4-year-old Anshu comes back home after playing one day and asks her mother, "Mom! Has my grandfather become a star in the sky?" Her mom tries to look for an appropriate answer.
Many a times children surprise us by asking questions like, "Where does God live? Why can't I ever see him?"
At times, we hear another child explaining, "God is everywhere! We cannot see him the same way as we do not see air, but the air is everywhere."
Children not only grow physically, emotionally and mentally, but they also get spiritual thoughts and feelings too as a part of the growth process. For complete personality development, we cannot ignore this aspect of a child's being. Raising a spiritual child means we teach him to follow the path of virtue, be of help to his fellow human beings, to develop compassion for animals, and nature as a whole.
I. What is Spirituality?
In simple words, spirituality means that you believe in kindness and benevolence, you care for your fellow humans, and all the life on this earth. It means knowing oneself and the world around, and to live well for the betterment of the entire society.
II. How Spirituality helps a Child
A child who is spiritual often tends to be happier, cheerful and is more resilient when problems arise. Spirituality explains the meaning of existence and the child is better able to connect with the people around him. As a child grows up, spirituality also keeps him away from depression, loneliness and sadness.
III. Ways to Nurture Spirituality in a Child
The foundation of spirituality laid in early years will help a child during the difficult times when he grows up.
- Appreciation of nature: Nature is a wonderful place to instil the sense of spirituality. Appreciate the beautiful creations like the flowers, the butterflies, the birds and the animals. Plant a garden with your child, and make it a routine to water and look after the plants together.
- Meditate: Sit in silence, with eyes closed (with your child) for a few minutes. Make it a habit of playing some music (devotional or any soothing music that calms the mind) early in the morning, first thing after you get up. Listen to the sounds around you. Meditation calms and soothes the mind and the inner voice guides us to the solution of many problems that we are facing.
- Stories and fables: Children's stories are a wonderful way of teaching spirituality as they usually have a moral in them - about kindness, tolerance, being helpful and being fair. These stories also show that life has a purpose.
- Say a prayer of thanks before going to bed: A simple form of prayer can be introduced, in which a child is shown how to talk directly to God, and thank Him for everything. This develops ‘personal connection' between the child and the supreme power.
- Involve the child in a social cause: Teaching poor kids after school, or working for the welfare of the society, serving mankind, looking after animals all build a person who is less self-centred and less selfish.
- Acceptance: Accept people as they are irrespective of their religion, state, complexion or looks. More than by preaching, teach by example. The child will acquire the same behaviour as displayed by you.
Many times, children ask questions that are difficult to answer. It is okay to admit that you do not know the answer; that there are many questions which are still unanswered. And you can together search for an answer to such questions.
Click on the link http://bit.ly/Appystore_SpiritualVideo to watch a video Om Jai Jagdish Hare Aarti for your kid.
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