This is an odd topic for a blog.
Why would I even choose to write about something as off-the-beaten-path as spirituality in children?
Because. . . .
It is possible that their spiritual foundation will spur them to actions that make the world a better place.
It is possible that a vibrant human spirit within can lead a young person toward career and vocation, toward contribution and purpose as he or she moves into adulthood.
It is possible that their increased awareness of God’s loving, caring presence with them will reduce attempts to satisfy themselves through too much work, too much alcohol, too much escapism, too much of whatever would make them feel better– in the short-term.
Your spiritual guidance could well make that kind of difference in the lives of the children you know, and in the lives of those they will go on to impact.
What makes child-centered spirituality different?
It’s not just about teaching right and wrong. It is not dogma-centered. It’s not about indoctrination of your own ideas. The way to encourage children’s spirituality is found in opening yourself up to their world, in asking them questions and answering theirs, in listening.
It’s about honoring the spirituality that is already within them.My goal in this blog is to allow the children to speak for themselves. I want to give voice to their thoughts, their questions, their experiences. In order to do this, I have sprinkled quotes and stories from children and from adults reflecting on their childhood experiences of spirituality.
Where’s the research?
Research involving childhood spiritual development (also called moral development) has received considerable attention in recent years. For example, it is the focus of thirteen research projects cited in one New York Times article alone. This blog highlights observations and experiences through children’s eyes and the content is in alignment with current research findings as well.
What about God?
I’ll share vignettes from a variety of spiritual and religious perspectives. I am assuming the existence of God, recognizing that approximately 80+ percent of the world population are said to “believe in God” in some form and that prevailing belief is reflected here.
God is spirit, but I use the male pronoun because it is what I encounter most often when people talk about God.Substitute the female pronoun if you wish.