Arguably, child growth and development is very important crucial for the entire life. In society, every individual has the responsibility to adhere proper growth and development of toddlers. Family is the immediate socializing agent to any child; hence, parents and members of the family play a significant role in supporting the child’s spiritual development and growth. In this case, parents and family members employ various strategies to achieve the ultimate objective of raising an upright child. Every parent in the world today has the objective of raising a well-adjusted, rounded, and productive child. Family members do their best to ensure that the outcome is positive, but at times, there are various challenges. Enduring that a child has solid spiritual foundation makes all the differences.
Undeniably, most parents believe that they have the primary responsibility of teaching their child about religious belief as well as spiritual matters. In the contemporary society, parents have given their responsibility to the media; others assert that the spiritual growth and development should not be influenced but rather develop on its own. This is a great mistake, since the cognitive system of a child has not fully developed. One important role played by parents and family members is to help the child distinguish between right and wrong, and truth from fantasy. These form the basis of spiritual development and growth (Myers, 2008).
The idea of spiritual development and growth is critical to child advancement. As a matter of fact, parents believe that church and spiritual related avenues are very safe for their children. Spiritual development focuses on developing a child in a stable and safe environment, whereby decisions are lead by spiritual guidance. Family and parents are one of the special predictors of spiritual development and growth, as well as educational success (Myers, 2008). Families play tremendous pivotal role in children’s spiritual, social, cognitive and emotional development. Parents and the entire society believe that developing a child spiritually has positive impacts in the community. Spiritual values and attitudes that children learn drive them in their whole life (Yust, 2006).
Conversably, parents and significant family members can employ various strategies in supporting spiritual growth and development of a child. Parents and family members should help the child to identify spiritual pathways that are in line with the child’s cognitive skills and passion. The spiritual pathways in the world are many, but parents always identify good pathways for their children, which will bring them closer to God. Another strategy is to cultivate personal spiritual discipline in the child. In most cases, children are creatures of habits; hence, they benefit, and do well from routines (Yust, 2006). They are in a position to remain devoted to family bible study and prayers. As parents, children should be exposed to spiritual things. In this case, parents and family members should allow children to be part of their prayers.
Additionally, parents and family members need to discuss various spiritual issues with their child. In fact, it is important to allow the child to express and interpret her/his belief. Generally, parents should focus on these strategies to develop a more spiritual child. Some of these strategies include controlling actions, thoughts, equanimity, and understand all beings. Perhaps, parents need to demonstrate complete openness to their children, especially on spiritual matters. Parents play an important role in developing spiritually a child (Myers, 2008).
Spiritual care is always critical to all human beings. A family that is faced with a chronic or terminal illness put most of their healing powers to spirituality. Children and adults have different spiritual needs. Hence, spiritual care is critical on occasions of terminal illness. It gives meaning to some life event and existence of the chronic illness. Spiritual care allows the child to experience and understand their highest intellectual and physical potentiality despite the challenge of been faced by chronic or terminal illness.
Spiritual and religious experiences exert powerful sway in the entire lives of a child. It influences social relationship, moral development, personal perception, and the way of relating with others. Spiritual foundation is associated with health growth of a child, as well as disease preventing behaviors. Parents need to give their children spiritual need that is based on unconditional love especially during the early stages of development.
Myers, B. (2008). Young Children and Spirituality. New York: Routledge
Yust, K. (2006). Nurturing Child and Adolescent Spirituality: Perspective from the World’s Religious Traditions. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield