Sasso offers a simple framework for how to think about spirituality in children, regardless of what religious path you follow, and reminds listeners that: “Society does a very good job of teaching us how to be consumers and how to be competitors. The question is how do we not just teach our children’s minds – how do we teach their souls. We want our children to be gracious and grateful, we want them to have courage in difficult times, we want them to have a sense of joy and purpose.”
She offers some simple suggestions for making prayer a meaningful practice for children, and she suggests that taking a bit of time daily for silence and reflection is nourishing for a child. Her suggestion for saying a bedtime prayer with a child: “Ask children if they will tell you a prayer from their heart.” And if they don’t know what to say at first, then offer a model. She suggests saying: “ ‘Well would you mind listening while I say one from mine.’ Name your hopes, name what you’re grateful for, name your fears."
She also offers a list of book suggestions – including children’s literature with spiritual overtones and books on parenting and spirituality.
And while I'm on the subject of spirituality, I’ll mention that this book has meant more to me than just about anything I’ve read in the past few years. It also reaches across faiths -- and it offers some insights about parenting too. More on that in a different post….