With the holiday season infiltrating our stores, schools and homes, it’s time to get serious for a minute. Yes, the decorations and delicious foods are amazing. And this time of year brings many families together. But what we often lose sight of is the true meaning of the holiday season. It isn’t just about dressing up and trying new recipes from Pinterest. It’s about learning to appreciate what we have. Being thankful for the lives that we live. The holiday season is the perfect time to encourage your children to start or strengthen spiritual habits. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate spiritual matters. If your children can learn compassion and love during the holidays, that’s what’s important.
There are simple ways to help your children get in touch with their spiritual sides, and you can use these things all year, to ensure that your children are practicing these habits in their daily lives. Start with these ideas and see where they lead your children next on their spiritual journey.
1. Attend Church Together
No matter what religion you are, or even if you aren’t religious, attending church with your children teaches them that there is something, or someone, greater than them in the world. They’ll learn about being selfless, and with you by their side, you can hold each other accountable. If you don’t have a home church that you go to regularly, try a few different ones until you find the right fit. A strong, supportive faith family will help keep you and your children invested in your faith and you’ll find that you have a second family in your church.
2. Pray Together
Teaching your children how to pray is great. Praying with them is even better. If they know that you’re there to support them on their spiritual journey, they’ll feel encouraged and want to continue having a prayer life. Whether you pray to God, the Universe, or just ask for good things to happen, praying lifts your children up and out of their own little world to see the importance of loving one another. Praying for others allows your children to walk in other people’s shoes, which in turn makes them less susceptible to judging others.
3. Discuss Spiritual Matters
Talk to your children often about spirituality. Ask them what questions they have. Remind them how loved they are, and how they should treat other people with kindness. Children are inquisitive creatures with lots of questions about life. Allow them to pick your brain and keep the conversation going as they grow, learn and develop a stronger faith. It’s fine to discuss doubts, fears and uncertainties. This is often what leads us back to our faith.
4. Talk About The Bad Stuff
You really can’t appreciate the good stuff in life unless you understand the bad stuff. Children might not understand why bad things happen, but it’s important to talk about the bad stuff. Discussing issues like poverty, homelessness, hunger and violence help your children understand how fortunate they are. It helps your children become more compassionate. It also provides an additional opportunity for your children to pray for others. Anything that gets your children interested in the world around them is a good thing. Knowledge is power, and your children can make a big impact on the world if they know what the world needs.
5. Set An Example
The absolute best way to encourage your children to form spiritual habits is by setting an example. Our children model what they see, and if they observe us praying, going to church, helping others and talking about spiritual issues, they are more likely to join us. Use every day as an opportunity to assist your children in their spiritual lives. Lift them up with positive words. Do nice things for them, and for others. Discuss things with them that happen every day that are related to spirituality. You have the power to influence your children in a positive way. Be the spiritual role model that they need. Let your light shine in the world, and your children’s light will follow.