Taming Anxiety

One of my children goes quiet when she’s anxious. Another talks incessantly and blows up when he gets overwhelmed.

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Caring for the Earth Together

Blowing dandelion seeds, chasing fireflies, and watching caterpillars munch on milkweed – these were some of my children’s favorite outdoor activities.

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Helping Children Set Meaningful Goals

Purpose is an important aspect of a healthy spiritual life. Children have hopes and dreams. They want to make a difference in the world.

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The Spiritual Effects of Nature

My children loved going for walks when they were little. They would point out flowers, watch a caterpillar inch its way across the sidewalk,

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Finding Our Calm

When my middle child was in third grade, she was very anxious about taking tests. Her stomach would hurt and she would obsess about all the things that might go wrong.

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Chapter Book Spirituality with Preschoolers

When my children were babies, I would read aloud from whatever book I had at hand to sooth them when they were fussy.

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Celebrating Black History Year-Round

With the calendar shift from February to March, we’ve gone from remembering Black history to lifting up women and their accomplishments.

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Talking about the War in Ukraine

A refugee toddler’s body washed up face down on a beach. A police officer kneeling on a handcuffed Black man’s neck.

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Spirituality & Black History

February is Black History Month, a time when parents, teachers, and the media share stories of African American civil rights leaders with children.

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Helping Children Understand Love

I have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. It’s an opportunity to celebrate relationships with friends and loved ones,

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Digital Spirituality with Young Children

A friend posts a snapshot of her three year old daughter on social media. Sonia* has her head bent over her mom’s smartphone,

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Play & Spirituality

Play is a central part of children’s lives and their spiritual journeys. When they use their bodies to explore the world,

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Do Threats of Punishment Serve a Spiritual Purpose?

To Elf or not to Elf? Every December, parents on my social media feeds wrestle with this Christmas conundrum.

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Why Children Confuse God with Santa

Santa is everywhere these days. Well before Thanksgiving, store displays and commercials were selling products in his name and with his likeness.

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Gender & Toys

“He has a doll?!” my mother exclaimed, disapproval ringing in her words. She couldn’t believe I would let my three year old son push a babydoll around in a miniature stroller.

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Expressing Gratitude

An American celebration of Thanksgiving generally involves liberal helpings of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pie, plus whatever other traditional or quirky foods a family loves.

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Spiritual Brain Power

When my eldest child was three, she shocked our neighbor by explaining in detail how a refrigerator works. Amber loved mechanical things,

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Environmental Justice for Preschoolers

As global leaders gather in Glasgow to discuss climate change, one message is clear: environmental justice isn’t just a trendy message.

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Encouraging Active Empathy

My daughter came home talking about a new girl in her class. Since being the new kid can be challenging,

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Do Children Believe in Halloween Ghouls?

When my oldest was four, she insisted on dressing up as Pluggie the Fire Plug for Halloween. A staple at neighborhood events,

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Developing Spiritual Persistence

I am often so excited when I begin a new spiritual practice, I expect to see immediate benefits. In my enthusiasm,

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Yoga with Children

I keep returning to yoga practice in my adult life. It provides me with a space to be present in my body and helps me to notice what I am feeling and where I am carrying stress or worry that might affect my choices and actions.

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Change Sings

Social change can be scary for children (and adults). Much of parenting young children involves teaching them to obey rules and follow directions for their own safety and wellbeing.

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Welcoming Afghan Refugees

Many of the refugees airlifted to the U.S. out of Afghanistan last month are currently housed at Fort Lee in Virginia,

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Why Children Won’t Ask for Help

“Go ask your teacher for help,” I told my daughter again. For a whole grading period, she had been struggling with long division.

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Social Emotional Learning at Home

My second child would become easily overwhelmed as a toddler. If we were shopping at the mall, she would start crying and want to go home.

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Exploring Spiritual Traditions through Objects

One of my grown daughters will only drink grape juice if she has bread to dip in it. It’s a throwback to her childhood experiences of communion by intinction: a Christian ritual in which participants dip a piece of bread in a cup filled with juice or wine and consume it.

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Teaching Hope

I’ll admit that I have generally thought of hope as an emotional state: an optimistic feeling of possibilities unfolding.

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Trust and Promises

As I left the gym, I overheard a mother tell her young son, “We need to get home right now and get snacks together for your siblings,

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Learning to Forgive

Sibling squabbles were a daily part of life when my children were preschoolers. They erupted when one child would steal a toy from another or not want to play fairly. 

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Spiritual Connectedness

One of my favorite preschool parenting moments was watching my children chase fireflies around our backyard on a summer evening.

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Spiritual Activities for Public Spaces

Children spend a lot of time in public spaces: shopping at grocery stores, waiting for buses, washing clothes at laundromats,

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The Myth of Selfishness

A toddler tantruming when another child plays with one of their toys. Siblings bickering over who got the bigger piece of cake.

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How Spirituality Shapes Imagination

The other day I spread out a play mat for a friend’s four-year-old son and gave him a few hot wheels.

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Infant Stress & Spirituality

Throughout the pandemic, news reports and magazine articles have encouraged us to think deeply about developing mental health practices that sustain our children and ourselves.

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Managing Big Emotions with Mindfulness

When my children were little and dealing with sibling arguments, I taught them a quick mindfulness practice to help them manage their frustration.

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Self-Esteem vs. Narcissism

In Wonder Woman 1984, young Diana, Amazon princess of Themyscira, desperately wants to win a competition. She is in the lead for much of the race,

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Spiritual Reminiscing

Parents talk with young children about the past a lot. We remind them of the last time they saw their cousins.

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Developing Trust

When it comes to deciding what information about spirituality to trust and what to doubt, children acquire useful skills quite early in life.

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Talking with Kids about the Derek Chauvin Verdict

My family was doing our regular post-school, pre-dinner thing when the radio paused its scheduled programming to announce the Derek Chauvin verdict.

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Explaining Gun Violence

Mass shootings have become commonplace in the U.S. No matter how a parent feels about gun control, the thought of explaining to a child why a group of people have been shot creates anxiety.

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Children’s God Concepts

Regardless of whether your family’s spirituality is tied to religious ideas or a specific religious tradition, your child has probably developed a concept of God.

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Exploring Life & Death with Soul

Pixar movies are beloved by both children and adults for their creative stories, well-developed characters, and beautiful visuals. One of my favorite things about these movies is that they often explore complex themes in a child-friendly way.

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Children’s Spiritual Questions

“Mommy, why did Jennifer* get cancer?”

This probing question from my nine year old daughter caught me off guard.

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Family Hospitality

“Look at what I made,” says my son, holding up to me his newest drawing.

I respond,

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Inward & Outward Spirituality

With many sports, after-school activities, clubs, service projects, and in some cases, in-person school canceled, children currently have a lot of time to focus on their personal life.

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Stimulating Spiritual Curiosity

When my children were younger, they regularly asked deep spiritual questions. Preschool drop-off conversations were filled with reflections on why the grass was green instead of blue or orange or how to become a rainbow,

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Being Good

My sister-in-law bought me a t-shirt that says “be a good human.” Every time I wear it, people comment on the advice.

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Children’s Invisible Companions

Some children develop imaginary friends to keep them company. Others describe spiritual experiences that feature visions of angels or conversations with long-dead ancestors.

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