TOPICS: Do not force children – be willing to learn from children – don’t give finalized answers – allow your child to walk its own path – childhood is a process – trust that your child has inner guidance – turn spirituality into play –
Question: How can we inspire children to internalize the spiritual teachings that we present them?
Answer from ascended master Jesus through Kim Michaels:
First of all through your own example. So make sure that you internalize the spiritual concepts before you present them to the children. But also make sure that you are open to discovering new aspects of the spiritual concepts.
Unfortunately, many parents have the attitude that they are the ones who should teach their children and that they have nothing to learn from their children. This is especially true for people who have grown up in an orthodox religious culture and have adopted the outer approach to religion. They have an authoritarian attitude towards children and feel that their children should accept their religious beliefs.
If you are a seeker of truth, you do not have to set yourself up as an authority on spiritual matters, at least not in the traditional sense. Instead of feeling like you have to force certain beliefs upon your children, you can set yourself up as a resource for answers.
Your children will naturally come to you with their questions about spirituality, especially when they find that you are willing to help them without forcing anything upon them. Incidentally, when you do adopt this attitude and build such a relationship with your children, you will find that with their innocent minds they can teach you many things about true spirituality. They can especially help you reclaim your own unconditional and innocent approach to God.
Another good way to help children internalize spiritual concepts is to never give them defined or finalized answers. Contrary to the attitude that many adults have to children, children are quite capable of reasoning and figuring things out on their own. It is not that children’s minds are less capable than adult minds. It is simply that children’s minds speak a different language, in terms of images, concepts and words, than do adult minds.
So the best way to present spiritual concepts to children is to always start by having the children ask questions. You might introduce a certain concept to a child and then ask the child what questions he or she has about the concept. Then seek to help the child develop its own understanding and reasoning process concerning the questions. In other words, seek to help the child find its own answers rather than giving it pre-defined answers.
Another important concept is to realize that if you are a spiritual seeker, you have gone through a long process that enabled you to arrive at your present beliefs and understanding. It is natural for parents to want their children to achieve that same understanding in five minutes. Yet, this simply cannot be done. Therefore, your child does not need to achieve the same understanding that you have as an adult. It is perfectly acceptable that the child has a somewhat different or more simplified understanding of a spiritual concept, and then gradually discovers a more advanced understanding as it grows up.
When you are a seeker of truth, you realize that spirituality is a process. The most important thing you can understand about children is that childhood is a process. The best thing you can do for your children is to strengthen their ability to engage in the process of life and find their own answers, instead of simply following the pre-defined answers that you, your church or your society think is the only way to go.
Allow your children to go through the process of life. Support them and guide them, but do not box them in by pre-defined doctrines. Trust in the process of life. Help your child to anchor itself on the spiritual path of seeking truth and then trust that your child’s Christ self will guide the child to the right answers at the right time.
In this respect, let me also say that one of the best ways to help children internalize spiritual concepts is to use the child’s natural tendency to play. If you can turn spiritual concepts into playful activities, then you have a much greater chance of helping your child internalize such concepts.
Teach children by using stories, skits or plays. Create games based on spiritual concepts. There is unlimited room for creativity, and many people have already used their creativity to create such programs for children. Some of what is existing is useful, even if it is given within the context of a specific religion or church. However, there is an unlimited need for materials that teach children about the universal spiritual path that transcends all religions.
Copyright © 2003 by Kim Michaels