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Parents ask: When should we join a faith community?

Parents ask: When should we join a faith community?

A milestone occurs when children enter school and their relationship pool increases and deepens. They look for ways to connect with others and with God in new ways. In grade school, you are still the one they most want to hear from about spirituality and the one they...

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Pros and cons for telling kids about our past

Pros and cons for telling kids about our past

Ask yourself 5 questions as you weigh the pros and cons of what you tell your kids about your past. Author David Sheff (Beautiful Boy) writes, “It has to do with the relationship you have with your kids, and how open are they going to be with you, and how involved in...

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Children’s personal disappointment with God

Children’s personal disappointment with God

As children get older, their disappointments grow larger. Hurt and angry feelings get directed at God too, often due to: Prayers not answered. Hurt by religious people. Overwhelmed by evil and suffering in the world. Many children say that unanswered prayers...

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3 skills used in children’s faith development

3 skills used in children’s faith development

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: Dreams Awe-inspiring activities Peace in hard times Out-of-control events Coincidences and...

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Young children’s capacity to think about God

Young children’s capacity to think about God

Talk to any 3- or 4-year-old and you will find a capacity to think about God. Researcher Justin Barrett says, “They already have something like an impulse to think about supernatural beings, to account for why things are the way they are and how things work in the...

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A child’s soul: under construction

A child’s soul: under construction

A child’s soul develops like a new building under construction with scaffolding around it. Parents and other adults provide a framework for support, but the child is the one under development. The point is the child—or the building. Everybody looks past the...

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Guilt without baggage makes children strong

Guilt without baggage makes children strong

How can we help children develop an internal moral compass– a conscience– but without the negative baggage that guilt brings? How can we help them not just have a change of actions, but a change of heart? A change of heart is the realm of the spirit Spiritual...

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Build a child’s spiritual vocabulary

Build a child’s spiritual vocabulary

Help children build a spiritual vocabulary, using the same methods as when you taught them basic vocabulary words. When they learned animal names, you had picture books of animals, “Where’s the bird? What does the bird say?” And when you went outdoors, “See the bird?...

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Kids’ conversation starters: I want to be a….

Kids’ conversation starters: I want to be a….

We all heard the question as kids ourselves, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Hard to say or predict but these six questions can lead you into an interesting conversation with older elementary or tween children. Questions are taken from Ralph T. Mattson and...

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Kids revisit family photos and learn

Kids revisit family photos and learn

Family photos reveal much about us and the people who shaped our early years. Why not take time with your children to learn something new from them? Dig a little deeper into scenes from previous generations. With photos on the screen before you, or with photo album in...

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God: Like no other authority figure

God: Like no other authority figure

“It would be easy for kids to draw the wrong conclusion about their complaints by thinking that God is like other authority figures they have in their lives. Sometimes It is not safe to speak honestly to a human authority figure—especially if you want to accuse that...

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If spirituality is worth talking about, then talk!

If spirituality is worth talking about, then talk!

A New York Times op-ed notes that "many people now avoid religious and spiritual language because they don’t like the way it has been used, misused and abused by others." Maybe we can help to rekindle confidence in the vocabulary of faith so that the mis-users and...

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