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Children and Spirituality

Posted: 02 Dec 2015, 15:48
by Mistanlyn
Hi all!

I'm sorry if this is a topic already created long ago, it's just something I'm very curious about! From both new parents and ones who have children who may still be young or who have long left the nest:

How do/did you raise your children with spirituality? How would you/did you go about doing this?

Personally I plan to raise my child(ren) with knowledge from paths I know are open and available for them to follow as they grow up, and essentially let them choose what sounds right to them. This may result in Druidry or Christianity or something far from my own path. I was force raised Christian and it was possibly the hardest time of my life, and I still have a fear of following my own heart and path in fear of the "What ifs". I don't want to put that fear into my child(ren), nor do I want them to feel lost with the options of following what they so desire.

Re: Children and Spirituality

Posted: 03 Dec 2015, 04:10
by ideagirl
I'm posting mainly because I want to see other people's answers! My twins are too young (14 months) for me to have much experience at this. That being said, the first things that come to mind for me with regard to spirituality and children are (1) a sense of wonder and (2) empathy, a.k.a. compassion. If you can help your children cultivate (or just maintain!) those qualities, you're already a good way down the road.

Re: Children and Spirituality

Posted: 03 Dec 2015, 16:10
by DaRC
Cultivate an interest in nature;
take them for walks,
let them experience the seasons (particularly the autumn harvest)
get them to grow from seed.

Let them play in mud & splash in puddles :D

Re: Children and Spirituality

Posted: 03 Dec 2015, 21:56
by Mistanlyn
Thank you both for your great responses!

I hadn't thought about helping them grow things from seeds. Something I have very little experience with, but my grandmother would make me help her in her garden due to my supposed green thumb. :) So that would be a good idea, too. And I definitely plan to live in a place where I can have at least a small garden! I suppose keeping my own journal (which I should be doing anyway) and allowing them knowledge from my own path could be a good start as well. I definitely want to keep their sense of wonder and curiosity open as much as possible, and just be able to teach them all I can without discouragement.

Re: Children and Spirituality

Posted: 04 Dec 2015, 06:19
by illion
I think that spending as much time as you can with your kids is very important.

Only then can you share your own wisdom with them and build a foundation for them to raise their own philosophy. Nature walks are a very good activity, because they don't have to be so organized and planned. Let the kid lead the way, and stop to explore what the kid finds interesting right there and then. And be there to ask them questions that they have to ponder about and maybe answer. You will be surprised by what you'll learn from the kids. My little three-year-old at the time stopped on a december afternoon walk through the forests, when he spotted the full moon in the night sky, and said: "All the dead ones are there".

It is important not to deny the children's statements, just let them have their small truths about the universe and everything, they might be closer to the truth than us without knowing. I have another example from my son when he was four. He was raised in the woods, and had no fears of anything in such an environment until he one day showed a desperate fear of ants. I asked him how come he had been so scared of these tiny friends of ours. He replied: "I tasted one of their family members the other day, and now the rest of them are seeking revenge". What a nice perspective on how everything is connected!!!

A five-year old in the kindergarten I work, showed an immense happiness one spring, when he discovered that the frost had let go of the bog in the area we used to play. He looked at it with love in his eyes, bent down and pulled his hands into it, getting dirty and wet and said: " Welcome back, bog, I've really missed you!" Is there a better way to experience cycles in nature?

Re: Children and Spirituality

Posted: 13 Dec 2015, 00:50
by Welsh Mythology
Dito to all the above comments, including having them with you when you practice / express / do your thing. If what you do feeds you, they will see that and draw their own conclusions about what they want to do. It's also really good for your practice to try doing it while your kids are with you, ha! Good luck. Enjoy. Aren't they the best!

Re: Children and Spirituality

Posted: 14 Dec 2015, 13:27
by Whitemane
Children are confused by inconsistency and contradiction in adults. So be consistent in following your path, living your life, and in how you teach them.

Re: Children and Spirituality

Posted: 15 Dec 2015, 22:50
by Mistanlyn
Thanks everyone!

These are some really great tips and some I had already planned to do. It is definitely important to stay focused and not try to contradict oneself while following a path. I had so much confusion on Christianity being force-raised into it and not allowed to explore out of it, because my family was so inconsistent about their beliefs and practices. What suited their wants was what was best, apparently.

I'm not due until May 16th of 2016, but still have plenty of time to think and get a good foundation in my path to have a starting point when it comes to the child!

Re: Children and Spirituality

Posted: 20 Mar 2016, 22:44
by sarahd
I know this is an old post but I have been thinking about this a lot. I don't know any Druid parents or Pagan parents and it's disheartening. My kids are pretty young but I don't plan on taking them on the same path as I am on per se. I explain different belief systems to them and that seems to be enough for now. Like any other religion or philosophy, they are in it for the treats and games at holiday/sabbat time which is ok with me :-D I do wish I knew Druid parents. It's been isolating so far.