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10 Spiritual Principles to Raising Healthy, Well-Adjusted Children
A common complaint of American parents is that they no longer have the tools to teach children right from wrong. Parents argue that because their tool of spanking is gone, so is their ability to discipline. In light of the principles of spiritual and moral development, the problem may not be technique, but lack of “spirit.” Without the inner discipline, taught by a parents words and deeds, the outer discipline is unprofitable (spiritually speaking).
So, what can a parent do to increase the interest rate of their child’s moral bank account? Mimi Doe, in 10 Principles for Spiritual Parenting offers various exercises, affirmations, and activities for parents for each spiritual parenting principle:
Spiritual Principle #1: Knowing God Cares for You. “Establish daily spiritual habits and household rituals…pray anytime you hear a siren…Send a blessing to everyone involved in the emergency incident…paint or draw pictures of God…point out simple signs of God in your child’s life: the perfect snowflake, the lunar eclipse, the magic of spring…Learn about the worlds religions…create a family altar.”
Spiritual Principle #2: Trust and teach that all life is connected and has a purpose. “Bring nature inside and let your family observe growth…Get involved in neighborhood beautification projects…Celebrate Earth Day…Take a hike…plant a butterfly garden or window box…Adopt a cause.”
Spiritual Principle #3: Listen to your child. “Have mealtime conversations…ask your child to write some prayers that the whole family can use…Make dates for one-on-one with your children…Set up specific discussion themes and times…Read books with your child…have family meetings…Wish upon a star with your child.”
Spiritual Principle #4: Words are important, use them with care. “Write a poem about your pets…Create a cartoon character that represents you…Create a story box…Grab your journal before you go to sleep at night and jot down five images of your child from the day…write the story of your child’s birth…plant secret love notes…Pray together as a family…tape record your daily conversations.”
Spiritual Principle #5: Allow and encourage dreams, wishes and hopes. “Spend time role-playing a dream…create a dream book…point out examples of good luck throughout the day…encourage team activities, sports, and interest groups…Ask each family member to draw or write his goals or dreams”
Spiritual Principle #6: Add magic to the ordinary. “Look for the fairy in the soap bubbles when you wash dishes…walk in the rain…Arrange the bedsheets into a tent and turn an ordinary night into an enchanted imaginary camp-out…watch the moon come out…Have a picnic indoors…Try waking your child with a song…Play in the snow…come up with a family logo or family slogan.”
Spiritual Principle #7: Create a flexible structure. “Take a recess from dishwashing for a night…turn out the lights and just use candles…have fun with a monthly dinner with international cuisine and music…choose a direction and walk for ten minutes that way…get silly…talk in a silly language.”
Spiritual Principle #8: Be a positive mirror for your child. “Acknowledge your mistakes…sing hymns, drum, chant, or pray…Ask the blessing at mealtimes, say goodnight prayers, ask for a safe journey…laugh…List five traits you like about yourself as a child…support and cheer on others…yell or hold up cheering signs…smile.”
Spiritual Principle #9: Release the struggle. “Release your image of an ideal family…accept that children are not always going to please you…take a quiet day…slow down…Help your child create a peaceful place in her mind…imagine a restful setting…Ask your child to place his hands on his heart. Feel the beating…picture light around your home…meditate…take a hot bath…Form a parent group…push back the furniture and allow your child to dance their energy out.”
Spiritual Principle #10: Make each day a new beginning. “Validate successes at the day’s end, even small ones such as waking up on time…It’s alright to say no…Don’t sweat the small stuff…rethink your priorities today…Play with the idea that you have no limits…Start the morning on a peaceful note. If it means making lunches and laying out school clothes the night before, do so…get up fifteen minutes earlier…Encourage children to eat slowly…Walk like a winner…In the evening visualize how you would like tomorrow to turn out.”
Ron Huxley is Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, author of the book “Love and Limits” and founder of the http://parentingtoolbox.com
..> Invite Ron to speak at your next parenting event or conference. Click on the About page at the top of this blog for contact info.
How do you define beauty? Is beauty over rated in society? Is there just one type of beauty? When we talk of “inner beauty” how does that differ and is there really such a thing? How does the medias idea of beauty affect our children? Tell us your thoughts?
I saw a million people
calling your name today.
they acted as if they were deaf.
you kept answering them but they continued wandering around calling out to you.
they couldn’t hear the rose say “Here I Am!”
they couldn’t hear the sparrow say “Here I Am!”
they couldn’t hear the cloud say “Here I Am!”
they couldn’t hear the beggar say “Here I Am!”
they just kept walking and crying out the name of God…
One way of looking at parents is as additive or subtractive. If you are the former, you tend to look at how to add new skills or build your parenting over time, collecting new ideas and parenting tools. If you are the latter, you look for ways to prune out bad parenting behaviors, eliminate unwanted parenting beliefs. One way of parenting involves parenting by learning. The other by introspection. Both are necessary to be the type of parent you want to be. Some of us are more naturally good at one type over the other. It can be frustrating when there are two parents, in the home, with different styles of parenting.
Which type of parent are you? What types of behaviors do you engage in that makes you feel you are one way or the other? How do you handle parents with other styles and how do they cope with you? Click the comment link to share…
Hey, if you are an additive type, try one of our easy ecourses ( see the top of the page for more info info…).
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it!
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
As individuals in families and in the world, each of us must find our own path to personal freedom and personal transformation. How can you release your creative human spirit in parenting so that it transforms from frustration to a joyful calling? A true path is a road map that includes proven practices, community support along the way, and possibly the gift of a true teacher. Most important, a true path of parenting from a spiritual perspective will ignite in you a higher purpose for a life based in love for all people.
Action Plan: How can you make parenting a passion? What proven, parenting practices can you use with your children? Where do you find your community support? Who is a “true teacher” on parenting for you? Click the comment link to share…