How To Teach Your Kids About Spirituality
For some parents it can be quite overwhelming when they want to talk to their kids about important subjects and life experiences that they will also face at some point during their lives. It may be extremely difficult to find the right words and you may even find yourself editing most of the speech that you put together days before. Spirituality is a difficult topic to talk about, not because it is scary, but because it is complex and represents all types of meanings, beliefs, events and experiences.
Some parents choose to share their own beliefs and values with their children, while others might want their child to choose their own path without any outside influences. There is no wrong or right way to talk to your kids about spirituality, religion or life views, except for the fact that we should not force anything upon our kids. If you are looking for some advice on how to talk about spirituality with your kids, check out some of the most important tips below.
Understand Your Own Beliefs and Faith
Before opening up the idea of spirituality to your kids, make sure you know what your own beliefs are first. If you are confused or conflicted about anything to do with religion, faith or a higher power, then it is wise to do some soul searching and figure out what you believe before embarking on a spiritual journey with your children.
Share Stories of Spirituality That Portray Positive Experiences
Try to do some reading, as well as research spiritual stories that show displays of kindness, goodwill, encouragement and faith. It doesn’t matter if the stories come from a bible or a spiritual story book as long as they show how people support one another, show kindness and feel compassion towards one another.
There are many children’s books out there that offer spiritual understanding and connection. Some stories may include animals, religious figures, distinct symbols or sources of nature, while others may include an individual’s past experiences or lessons learned. Whatever the case is, reading these types of stories with your children will allow them to open up to the idea of spirituality at their own pace.
Practice Active Listening When Discussing Spirituality
When you are talking with your kids about God, nature, a higher power or whatever faith or religion you believe, listen to what they have to say. Do not ignore their questions because they are too overwhelming, out of your comfort zone or a religion you do not understand. Be honest with your child and say that you do not know.
When your child asks more intense questions such as, ‘what is the meaning of life?’, do the best you can and express what life means to you personally. Speak from the heart and tell your child that this is how you understand life and that they also will discover their own unique understanding of life as they grow older.
Be Open Minded When Discussing Spirituality
Your child may have many questions about a specific religion or spiritual story they heard at school or from friends. Many questions may relate to beliefs that are separate from your own.
If your child seems to prefer learning about Buddhism over Roman Catholicism, let them explore it. Try not to push your own religion, moral, religious texts or beliefs onto your child and allow them to discover different forms of religion and spirituality on their own, and at their own pace.
What If You Do Not Attend Church, Temple or Any Other Religious Institution?
If you and your children do not attend a religious institution of any kind, do not worry. You can still teach your kids about religion, morals, goodwill, kindness and how to be a genuine caring person by being a great role model and setting good examples in your everyday life.
Provide Access To Group Activities and Community
If you want to teach your kids about spirituality and are not sure how to get started, allow them to join community groups and get involved in activities that encourage spirituality and spiritual beliefs.
When children attend these groups they can form their own opinions and perspectives on spirituality and choose whether they want to make room for it in their lives.
Many of these spiritual groups offer a child the opportunity to discover the benefits of spirituality on their own. Other activities and classes that may open your child’s mind to spirituality are yoga, meditation and even music classes.
Every family is different and many parents may introduce their kids to spirituality in all sorts of levels, from goal oriented activities and sports to arts, music and relaxation techniques. As a parent, keep an open mind when your child becomes curious and allow them to absorb new spiritual information as it comes and when they are ready.