Spirituality in our children
Behavioral problems in children, something which most of the parents deal with at some or the other stage of growth of their children. Disobedience, back answering, being destructive, mood swings, taking offense, irresponsibility and the list goes on, each parent would have a unique set of things to talk about their children.
Since the time we know that we are about to become parents, we strive to be the world’s best parents but when we face the challenges of parenting the story is otherwise.
I would like bring a very shocking incident that was reported in papers recently, students from a famous college in the city went overboard with a birthday celebration, they went to the extent of tying the birthday boy to a tree and throwing the slaughtering waste at him, painting him with grease oil and other waste oils, though the police interfered and did the needful but this leaves us with a thought and question in mind.
This was just one incident. There are many similar incidents where children end up doing weird things in the name of celebration. What kind of happiness are our children seeking? How are they treating others and connecting to people? Do our children have a greater purpose and belief in life? Did we fail somewhere? That’s when somewhere I feel as parents it is our responsibility to help children become self-conscious, realize their true potential, seek happiness within themselves, connect to people and treat people with a greater purpose.
To a large extent, it can also bring down a lot of behavioral issues we face with our children. This would mean inculcating spirituality in our children right at an early age. When I say spirituality, it is different from religion and religious practices. I strongly believe spirituality is something which should not replace or substitute religious beliefs or the vice versa. Spirituality should supplement the religious beliefs and support in the holistic development of a child or an individual.
Most parents want to instill a sense of ethics, morals, and spirituality in their children. Whether we take our cues from the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, or from our own personal set of beliefs, we strive to teach our kids right from wrong, to help them develop compassion and respect for others, and to give them a sense of faith and purpose. While that's not easy to do when children are young, it's never too early for parents to start laying the foundation for a spiritual life. How can you best achieve that?
Spirituality is an inner sense of relationship to a higher power that is loving and guiding. The word we give to this higher power might be God, nature, spirit, the universe, the creator, or other words that represent a divine presence. But the important point is that spirituality encompasses our relationship and dialogue with this higher presence.0
Spiritual development, is the growth and progression of our inborn spirituality as one of our many perceptual and intellectual faculties, from taste and touch to critical thinking skills.
The precise embodiment of that transcendent universe-the other side of the two-way spiritual conversation-comes in many different forms and has many different names. It can take the form of spirit, the natural world, God, or a sense of oneness with the world, the larger community of which we are a part.
This two-way spiritual dialogue may or may not include religion. The connection can occur in meditation or yoga or in something as simple as your child's relationship with family pets, backyard wildlife, or a beloved tree.
Natural spirituality is a direct sense of listening to the heartbeat of the living universe, of being one with that seen and unseen world, open and at ease in that connection.
A child's spirituality precedes and transcends language, culture, and religion. It comes as naturally to children as their fascination with a butterfly or a twinkling star-filled night sky. However, as parents we play a powerful role in our child's spiritual development, just as we play a powerful role in every other aspect of our child's development.
Here are some ways we can try raising a spiritually connected child:
Grounded in gratitude
I think there is lot of power in writing down our blessings great or small. Try to begin and end everyday with gratitude great or small. This can happen in bed, at the dining table or anywhere where there is an interaction.
Retreat to nature
Try taking your children for an excursion where they can enjoy nature away from the daily routines of being tucked up to syllabus, books, exams or video games.
your own divine. And sometimes it just provides a neutral ground where you can talk without the distractions of plastic toys and electronic games.
We can work on expanding our children’s thoughts and understanding about the community and the connectedness. Rather than look away when we pull up to someone with a sign asking for help at the street corner, we can discuss who this person is. Sometimes we can give a fresh bottle of water or bag of nuts, sometimes just a smile and an honest acknowledgement of another human in need. Either way, we can talk about how that person is just like us. No better, no worse. We can talk about what it means to treat everyone we meet with kindness and respect.
I believe at the heart of any religious or spiritual practice is a need to feel connected, comforted, loved and honored. And we all should work towards our children to grow up with a deep sense of that.
(The author is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Learning Arena, an e-learning company)