Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Discussing Spirituality and Religion with Young Children

I was recently asked to join a select group of bloggers who are working as contributors to The Mother Company's wonderful blog. I am very happy to be a part of their team, as their mission is very much in line with my own: "Helping Parents Raise Good People". 
This month I had the good fortune to interview Dharmachari Nagaraja, the author of one of our favorite children's books (“Buddha at Bedtime: Tales of Love and Wisdom for You to Read with Your Child to Enchant, Enlighten and Inspire”). Nagaraja is also a psychotherapist, long-time Buddhist practitioner and popular presenter on England's BBC Radio 2. I was honored to have the chance to speak with him about his thoughts on ways parents can discuss spirituality and religion with their young children.
An Interview with Dharmachari Nagaraja
Although neither of us would be considered “religious,” my husband and I both have spiritual beliefs and figured that our son and daughter would have them too, eventually. We thought we’d simply handle any spiritual questions from our children with basic honesty. I hadn’t factored in how difficult honesty can be when talking about something that you either haven’t given much thought to or have conflicting feelings about. With these questions reaching a peak during the Holiday Season, I asked Dharmachari Nagaraja, author, psychotherapist and long-time Buddhist practitioner, to weigh in on children, spirituality and religion. ~ Gina Osher, The Twin Coach, TMC Contributer
What is the best way to introduce the concept of spirituality to children?
Most people get caught up in the idea of whether God exists or doesn’t exist, or where you go when you die. But spirituality is a way of thinking about things, learning to live with differences, investigating differences. When we allow children to see that their actions have consequences and to think through their experiences, they are allowed to reflect more deeply. Asking children “what do you think” instead of answering questions directly or pointing them to an external God figure for answers invites children to participate and develop an interest in investigating their thoughts and feelings about things. Once they become used to doing this, they begin to see spirituality as more than a discussion about God but about understanding one’s place in the universe. To read the rest of this article, please click here to go to The Mother Company.

Friday, December 14, 2012

When There Are No Words

How do we, as parents, comprehend what happened today in Newtown, Connecticut? How can a parent begin to imagine what it must be like to have lost a child because a heavily armed gunman entered their elementary school after killing his mother and then murdered TWENTY children and 6 adults? Honestly, there are just no words that can begin to explain the pain and sorrow this town must be experiencing.

And yet, I feel compelled to make some shred of sense out of what seems like senseless tragedy. Many people are calling for stricter gun laws, some are focused on the fact that there needs to be more help for the mentally ill and still others are crying out to stop politicizing the event. It is all reaction to the unimaginable. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Empathy, Conflict Resolution And More: A Review Of The Friendship Show


"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
Anaïs Nin

The Mother Company's latest show is
all about friendship.
Around about the same time I began this blog, I came across a site called The Mother Company. Because my focus here is connected parenting, I was immediately intrigued by their aim to encourage social and emotional learning for parents of young children through articles, books, music and more.

Because I am also a parent who closely monitors and limits what my children view, I was so happy to find their show "Ruby's Studio: The Feelings Show". My children loved Ruby and all the beautiful video segments that helped give them words to express and understand their emotions. I was hooked!

I am thrilled to say that The Mother Company has done it again with their new show "Ruby's Studio: The Friendship Show". As one's children grow older, their blossoming struggles with friendships take center stage both for parents and for the children themselves. Ruby beautifully helps children explore topics such as empathy, bullying, conflict resolution and the golden rule.
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