Adventures In Spiritual Living

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How to Start Children on a Great Spiritual Life

Kaye Cooper

Follow the Inner Spirit-Ages 1-3

You are your child’s first experience of divine love. As your baby becomes a toddler, you may come face to face with a big question: how am I going to give her a good start on a spiritual life? Her experience with you will teach her about love, God, and the spiritual world.

Pay Special Attention to Two Crucial Years.

Most people have few, if any, memories from the first three years, but their emotional impressions of these years taught them what to expect from those who love them. These emotional impressions are formed by his experiences during this time. This is the age when he needs you to show him how you feel about him by your actions.

He needs to experience your consistent care for him. He needs to see you being kind even when you must hold a boundary. This behavior and countless other unselfish reactions teach him what a good human parent is. As he grows, this understanding of a good human parent provides the foundation of his concept of a divine parent.

The key to giving your child a great spiritual life is to live your life in a way that reflects the wise and loving spirit who sustains this world. Teach her to trust you deeply by your constant and continuing love. Express that love by being helpful, gentle, careful, and kind. These are some of the first values she will be able to grasp.

Express Love in the Way You Treat Her.

Reflect spiritual attitudes by the way you treat her. Love her with your feelings,
words, and actions.

  1. Use your voice to inspire safety and trust by speaking with love in a low-pitched, relaxed way.
  2. Display patience with her.
  3. Avoid taking offense at her immaturity or errors.
  4. Forgive and reconnect freely and easily.
  5. Encourage and help her.
  6. Laugh and play with her.

Express Spiritual Attitudes by What You Say and Do.

  1. Be delighted to spend time with him.
  2. Call attention to the goodness and love you see in him.
  3. Comment on admirable qualities in the people he knows.
  4. Be helpful to others.
  5. Spend time and effort serving those who need help.
  6. Listen generously to the people in your life, especially your child.

Reveal Your Own Spiritual Relationship.

Let interaction with God be a regular event in your family. Talk naturally about the spiritual aspects of life. Take care to express thanksgiving for life as the gift of a loving spiritual parent.

Ask God to give you values to help you respond well to challenges or confrontations. Seek help to be patient, strong, understanding, or calm. If possible, express your requests aloud at times so she can overhear you. When you recognize spiritual assistance with something you have asked for, mention this spiritual help to her.

Request Spiritual Help for Your Child.

Let your child know you ask for divine help for him. Bedtime is a good time to curl up together and talk with God. The values that your family discusses together are good values for which to ask. Begin with ideals that are simple, such as gentleness, kindness, helpfulness, and courage. When you notice him displaying the values you prayed for, call his attention to this answer to prayer.

Demonstrate Your Own Appreciation.

Appreciation, gratitude, and thanksgiving are essential values which will benefit your whole family. Model appreciation throughout the day. Talk about the good things in your life—friends, family, opportunities to help others, times of rest, time for play. And encourage her to give thanks for her own blessings. Make your spiritual relationship with our divine parent an individual and important part of your life. Let your child see this in a way that makes it clear that he can have a real religion that is personal and easy to enjoy. Personal spirituality is an essential element in a happy and meaningful life. In these early years with your child, you can lay the foundation for his entire spiritual life.

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