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Raising spiritual kids

Parents choose many paths to instill in their children a sense of morality, gratitude, unconditional love and God

Raising spiritual kids

Mila Anderson is bombarded regularly: How do we know God exists? Why is it important for us to be Jews? Why do we have to go to Sunday school today?

Anderson encourages her daughters, ages 9 and 12, to discuss religion. She was raised in a secular home but began observing after having children.

"When my girls and I wax philosophical, I'll ask them to tell me how they see God and let them know that their understanding of God doesn't have to be the same as mine or anyone else's, and that it will change over time," said Anderson, 40.

Such lively discussions are familiar to Jim Gressinger. His daughters are adults now, but he remembers their questions and, like Anderson, choosing his answers carefully.

But that's where the similarities end.

"My decision not to raise my three daughters in any religious tradition was based on ethical integrity, a decision based more on emotion than reason," Gressinger said. The 66-year-old retiree was baptized Methodist and later became a born-again Christian at a Billy Graham crusade. Over time, his ideas changed.

"I had to live with myself. I just couldn't be a hypocrite and tell my children to believe in something that I didn't believe."

American adults are breaking away more frequently from their childhood religions.

Some leave religion behind altogether while others explore new ideas. And some struggle, especially after children arrive.

Should they raise their children in their family's traditional religious practice?

Should they find a new faith for their children?

Must a child grow up in a religious home to become a moral adult?

If a child doesn't grow up religious, what are the best ways to develop a moral grounding?

There are as many complicated answers as there are questions...


This is a thoughtful article, worth reading. Please click on "external source" to access the entire piece. You'll find headings on "Finding Faith," Teaching Morality," "Seeking Spirituality," "Living as an Example.," and "Many Paths..."

And to read some very inspiring tips on raising spiritual children using Urantia Book teachings as a guide, please see our special feature on "Parenting and Family Life."

Link to External Source Article

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