How to Develop a Sense of Spirituality in our Children
Michal Berg, mother of five and president and CEO of Spirituality for Kids, shares with us five ways by which we can develop a sense of spirituality in our children. 1. Remember who your kids are. There are times when our kids can say and do the worst things. But when the crisis passes, they become their kind and gentle selves again. In those moments, we have to let our children be. We have to stop being reactive ourselves: judging, criticizing, and screaming at them.
2. Kids need to know they are not “bad.” Too often children don't understand that their misbehaving is just misbehaving; it's not who they are. We are all fundamentally good. When we make poor choices, we create veils that cover up the light inside us. But it is always there and we can always find a way back to it.
3. Develop self-esteem. There's always going to be someone prettier, who has more money, or lives in a nicer house. From a spiritual perspective, low self-esteem is a selfish state of mind. When we're suffering from low self-esteem, we're thinking about “me.” "I'm not good enough." "I'm not smart enough." The only thing that can make us feel good about ourselves in this world is sharing. Sharing gets us outside ourselves and emphasizes what we have to offer others.
4. Make consequences work. When kids are misbehaving, we need to proactively make it clear that their behavior leads to specific effects. Instead of shouting “If you don't stop hitting your brother you won't have dessert,” calm yourself and lay out the lesson. “You have a choice: You can stop hitting your brother and we can have a nice dinner or you can keep up your behavior and you will have to leave the table and not join us for the nice meal we are sharing together. It's up to you.”
5. Be the change you want to see in your children. The only way to affect others is to change yourself. If I want my kids to stop screaming at each other, I can't keep screaming at them to stop. I can't expect my kids to have healthy self-esteem if I'm struggling with that issue myself. All change in the world begins with us. Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net