Can We Teach Our Kids Spirituality?


I’ve stated before that to me being green is more than just trying to be eco-friendly. To live a green lifestyle, you must have an appreciation of nature. Appreciation and respecting nature and all things natural is more than just recycling. It is a commitment to good physical health – eating right and exercising. It is a commitment to good mental health – managing stress and staying focused on what is important in life. It is also a commitment to good spiritual health. The idea of spiritual health can get a little tricky to explain. I’ll do my best to provide my definition with the understanding that someone else’s idea of spiritual health could be completely different.

The notion of spirituality and leading a spiritual life can be difficult to put into words. Spirituality to me is more than just religious faith. It’s an idea that we are part of something bigger, greater than just the small world geographically and of individuals that we move around in. In addition to my belief in God, I have an appreciation for the beauty of nature and magnitude of the world around us. To me, these two ideas are coupled together. I don’t care if others don’t believe in God, but I would like to see everyone have a perspective of our place in this universe. Only then can we truly desire to preserve it. That’s more than enough of philosophy for this post, so let’s move on to the difficult part.

Since spirituality is an integral part of my life but so difficult to define, how do I pass this important component of green living on to my children? How can I instill my values of spirituality? I’ve started thinking about this question because my 2 year old son has developed an obsession with The Children’s Bible. It is a book that has sat in his book bins since he was born, but he has only recently discovered it. It is far too advanced for him, but he likes to look at the pictures and hear the first couple of sentences on the pages. It got me thinking that maybe it’s time to introduce him to religion. We don’t attend church regularly, but obviously you don’t need to go to church to learn about God.

We have started with saying Grace before dinner. He loves it because we all hold hands. He gets this big grin on his face and frequently tries to get us to say Grace several more times during dinner. I’ve also started having him say his prayers at night. The last thing he does before I leave the room is put his hands together and tell me what he is thankful for. Right now with that huge grin, he lists people (at my prompting), but I am expecting to eventually hear Thomas the Train and The Wiggles in that list.

These are just small pieces of what I have defined as spirituality. I know that I have years to teach him, but I’ve been thinking that maybe spirituality isn’t something that can be taught. Maybe it is more of a discovery that he’ll have to make for himself. The best that I can do is share with him my thoughts and beliefs and hope that someday he sees something similar. I guess that I will just have to wait and see.

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One response to this post.

  1. Of course your son will definitely discover his own spiritual path, but as a parent you are being so encouraging which is lovely to see!

    Reply

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