By Laurie Szostak (Recycled from August/September 2014, Edition 7)
How do we teach our kids about spirituality? First, we have to believe in some sort of power greater than ourselves. If we as parents don’t believe, how can we teach our children to believe? Not believing is okay for us as adults, but what about our children? Shouldn’t they at least have some kind of knowledge so that they can make their own choices as they get older?
Spirituality means something different to everyone. For some, it’s about participating in organized religion, like going to church, synagogue, a mosque, etc. For others, it’s more personal, like when people get in touch with their spiritual side through private prayer, yoga, meditation or reflecting while taking a walk.
Some parents I knew brought their children to various places of worship for all different faiths. Their intent was not to pressure them into any specific faith, but to expose them to different ways of praying and seeking peace. This is a great idea—not just for children, but for parents as well.
For me, spirituality is believing in a power much greater than myself. I choose to call that power God, and I believe that comes in the many forms of people, places and things. Everything in my life happens for a reason, and there is a lesson to be learned in everything that I go through. I just have to be open-minded and clear-headed to see what are some good ways.
My children have seen me struggle over the years with many things, but that is life. I don’t hide it from them. I let them see me cry and it lets them know I am human and that I hurt as well. I am a survivor and I turn the negative into a positive the majority of the time. I ask for guidance, strength and courage each and every day along with reading daily meditations, and I always get answers. Sometimes it is not what I want to hear, but I know in my heart it is exactly what I need at the right time. This is what I taught my children.
I have taught them that it is okay to ask for help, and that spirituality is a deep feeling in the heart that connects us to a power that is beyond us all. Knowing that a greater power is always there to hear us—that we can just ask and we will receive—gives us a sense of peace, inspiration and serenity.
Find the best in everyone and don’t judge anyone—that is what I want my children to remember. Own your mistakes and learn to forgive. Pray for the people who have hurt you. Breathe in faith and exhale fear. When life is too much to handle, I remind myself and my young son that “this too shall pass” and that no problem lasts forever. We can teach our children about meditation as a spiritual way to turn our thoughts away from whatever is troubling us, and a wonderful way to connect with our Source. After all, we all need something to cling to with absolute confidence. What will your children cling to? █