talking with children about God

Incorporating Your Spiritual Practice as a Parent

September 13, 2011

If you have a spiritual practice, one of the best parts of it is the gift of sharing it with your child. As he discovers the world, and is introduced to the various dimensions of it, he also discovers and learns about the spiritual side of things. We practice Roman Catholicism and it is so endearing to watch J blow kisses to crucifixes, make a kissing sound every time he hears “Jesus,” and to get excited about the beautiful icon he has in his room of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus. (The icon is a gift from our dear friend who passed away last year, the woman who shaped my sense of parenting and music as written about here.) He pages (and rips) through his picture Bible and sometimes behaves at mass. He also loves chewing on his wooden rosary. Whatever your spiritual practice, sharing it with your child can never come too early. As children grow older and wiser, they quickly ask the “why” behind the “how.” Starting to discuss spirituality young lays a good foundation for what’s to come. 1) Talk about it. Talk about God, nature, centeredness, whatever spirituality means to you. Solicit a response from  your chosen terminology. Pair up the associations–Jesus and kissing, in J’s case, or nature and kissing the ground–associative links are crucial for vocabulary and comprehension growth. 2) Read about it. We read the Bible aloud to J everyday. Does he understand any of it? Aside from the name “Jesus,” probably…

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