Skill #1:   Attentiveness: Notice spiritual activity in children.

Attentiveness is used most often in the context of everyday life, but don’t overlook its presence here:

  1. Dreams
  2. Awe-inspiring activities
  3. Peace in hard times
  4. Out-of-control events
  5. Coincidences and unexplainable events

Skill #2:   Active listening: Engage the child in conversation about it.

  1. Dreams“As my son was going to sleep he said he was afraid to go to heaven because he didn’t know what it would look like. I told him to ask God to show him while he was asleep.” Later, his mom listened to the dream and asked if it took away her son’s fear.
  2. skills for faithAwe-inspiring activities — When a teenage girl was asked what she liked about surfing, she said: “For me, just being in nature and feeling the ocean as this elemental force, and then doing some sort of meditation. I think yoga is a good starting point.”
  3. Peace in hard times: “I was 6, maybe 7, when my pet cat died. I wanted to know where my cat went, why she couldn’t come back, etc. I was completely satisfied with my parents’ answers of “She went to Heaven.” God is watching over her now.” I felt peace. I remember it distinctly. That’s when I realized that there was someone watching and caring for us that we couldn’t see or touch, but they were out there.”
  4. Out-of-control events: “During the pandemic things were out of control and I didn’t expect anything positive to come out of it. My mother helped me recognize some good things did come out of it.”
  5. Coincidences and unexplainable events“My teenage daughter called me to tell me that she had pulled a 10-year-old up from the bottom of the pool where she lifeguards. The next morning she said, ‘I couldn’t sleep last night, Ma. I kept thinking about that girl and what might have happened if I hadn’t rescued her.’  And I responded, ‘You did something extraordinary. You should feel incredibly good about yourself.’”

Skill #3:   Acceptance: Discern if the child wants information or empathy.

Pay attention to this distinction. Accept it either way and respond accordingly. The child in Situation 3 needs information about her cat. The child in Situation 5 wants understanding.