Teaching our children to be spiritual beings is a great way to develop a deeper connection with them. This deeper connection can create harmony and reduce stress within the family. Children want to know who they are and that they have a connection to something greater than themselves, whether that be God, the universe, nature, the force or whatever you want to call it.
I think that I am luckier than most because although I grew up with one particular religion in my family, my parents let me experience other religions and encouraged me to learn about other cultures and beliefs. I’ve read the old and new testaments and the books of almost every major religion on the face of the planet. I grew up with Native American friends and learned many wonderful things from them about nature and being connected. One tribal story teller told me of the march of the plains Indians to the Florida everglades. He said that the army believed that those who did not die along the way would soon die in the swamps because they had no experience in the swamps and would be ill prepared to survive. He said that what they did not understand is that if you are connected to nature, you are connected to nature no matter where you find yourself and nature and the spirits will tell you how to survive. Those Indians integrated into the Seminole Tribes and flourished in the Everglades.
What fascinated me most when learning about other religions and beliefs was how alike they all are. I discovered that underlying the basic tenants of almost every major religion on the planet are the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus, the Master of Masters of ancient Egypt. The knowledge of the Law of Attraction comes from the Hermetic Principles. Learning all these new things gave me a better, deeper understanding of my own religion. And I’ve never lost that sense of connectedness with Everything and my wonder with the world around me.
Children are actually born spiritual and they retain that until they start school where that aspect of their being is altered by the rules, the curriculum and the beliefs of their teachers and peers. Before school they tend to live in the present moment, they love unconditionally, they don’t know to believe their thoughts, there’s no competition, and like sponges, they soak up everything they come in contact with.
There are many things that you do with children and teenagers to help children remain connected to their spirituality, none of which conflict with any religious beliefs in your family. Here are a few ideas:
Create a gratitude journal. Every day, preferably in the morning, everyone in the family should write down at least one thing they are grateful. It can be anything from being happy to be alive, to thanking another family member for something they have done for them. Or have everyone state what they are grateful for during dinner. It’s a great conversation starter and creates a closer bond between family members.
First thing in the morning have everyone in your family set their intention for the day. This is an important practice in the Law of Attraction. Teach them what an intention is, have them state their intention, for example, I intend to be mindful in school today, or I intend to have a happy day.
Have a guided meditation before bed to calm everyone down and put them in the space to have good dreams. Include setting an intention to remember their dreams prior to the meditation.
Practice yoga together or take a family Tai Chi class.
Explore nature together: teach children about transformation by learning about butterflies; teach them about interconnectedness of life by talking about eco-systems while hiking in the forest or the desert or playing on the beach; teach them about conservation by picking up trash wherever you are.
The ways to nurture spirituality in children is endless, limited only by your imagination.