Posts tagged: Values

Meaningful End-of-Year Recognition

Awards ceremonies are often a major event at the end of a program year. Some children eagerly await them, secure in the…

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Three Components of Hope

My daughter’s third grade teacher had a unique way of addressing her students when they felt discouraged. She would…

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Observing Earth Day as a Family

Earth Day (April 22) marks more than 50 years of organized global attention to the environment. It officially falls on…

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Different Kinds of Curiosity

My eldest child likes to figure out how things work. When she was three, she shocked our neighbor by explaining the…

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Kids, Ramadan & Food Insecurity

As the war between Israel and Palestine continues, many Palestinian parents struggle to feed their families. Violence…

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Easter Around the World

Easter, like many holidays, is both a religious and cultural event. Some families focus on the Christian aspect, some…

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Help Kids Be Relational Thermostats

“He made me feel bad!” wailed my son after telling me how a friend chose a different playmate at recess. “He…

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More Gratitude, Please

My mother firmly believed that children should write thank you notes for any gifts we received. If we didn’t get them…

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Children’s Understandings of Death

Death is a part of life. Even if some children do not experience it directly with a pet or family member, they know…

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Valentine Spirituality

Every year, my kids’ school does a Valentine fundraiser. Parents and grandparents can purchase pink and red…

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The Science of Gratitude

“Tank you” said my daughter’s two year old friend as I passed out cookies to everyone in our neighborhood…

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Fridge Spirituality

My refrigerator is covered in activity schedules, a recycling calendar, family photos, and children’s art. Anyone…

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Guided Meditation: Climate Change

My nephew is a science nerd. He collects facts about climate change and uses them to convince other family members to…

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Santa Spirituality

For many families, Christmas is - in whole or in part - a cultural rather than a religious holiday. And at the center…

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Hanukkah Story Activities

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, is an eight day celebration that recalls how a small band of ancient Jews…

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Practicing Thanks-Giving

“Let’s go around the room and say something we’re thankful for,” says the teacher. “I’m thankful for apple…

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Kindness Trees

“No, no, no!” said the preschool teacher as she rushed over to a child threatening to hit a playmate. “It’s not…

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Exploring Community with The Eras Tour Movie

Moviegoers are sporting a special look this fall. Glittery shirts and jackets. Purple jerseys with the number 13 on the…

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Kindness Projects

My children's elementary school had a student committee that planned service projects for every grade. Kids from…

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How Curiosity Enhances Relationships

My daughter and her best friend met in 2nd grade. Their first weeks together were spent asking each other questions:…

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Helping Children Find Their Anchors

As we were preparing to move from one state to another, my four year old fell apart. “Where’s my train, my bunny,…

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Making Kindness a Goal

My social media feeds have been flooded with ‘first day of school’ photos. Children stand holding signs proclaiming…

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Exploring Identity with Loujain Dreams of Sunflowers

Sexism, racism, and classism are hard concepts for children to understand. Kids have a strong bias toward fairness and…

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Barbie Spirituality

Outside the movie theater, two young girls are pointing at all the people wearing pink. A group of women observe,…

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Exploring The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess

Fairy tales can play a powerful role in children’s lives. Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen has morphed into…

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Exploring Every Little Kindness with Kids

Sometimes a story doesn’t need words to be powerful. That’s the case with Marta Bartolj’s Every Little Kindness,…

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Exploring Values with The Good for Nothing Tree

I have a peach tree in my front yard. Some years, there are lots of peaches and we scramble to pick our share before…

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Going on a Rainforest Adventure with Forest

Brendan Kearney’s Forest is part of a series that chronicles the adventures of fisher Finn and his dog, Skip. In this…

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Not-So-Random Acts of Kindness

Walking through the farmer’s market last weekend, I overheard a conversation between a coffee vendor and a customer.…

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Cultivating Virtues

As my eldest child ran off the soccer field after another bruising loss, I prepared to console her and her teammates. I…

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Character Rocks

I keep a small stone on my desk with the word ‘breathe’ painted on it. It’s a reminder to slow down, find my…

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Books for Earth Day

Americans have celebrated Earth Day since 1970, with other nations joining in beginning in 1990. The theme for 2023 is…

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Celebrating Eid al Fitr

After 30 days of fasting, Muslim worldwide mark the end of Ramadan with Eid al Fitr, literally a festival of breaking…

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Easter as Spring Celebration

Eggs hidden on windowsills or in the grass. Baskets filled with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans. Pots of tulips,…

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Exploring Ramadan

Six years ago, I visited Istanbul with two of my children. We were there during Ramadan, which meant we observed…

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Shifting Bad Habits to Good Practices

When I was a child, I bit my nails. It was a reflexive action whenever I felt stressed or anxious. I don’t really…

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Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Reading books about Martin Luther King, Jr. was more than an annual event when my children were young. We had several,…

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Helping Kids Have a ‘Happy’ New Year

“10…9…8…7...6…5…4…3…2…1…Happy New Year!” My family celebrated the start of 2023 with sparkling…

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Celebrating Kwanzaa with Children

Seven candles stand tall in a kinara, ready for lighting. Their number and colors (red, black, and green) suggest this…

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Avatar Spirituality

Avatar: The Way of Water continues the story of Jake, Neytiri, and their children. For many years, they have lived…

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Family Solstice Celebrations

When my children were young, a family friend invited us to a winter solstice party. There were sparklers and glow…

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Developing Patience

“How many more days, mom? How many more?” Every December, my kids would be hyper-charged with excitement for the…

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Exploring Emotions with The Coat

Hand-me-downs can be a dreaded necessity or longed-for acquisition. I remember being crestfallen when a neighbor passed…

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Encouraging Authenticity

Authenticity is trending as a value. Parents and children want to speak their truth and advocate for what they believe…

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Encouraging Children to Lead

“Mom, I saw some people asking for money by the off ramp. They didn’t have any coats and it’s pretty cold…

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Reexamining Humility as a Spiritual Virtue

Growing up, I was frequently told that good girls should be humble. I was expected to hide my intelligence and avoid…

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How Gratitude Builds Community

We hear a lot about supply chain ‘issues’ right now. Store shelves are emptier than in pre-pandemic days. Online…

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Helping Children Explore Rules

No running in the house. Look both ways before crossing the street. Treat others with respect. These common family…

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Reading Small Town Pride With Kids

Small Town Pride stars a tween working to understand himself, change his community and gain autonomy over his own…

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Talking with Kids about the Reversal of Roe v. Wade

Since the Supreme Court decision last month striking down Roe v. Wade, the news is full of stories about what the…

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3 Kinds of Spiritual Engagement

A couple of weeks ago, I observed a group of children in a local day camp program. The leader asked them to identify…

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Gay Pride Spirituality

It’s Gay Pride Month, and families of all sorts are celebrating diversity. Colorful rainbow flags attract…

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Project-Based Spirituality

A few years ago, my children’s school decided to sponsor two Habitat for Humanity home builds. The actual…

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Replacing Hurtful Words with Kindness

“Losers! Losers!” shouted a kid on the opposing soccer team. My fifth grader and her teammates were headed to the…

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Exploring For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World

Like many parents, Michael W. Waters looked at his newborn son and thought him the most beautiful baby on earth. He…

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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…

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Spiritual Storytelling with The Last Cuentista

For a book lover like me, one bedtime story often turned into two or three as I tucked my young children in. But I…

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Expressing Gratitude

An American celebration of Thanksgiving generally involves liberal helpings of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and…

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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, I want my…

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Teaching Tough Topics

Ruth Wills doesn’t believe in shying away from tough topics with children. A few years ago, she developed a method…

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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, I…

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Creating a Mindfulness Space

Mindfulness practices help children to become more self-aware. When they spend time being present with themselves, they…

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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…

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Reflecting on Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

During quarantine, my family watched all of the Marvel movies in chronological order.  It was one of the few series…

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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…

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Ways to Check Understanding

A common way to check whether children have understood something is to give a test. But even in schools, teachers are…

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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…

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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…

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Decision Matrix

Learning to make good decisions is an essential spiritual skill. Becoming a self-reflective person requires children to…

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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…

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Create a Virtual Protest

Even as places open for in-person experiences, virtual engagements can continue to be part of children’s and…

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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…

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Unbundled Spirituality

Once upon a time, families turned almost exclusively to religious congregations to meet their spiritual needs. They…

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Examining Our Conscience

Many cultural and religious traditions have some kind of spiritual practice that involves reflecting on one’s…

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Family Hospitality

“Look at what I made,” says my son, holding up to me his newest drawing. I respond, “Just one more second,…

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Class Bias in Religious Resources

Pandemic business closures, safer-at-home orders, and the move to virtual schooling have hit all families hard, but…

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Talking about Amanda Gorman’s The Hill We Climb

Forming an identity is a complicated task. The arts provide space to create and play with different identities.…

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