The Spirirt of Happiness and the Happiness of Spirit
Research has shown that connecting your child with a faith community can contribute to his or her overall happiness. Nurturing the spirit, as well as the mind and body, of a child can contribute significantly to a child’s sense of well-being.
When we focus all our time, energy and resources on nurturing ONLY the body and the mind of a child we neglect essential elements in a child’s growth and development…
- Children become highly programmed. As a result, at an early age they begin to exhibit the signs of stress and anxiety that plague adults in our society.
- Children need down time to discover the world in their own ways. They need to bury each other in the sand; build tree forts without having to take a 6 week how-to program; play dress-up; lie on the ground and stare up at the clouds, swim outdoors; collect sea shells and rocks; etc.
- Children need unstructured time with each other and with the adults in their lives to play games; imagine; read stories and poetry; explore; laugh and create.
Extraordinary opportunities for learning and growing are lost when we structure every moment of a child’s life. Part of nurturing a child’s spirit involves simply being together as families and communities. “God is in the in-between spaces.”
Happy, spiritually fulfilled children develop a deeper sense of connectedness with family, friends and community. They have greater potential of becoming happier, healthier adults who, because of their sense of connectedness, contribute positively and productively to society. It’s never too soon to start nurturing the spirit of the child -- the effects are contagious and long-lasting in a seriously good way.
Minister with Children, Youth and Families