While you shouldn’t force your beliefs religiously on your children, teaching them to be spiritual on some level from a young age is not a bad thing. When kids are young they are more open to this kind of thing and working to better understand more than you might imagine off-hand.
This kind of thing is actually kind of a big deal for kids when you think about it because they hear all about what other kids are learning in regards. They are at a place in their lives where they are just taking everything in and you can really work to set them off on their journey in this life properly. That being said, we all need to remember that spirituality and religion do not have to go hand in hand.
Family Education wrote as follows on this topic:
“Spirituality has traditionally been framed in terms of religion, and so the issue of church and state comes up,” observes Don Ratcliff, Ph.D., education professor at Biola University in La Mirada, CA, and the author of several books on children’s spiritual development. “In the research area, a lot of secular universities shy away from it because they think the topic is getting too close to religion. There’s concern about objectivity.”
Ratcliff’s own research and experience as a parent have led him to believe that many children actively search for spiritual understanding, beginning at a young age. He recalls his own son, at five, becoming deeply reflective while watching a campfire during a family trip. Gazing into the flames, the child observed that “the fire is like Jesus on the cross, and the stones are like people standing around looking up at the cross.”
To Ratcliff, the story is a reminder that even very young children have the ability to think abstractly. Many experts in early childhood development, however, believe just the opposite — that young children’s early expressions of faith can only be rooted in the concrete experiences of seeing, hearing, and touching.
“If you ask a preschooler, ‘What is God?’ you get an answer that God is a person,” says Helen Cohen, director of the Frances Jacobson Early Childhood Center at Temple Israel in Boston. “I remember a child telling me she didn’t believe in God. I said, ‘Why do you say that?’ She said, ‘I can’t see God or hear God, so I know there is no God.'”
Other children seem to be more openly engaged by the concept of a higher power, says David Elkind, Ph.D., professor of child study at Tufts University. He recalls a conversation with a four-year-old who spoke with authority when asked to describe the difference between God and Jesus.
Spirituality by definition is ‘the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.’ This is something we all need on some level. Teaching your kids about it when they are young can and will help them remain focused in those areas on some level as they age even if they do not realize it. For instance, they may be more inclined to push themselves to do things that overall are good for their spirit or dive into their passions. They know that they have a path in this world and that we all make mistakes along the way.
What do you think about this and do you agree that it is a good thing for children to be looking into on some level? I think that it varies and depends on how things are gone about overall. This is a topic that most will not find easy to agree on.