A look at how to teach your child to live spiritually.
Parenting a child is a spiritual journey in itself. As your child learns, you, too, will discover new things about yourself and about life. Raising your child in a spiritual way means you teach them about their direct connection to the divine. It means you teach them about the connection between themselves and everything and everyone on the planet. You don't have to be part of a traditional religion to teach your child that life is about more than selfish desires and material wealth. Bring them up with respect for all living things and you will be giving them a good start in life.
Tips for teaching your child about the sacred side of life
If everyone taught their child to be kind, compassionate and respectful towards everyone else, the world would be a delightful place. Before your child acts, ask them to reflect on the simple idea: 'treat others as you would like to be treated'. Ask them to stop and reflect on whether what they are about to do is kind. This rule holds true in most circumstances. Compassion and kindness are all too often perceived as weaknesses in today's society. But, in fact, these qualities are great strengths, giving your child the ability to see the world from new perspectives and opening up their mind.
This is about accepting the consequences of actions. Instead of forcing your child obey endless rules they don't understand, tell them they have free will and can make their own choices. But they will have to face the consequences of their actions. Of course, common sense should be applied here - this idea is broadly aimed at older children and teenagers. Keeping your child safe is paramount. But it could be applied to younger children on a controlled scale, such as, if you lash out at your playmate - he won't want to play anymore, then you will have to play alone. So your action has consequences you may not like.
Body & Soul
One of the most important things you can teach your child is self-respect. Make sure your child knows they are loved, they are precious and they have great value as a human being. The thoughts and feelings of childhood on this aspect will follow your child for the rest of their life, affecting their future partners and future children. Let them know that nobody has the right to hurt them or denigrate them. They must expect partners and friends to respect them, and respect themselves, too. They should look after their body by eating healthy food and taking exercise.
Happiness lies within
Teach your child that they have to find happiness within themselves - nobody can give it to them. Your child must learn what makes them happy. Help them discover their talents and encourage your child to use them. Teach them that happiness will never come by projecting hopes upon another person, such as a partner, a celebrity or upon material things. Lasting happiness comes from using their skills or talents.
Turn your child's mind towards giving rather than receiving. A spiritual, fulfilling life is not about what you can grab for yourself, but it is about the joy of giving and sharing. It's essential to instil the idea that the material objects are not the most important things in life. Otherwise you child will never be fulfilled or truly happy - no matter how much money they make as adults.
Introduce times of meditation or prayer to your child's day. This will make spirituality feel natural and easy to them. For example, you could set aside five minutes before your child's bedtime to sit and talk about what was good about the day and what could be improved upon. Let your child do the talking; you listen. Then introduce meditation by asking your child to visualise something positive for the next day. Keep it short and sweet - a one-minute visualisation is enough.
Of course there will be times you are cross with your child and you have to tell them off in order for them to learn. But think carefully about the words you use. Convey your anger but never use crushing or hurtful words. Never swear at your child. Always remind them that your love is unconditional.
A walk in the woods or a park is one of the greatest experiences you can share with your child. There are plenty of things in the natural world to fascinate a young mind - help your child to see them. Look at the trees, the shapes of leaves, the flowers, conkers, the birds and wildlife. Teach your child to value and respect nature.
Teach by Example
Be the person whom you would like your children to become. Children will watch and copy their parents so be the best person you can all of the time - a tall order but parenthood is a challenge. Show respect to other people, don't curse in front of children; let them see you at spiritual practice or having a constructive conversation with your partner. Sit down to dinner once a week and talk to your family. Switch off the mobile phones!
You don't always have the answers!
As a parent, it sometimes feels like you are expected to be a fount of knowledge, when you often don't have all the answers for your children. Use this as a positive and tell your children that we can't always know what is right. Some situations are too complex for a quick answer. Tell your children to seek out knowledge to educate themselves. Tell them to think carefully and reflect before they make any big decisions.
Be the first to leave a comment!
Copyright Psychic Sofa