Author Elizabeth Stone said, "Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."
As spiritual parents, it is our job to do much more than potty train, pack bag lunches, and choose a discipline style; we recognize that our children come to this life with their unique spiritual inspiration to express. In a world full of pressure and distraction, how can we support the spiritual awakening of our children? Here are five guidelines to get you started.
1) Follow your child's spiritual inspiration: If you want to help your child maintain their innate connection to spirit, you must support them in following their intuition. With young children, this includes a wide range of cues. If your child feels uncomfortable with a specific person or place, respect that. In so doing, you teach them to trust their gut instincts and maintain their connection to their inner voice.
Their inspiration may also express itself in many forms of creativity. Ursula Leguin said, "The creative adult is the child who survived." Indeed, while it is our responsibility to guide our children to become responsible, learned, and logical, it is also our privilege as spiritual parents to see that their creative spirit is allowed to not only survive but thrive.
2) Master the basics with flexibility: While your child is a bright and bold spiritual presence, he or she still has to eat, sleep, and bathe. Caring for the physical reality is a prerequisite to spiritual freedom. Just like being a spiritual adult, we cannot let our spirits soar if our feet aren't planted firmly in the earth. There is a natural law of physical reality, and the spirit of the law demands that we master the basics.
For your child's spiritual nature to flourish, you must provide them boundaries, nourishment, and structure.
3) Less criticism, more gratitude: Spiritual books often point out the life-changing magic of expressing gratitude, but have you tried it with your child? Our adult worlds can be focused on achieving status, accomplishments, and progress, making it challenging to recognize the simple and precious things in life. Children have the natural gift of keeping us in touch with the beauty of nature and the joy of simple yet wonderous things.
When your child gives you a hand-made gift or shares a thought, thank them. By doing this, you are recognizing their spirit and fueling their self-esteem and self-love. Many parents find it tempting to criticize their children in their efforts to improve or train them. In reality, criticism can damage the delicate sense of self and spiritual awareness that we so value in children.
4) Prioritize daydreaming and free play: In modern times, the pressure is high to enroll your children into several extracurricular activities and lessons in addition to their schooling. While these activities can be enriching and aid in your child's development, they can never replace the value of just letting your child be bored.
With unstructured time to play and enjoy their freedom, your child has the opportunity to learn about who they are and relish the gift of inner spaciousness that is the natural haven of the spirit.
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