Can kids understand spirituality?
Can kids understand spirituality? Should spiritual philosophies be reserved for adults? How do I know how much to share with my child about spirituality? At what age should I begin introducing the ideas of spirituality to my child? The questions are endless and the answers are not always clear. Here are my thoughts...
Children are born onto this planet as highly evolved, spiritual beings. They intrinsically know that good rules and that they have help from the spirit realm. Babies are born with a trust that their needs will be met and that everything they need can be offered to them. They aren't born with fear or unease or lacking peace. Have you ever seen a nursing infant? That is peace and presence and faith.
Kids definitely understand the concept of spirituality as they are highly spiritual beings themselves. It's the words and the terminology that is foreign to them. When children are held or hugged, they experience and fully understand unconditional love and they have faith in it! They know that the universe is never-ending and that their place in the world is understood.
It isn't until they are faced with the struggles and grief of our adult world that those deep seated beliefs of the spiritual realm get shaky. As they begin to develop their own personalities and face their individual challenges, children learn to doubt themselves and Spirit. They see that adults can fail, get hurt and lack faith in themselves and, in turn, children begin absorbing those adult qualities. This is why we, as adults, must be so careful to live in the present moment and shield our children from some of the powerful, negatives of the world right now.
Infants and children "get" what it means to be a spiritual being. It wasn't that long ago that they were dwelling in the spiritual realm. They come to us here on Earth with those memories and emotions intact. Our job as parents is to keep those precious emotions real. We have to allow them to remember openly what it was to be a spiritual presence. Kids do remember! Ask a child about God or the angels and watch their response. Three and four year olds will often begin a sentence with "When I lived in heaven...." or "When I was with God". We as parents often miss the significance of these statements. I know that I certainly did when my children were small!
So, the question then becomes how do we as parents nurture and raise our children so that they can hang onto that divine spirituality for as long as possible. By speaking of angels and our earth "helpers", kids are shown that it is normal to interact with these beings. By taking the time out to meditate, pray and connect to our individual guardian angels, spirit guides and the Divine, we are showing our children that we, too, believe and remember that those beings exist and that life is so much more than what we experience here on the planet.
All is not lost in our society but a "rethinking" of how we approach spirituality with our children most definitely is needed. By encouraging our kids and teens to believe in something bigger than themselves, we are focusing their internal censors on life after Earth and beyond this existence. We are showing kids that Divine help surrounds us. We are taking the fear of death away and giving them a faith in the after-life...whatever that looks like in your household.
I strongly believe that kids understand spirituality. They come to us that way. Their understanding is intact and full and rich. Their language and terminology can't accurately describe the concepts but intrinsically they know it! Speak openly and often with toddlers, pre-schoolers and young children about your beliefs, your memories and your knowledge of Spirit and the spirit realm and pay attention as they share those intimate pieces of themselves. Children are not born as blank slates~ nurture those inborn qualities and the knowledge that they come to us with and that will expand as they move into the teen years creating an adulthood that is a smoother, happier life for all.