Spirituality seems to come naturally to kids and it’s important for a parent to expand their curiosity if we desire to have a strong spiritual foundation, which is a key component in leading a happy and purposeful Life. All of us live in a world that has diverse faiths and spiritual practices. As parents, there is an implicit need to think about the spiritual values we want to pass on to our children and be able to explain to them in a way they understand.
This post is an attempt to create a spark in our lives today to start asking ourselves meaningful questions. The power of questioning has two pronged benefits; not only will we be better equipped to answer them when prompted by our children, but we will have a better understanding of our own beliefs about our Life’s purpose.
How then should we approach questions children ask? What can we do to encourage a shy or reflective child to openly query us? What are some typical childhood questions on spirituality? We can prepare for children’s questions by learning some basic principles.
- Firstly, be focused on the question that the child poses and don’t allow the mind to wander and formulate an answer prematurely.
- Give only as much of information as the child is ready to hear. Feeding her loads of information before she can process it might lead to greater confusion.
- Be honest. Certain questions are tough to answer at times. Let’s promise the child to get back to her with an answer. Keeping up this commitment and making sure that she doesn’t think we are avoiding a reply is very important.
- Finally, guide the child to discover the answer herself.
As a spiritual educator for children, I feel overwhelmed at times when children come up with questions and thoughts on faith and spiritual values. Questions are open windows to a child’s mind and an invitation for us to join her on her quest for the truth. In the following dialogue between a mother and an inquisitive child, I have penned down my personal approach to the questions posed by the child.
Child: Ma, where is God?
Mom: My little one, God is everywhere. Let me explain to you with the help of a candle (mother lights a candle and explains). Child, can you tell in which direction the light from the candle is moving towards?
Child: The candle lights up the entire room.