How many of you can remember your parents telling you to say your prayers before you go to bed? We may not have understood at that time what was happening, but what our parents were doing was important; our parents were developing our beliefs. If your parents practiced a religion, they more than likely raised you to believe what they they believe. However, not all parents think it’s important to pass on their spiritual beliefs to their child, since children will grow up to believe whatever they choose to believe. Even if this is the case, why is it even important to teach spirituality to our children?
Well, as a child grows, they will be exposed to the many different belief systems as they interact and engage with others—this is one reason why it’s important to instill a belief system in your child. They’re impressionable and willing to believe whatever they’re told at that age. Many parents can agree that they don’t want a stranger influencing their child’s beliefs, since this will also influence their behavior and how they view the world. This may not seem important and may be the last thing on your list of good parenting tactics, but giving your child something to believe in can actually set the tone for the type of adult your child will grow to be.
In the age of the free spirits, “woke”, and conscious 3rd eye believers, one would think that teaching spirituality and religion to children would seem less important, but after speaking with a few millennials we’ve discovered that the importance of developing a child’s beliefs is just as important in this day and age as it was during your grandmother’s time.
JB, 24, from Chicago states that, “Teaching them spirituality is something that just happens naturally. You pass down your beliefs because it’s what you know and it’s what you want your child to know, so they can at least believe in something. You teach them what you want as a kind of introduction to spirituality, but the choice still falls on them.”
Quinton, 25, from Chicago says, “It’s important because kids can go through a lot growing up. Teaching them can potentially give them the tools to overcome certain tests. Being bullied, picked on or tests that maybe the parents just can’t help them with.”
Natonja, 25, from Chicago explains, “I think it’s important because spirituality influences self. It also tends to promote mindfulness, which is important even in childhood. When a child is mindful I think he/she is better able to problem solve and tell right from wrong, which are skills I want to promote as early as possible so my kids can build on them throughout life. Spirituality also promotes discipline which is good to learn in childhood as well.”
If you’re not sure how to pass on your beliefs to your children, there are options like Sunday School, religious-based schools, and also faith-based games for tablets, Ipads, etc. that teach children about religion and spirituality. You can set time aside for you and your child to discuss your beliefs, and you can make it fun for them! Even the serious topics don’t have to be taught seriously. Children love music, so teaching them through hymns and spiritual songs is a great way to help develop your child’s beliefs. However you decide to do it, remember it is important to the growth of your child, and it’s not a step in parenting that you would want to skip.
Written By: Kahina Ray
Follow Kahina on Instagram: @_k.ray