Tell children your own spiritual stories

Many times, a personal story sheds a brighter light on the subject than moralizing. Rather than telling a child facing a question or decision what to do, telling them a story from your own life can be much more helpful. It helps them think creatively and gives them the confidence that they can come to their own solutions.

When children raise questions, our ideal response is to hear them out and invite more dialog. Lisa Miller uses something like: “You bring such important questions to the family;”  or “When I was a child I wondered that, too. I am so happy you are sharing these thoughts with me.”

Consider what spiritual stories you can tell the children in your life.

A friend of mine (mother of three teens) who does this says, “It could be about a time you failed, a time you needed God, a time you doubted God, a time you were surprised by something you couldn’t explain, a time when you sensed God communicating something to you. And consider what beliefs of yours came out of these experiences.”

Questions to help adults remember our spiritual stories we can share with kids:

  • What beliefs define your decision-making process?
  • What do you believe about how you will relate to people? Strangers, enemies, wrongdoers, immediate family, etc.
  • How do you relate to God?
  • When have you had times of doubt when God felt very far away?
  • What/who are your trusted sources that informed your spiritual progression, growth and wisdom?
  • What gives your life purpose and meaning?
  • How did you arrive at your present spiritual place?

Our spiritual stories don’t have to be noble or positive. The power comes from it being real and being yours.

Note: Some of the ideas for questions were inspired by Tom Rapsas on StoryCorps.

Tweetable:

  • Tell kids your spiritual story. They’re still forming a moral compass and our experiences inspire. Click to Tweet
  • Seven questions here that help adults remember our spiritual stories we can share with kids.
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