or ‘Here’s what I believe.’ Being available for such discussions is an important way to impart spirituality.”
The Reverend Felicia Thomas, a minister in New York City, and mother of two boys, ages 6 and 8.
Pray as a Family
“Although a formal religious education is important, schools and churches can teach kids only a small portion of what they need to know. The responsibility lies primarily with parents. You need to be proactive about it in your everyday life.
“I think it’s also important to pray together as a family. We started off simply — Bless this food, bless God, bless love, bless you’ — because we wanted something kids would be able to say. But now our prayer has expanded to a discussion of questions like ‘What did you see today that was beautiful? Stephen, our younger boy, doesn’t say anything yet, but he likes holding hands, which we do when we pray. I’m convinced he knows something special is happening.”
“You can use popular culture to get into great conversations with young children and to share your faith and your beliefs with them. My 5-year-old is a Batman fan, and I can talk to him about how his hero helps people and works for justice and a better world. It’s a great way to engage him in a conversation about good and bad, right and wrong.
-The Reverend Chris Tang, rector at St. George’s Episcopal Church, in Maryland, and father of two boys, ages 2 and 5.
Set a Good Example & Practice Well Being
“As a parent I make sure every week I teach my children something new about their spiritual self. The part of them that is not tangible. Meditation & yoga is something I try to get my kids to learn at a young age. Typically on Sundays, I take about an hour to talk & meditate with my kids, to learn how to be mindful with others and ourselves. I make sure they understand that physical health is also a part of being spiritually healthy. I also makes sure they write down their dreams & feelings in a journal so they could be more in touch with their inner workings. Kids are very eager to learn about being spiritual because it’s something they know they have within but too often it goes ignored by society. My Job as a parent is to make sure they never forget who they are. Powerful beings of light”
-Louise Scalza LMT, CIMI, RMT and owner of Sacred Self Wellness in Babylon, New York. Mother of 2 daughters ages 12 & 6
Make Them Part of a Community
“A lot of people think church is a building where you go to hear a sermon and then you go home. But the biblical concept of church is that it’s a community. So every Sunday after worship we’ll hang out or have lunch with various members of our church. That’s when my children experience the joy and the love of God. Families who don’t spend time with their congregations really miss out.
“The biggest mistake we make is trying to make little kids understand abstract concepts of God. Sometimes they don’t need an in-depth explanation. The other day, my son Ragan asked me who made God. I said, ‘Nobody made God. God’s just always been.’ Of course, he persisted and said, ‘Well, how did He get born?’ My other son chimed in, ‘He wasn’t born. He hatched out of an egg.’ And that was a good enough explanation for Ragan. It’s not going to ruin kids’ thinking about God forever if we just let them work it out on their own level for the time being.
The Reverend Carla Street, pastor of Rivercrest Fellowship, a Baptist church in Jackson, Mississippi, and mother of twin boys, age 5.
So let me know if you got as much out of this as I did while writing & compiling this! I want to hear from you! What are some ways YOU help or plan to help your children become spiritually aware?
Straight From The Heart,
Christopher Allan www.imstillhere.net
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