Buddha Quotes

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Explaining god to children

Teaching children about god, can be a complex situation. I have my beliefs, my husband has his, and our child has not yet developed her own idea's on the subject. The definition of god or gods has different meaning to different belief systems and religions throughout the world. The most recognizable definition of god in this part of the world, is a singular, supernatural, omnipotent, omnipresent, often depicted as masculine and credited for the literal creation of everything.

My husband and I decided as a family our child should be allow to find her own spiritual path, but simply expecting her to find her own beliefs without any guidance can cause her to simply reject spirituality. I'm not against my child following a secular path, but I want that to be HER choice, not just something she has always known. Right now my daughter is a preschooler and hasn't even uttered the word god yet.

Unitarian Universalism
One way I found some help in introducing spirituality to my child is the Unitarian Universalist Church. This is great if you don't mind going to services, which can give your family a sense of community and belonging. Unitarian Universalis are extremely open to pagans and even provided CUUPS The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans. http://www.cuups.org/
Unitarian Universalist go by seven principles

1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
2nd Principle: Justice, equality and compassion in human relations;
3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Another plus, they host a coffee hour after service. This is a great way to meet new people and allow your children to play with other children. Most congregations have play areas for children.

If you like the Unitarian Universalist idea, but can't make it on Sunday, try out other programs they offer on other days of the week. If there isn't a Unitarian Universalist location near by you or that order near by may be too conservative, you have ways to bring theses concepts into your home. You can hang up the seven principles in your home and try to remember them and keep to them. Teach your children theses principles by talking about them and living by them. Another advantage is the world wide web. You can join Unitarian Universalist chat boards, read and write blogs and watch videos from different congregations world wide web.
Symbols of faith pt 1
Symbols of faith pt 2
Symbols of faith pt 3

Liberal Quakers
I have also heard of liberal Quakers. I admit I have no personal experience with them but I found this video to be interesting
What does George Fox Say?

A great source of spirituality and discipline. The concepts of Buddhism is a basic ground of philosophy and it can help you learn to train yourself spiritually to meditate and contempt.
I'm not sure how child appeasing Buddhist temples are, I attended a Buddhist service at the Unitarian Universalist Church. However I brought Buddhism into my home. With small children you may simply want to play Buddhist meditation music to them, especially if you are trying to clam them down. You may want to try yoga with your child. You can go online to learn exercises and discipline methods, for most ages. This would be a great time to spend time with your kids, while providing both physical and mental stimulation. Please be careful and make sure all involved are healthy enough to do the exercise. Remember there is always another exercise.

Children Books can be a great source for spirituality, without drilling a belief system into your children heads. The books I choose for spiritual lessons often encourage community, family, making difficult decisions, building of character, dealing with hardships by healthy means, encourages appreciation of life, etc...

One Naked Baby
By Maggie Smith
Ages 0-3 years

The Legend of the Bluebonnet
Retold by Tomie dePaola
Ages 4-8 years

The Moon's Revenge
By Joan Aiken
Ages 7 and up

I put the link from Amazon for these books, not for you to buy them, but feel free if you want to, but so you can read the description and reviews from other parents.

Music is a great way to bring spirituality to a child. Meditation music is great to help children claim down, go to sleep or meditate. However don't over look nursery rhymes.

One night my husband caught my daughter seeking into our back yard at night, so she could sing " Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to the sky. Something we didn't teach her to do. She sang her song, said good night to her daddy, the cat's and the night sky, then went to bed.

I don't care if my child ends up believing in one god, multiple gods, spirits, energy magic, prayer or a rejection of all of the above.
Maybe she will develop an interest in astronomy. Regardless, however she makes sense of life, my ultimate goal is for her to be happy.

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