Spiritual Parenting, Part 2

Four Simple Ways To Begin
Here are a few suggestions to help start your family’s spiritual journey:

Trust and teach that all life is connected and has a purpose — When children trust that all life has a purpose, they respect and appreciate themselves and the people around them. Kindness, empathy, compassion and love grow from appreciation and respect, and create more of both in turn. A 7-year-old girl told me, “I saved up all my change for months and months, then rolled it up and gave it to a lady who needed help with all the stray cats she was looking after. She had 58 hungry cats with no homes. I felt happy to help those cats.”

Reach out and make connections with your children — they long for it. When you support and encourage your kids to ask themselves, “What can I give?” you help unlock their divine potential and support them in making a difference. Children’s coping skills are strengthened when they believe that all things have a purpose.

Listen to your child — A busy mother of four came to the conclusion that teaching less and listening more might be beneficial in the long run. “I guess I short-change my kids. Maybe if I spent more time finding out about them rather than just dictating what they can do and what they can have, we’ll all learn something.”
Be aware and accepting so your children are free to bring their inner feelings, visions and perspectives out. When children’s voices are heard, they become stronger. Listening validates children and gives them trust in themselves — they feel special and secure in their uniqueness when they are heard. Listening lets kids know their feelings and ideas are OK, and gives them an opportunity to express their emotions instead of stuffing them away. Listening lets you know how your child is feeling physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Add magic to the ordinary — Many adults have lost their enchantment with ordinary wonders — kids have it naturally. They don’t need a circus, an action-packed movie or a 3D software package. “It’s magic when my mom sings to me at night, my big sister reads to me, and when I’m alone in my room,” said Maggie, age 8.

Turn ordinary days into magical events. Family rituals, celebrations and traditions enrich a child’s soul.Release the struggle — Don’t sweat the small stuff, and simplify your life and your children’s lives.

Release the image of the “perfect” family and see the best in who you are and what you have today. Kids’ lives are full of stress. Come up with ways they can really let it go. Buy a trampoline or lots of poundable pillows. Turn up the music and dance out the day’s disappointments. Struggle creates anxiety, which can cause headaches, insomnia, nausea and lots of other physical symptoms. Make sure your days aren’t overscheduled and your child has time to unwind.