Caring for the earth is an important part of children’s spirituality.
Natural spirituality is a direct sense of listening to the heartbeat of the living universe, of being one with that seen and unseen world, open and at ease in that connection. A child’s spirituality precedes and transcends language, culture, and religion. It comes as naturally to children as their fascination with a butterfly or a twinkling star-filled night sky. However, as parents we play a powerful role in our child’s spiritual development, just as we play a powerful role in every other aspect of our child’s development.
Science now tells us that this spiritual faculty is inborn, fundamental to the human constitution, central in our physiology and psychology. Spirituality links brain, mind, and body. As we’ll see shortly, epidemiological studies on twins show that the capacity for a felt relationship with a transcendent loving presence is part of our inborn nature and heredity: a biologically based, identifiable, measurable, and observable aspect of our development, much like speech or cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development.
Miller, Dr. Lisa. The Spiritual Child (pp. 25-26). St. Martin's Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Dr. Miller describes the child’s natural intuition of the UU seventh principle, respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
One of the primary functions of good parenting is to acknowledge the child’s intuitive sense of being a part of something greater than one’s self.
Children are fascinated with stories about animals and the natural world. They are fascinated with their own bodies and how their bodies interact with nature around them, the air they breathe, water they wash and bath in, the dirt which nurtures plants, flowers, trees, and animals that live on and under its surface.
One of the six sources of Unitarian Universalism is “spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.”
Good parents name these ideas, objects, and dynamics of the natural world around us and imbue it with sacred meaning. We are not here to dominate the earth but to live with it in harmony, respect, and nurturing care and love.
In these days when the awareness of human induced climate change is growing, it is more important than ever for parents and other adults to recognize, acknowledge, validate, and nurture children’s intuitive sense of their oneness with the All of existence.
Do you allow and encourage your children to play in the dirt, grow plants, feed the birds, observe the wildlife around them?
Do you inculcate habits of recycling, conserving natural resources, picking up litter, growing things in pots or a garden?
Do you have pets that you encourage your children to take responsibility for the care of?
Join our UU A Way Of Life spiritual book discussion group.