Nurturing Growth

From Daily Om.

Nurturing Growth/Spiritual Parenting

A parent's job is to prepare their child for life. One of the best gifts to give your child then, is a sense of their spiritual self. Nurturing a love and appreciation of themselves and their relation to the universe at large will serve them well as they travel through life, especially when the road gets rocky, as it often does. Show them love, instill compassion, teach them acceptance, encourage an open mind so they may discover the divine within.

It begins with love, of course. Make sure your child always feels loved through words and touch. Allow for lots of cuddling and kisses and continue hugs and loving touches even as children become aloof adolescents. Encourage your child to be loving also, not just towards family and friends, but towards everyone. Let them know that they are connected to everything; humans, animals, the earth, and the stars. People who understand that we are all one are more empathetic and less likely to hate and hurt. Instill a sense of responsibility and ownership so that children may be good stewards of the earth and value life. Teach your children to be grateful. Let them know that a rainbow is as much of a gift as a toy. Encourage them to express thanks for every small favor and even to see the blessings in life's challenges. The hard knocks are easier to take when we can change our outlook. Inspire self discipline through a spiritual practice in the form of yoga, martial arts, prayer, meditation, music, or the arts. Learning to focus and ground oneself is the best way of connecting to the divine and getting to know oneself. Children with a strong sense of themselves are better able to make wise choices, connect with others in a positive way, and to avoid destructive behavior. Communicate constantly with your children, perhaps starting the ritual of council once per week.

Also, allow your child to fail. Let your child know that we become better people when we learn from our mistakes and that no one is perfect, including you. Just be there when they fall, then encourage them to get up and fly