Six ways to encourage your child’s spiritual life. Raising kids is quite an arduous task, even for some of my educator-friends who only spend a few hours a day with kids. Imagine then how difficult it is to raise kids full-time as parents.
Effectively raising kids and also having a career is possible, but not easy at all. Most of the time, we lose sight of our primary assignments, because we believe we need to give more comfort to the family in place of love and spending time. This is the first thing to remember: your family is way more valuable than anything else you have going on. So, do as many things as you can for their good.
Raising devout kids requires some level of education, being able to know the faith helps a lot. It is not enough to simply pray with them and bring them to Church on Sundays. Those are absolutely important but there is a need for a little more.
Six ways to encourage your child’s spiritual life
Learn, and answer the big questions:
We cannot know everything, so it is okay when your kid asks and you say “I do not know”. I have seen a number of parents give terribly wrong answers just to save face with their kids! This is insane if you ask me. What helps is learning beforehand so you can answer some basic questions properly. In case you are unable to answer, learn the truth about such questions with your kids.
It helps a lot to show your kids that we are never done learning, that even their parents are curious and know how to go to the right source for answers. What this teaches your kids is humility, love of proper knowledge and how to research and not conclude on assumptions or speculations.
So many people today believe all kinds of crazy conspiracies because no one values the importance of actual appeal to reason and facts. Growing in spirit means constantly pursuing the truth in all things to discover and deepen our relationship with God who is himself Truth.
Never dismiss their questions or leave them alone to discover everything by themselves. Even when you have no reasonable reply, guide them too in their own discoveries. Being a kid can be hard, searching for answers to everything; for meaning and identity.
Work on your own spiritual life:
When parents make honest efforts to live a better life, there’s no louder and more impressionable Gospel than this for the kids. The primary inspiration behind my spiritual awakening was years watching my own father pray, engage in superhuman sacrifices to help other people. I watched my father sell big home equipment just to give a man who had nothing. At his funeral, we had a woman telling stories about his charity towards a community. Something even my mother had no idea about. He kept on helping and helping until he died.
Living a life or at least making an honest effort to live a life pleasing to God. Showing interest in the word of God and his Church. These go a really long way in helping your children see the beauty of devotion.
Get them to join, make it fun too:
A good life directed to God is contagious. Having been blessed to have witnessed a number of people living it i can stand by that statement. But it is not enough to be making the effort to live this life, you also need to make your kids see the joy in it. Bring them to mass sometimes on weekdays, or your visit to the Blessed Sacrament, or some Marian grotto once in a while. If you have the funds, plan a pilgrimage when they’re in their teen and tell them stories about what happened where.
It must not be that far off though, bring them to say the Angelus with you, the Divine Mercy prayer, anything out of the usual Morning, night prayers, and Sunday Masses. Leave an imprint on them that devotion is something to be pursued.
Tell Stories about Saints:
This is a biggie. Children love fascinating stories and the Saints are absolutely fascinating. Tell them stories about Saints and how they lived. Share with them regularly and be sure to have those saints books around the house, ones proper to their age and reading levels.
Also, talk about the saints as friends who are near. Angels and Saints aid us in our day-to-day lives, and the awareness of this is something valuable to share with your kids.
Good old courtesy is not only a sign of maturity, decency, and love. It is something every parent must have to raise children who are conscientious. Taking the blames due to you and doing something to make amends, even to your own kids go a long way in training them to be human, to be humble. And believe me, the Spiritual Life does not grow on any other kind of ground except one fertile with humility.
Go to confession, receive communion:
Reverently receiving communion shows the seriousness of the spiritual life. This also shows the kids that you actually believe in the Real Presence. If you have issues with faith in Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, this is something to really work on, because at the center of every true Life of the SPirit is the Eucharist. There are no shortcuts. So, read books if you have to, ask questions, pray for understanding. Do everything you can do to receive this faith.
Going to confession regularly especially at such a time where there is such decline in the value of Sacramental forgiveness will teach your kids the seriousness of sin. This also will help them see the forgiveness and powerful mercy of God.
Talk to them about confession too, encourage them to ask questions.
Six ways to encourage your child’s Spiritual life