Tag Archives: children

Nurturing Children to Live Generously

This article first appeared in “Giving: Growing Joyful Stewards in Your Congregation” magazine which is published annually by the Ecumenical Stewardship Center. The full magazine (chock-full of great ideas) is available for purchase on their website.

Today’s culture can be toxic for children and other living things. If we build our values on the “put-downs” and sound bites of social media and incidences of daily violence that permeate the news, we might lose hope in what the future could hold for our children. How do we nurture a generous spirit in children when it would seem the world is about self-aggrandizement, winning, and having the most toys?

While we may think children are born as empty vessels waiting for family, teachers, and (yes) the church to fill them with love, knowledge, dreams, values, and a purpose, we know that they are already born with a capacity to know God and experience love. As caretakers of our children, it is our responsibility to nurture that which already exists, by providing an environment where their desire to be loved and part of a community is openly welcomed, acting as role models in what it means to be a generous, loving person made in the image of God.

We are born for sympathy and compassion. In a University of Oregon study[1], economist Bill Harbaugh and psychologist Ulrich Mayr found that charitable generosity activated the reward center of the brain, indicating that our brains are naturally made for kindness. Furthering this research are studies on compassionate meditation such as the one conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which illustrated that through the repeated practice of mindful generosity, we can increase empathetic responses to others.[2]

Continue reading Nurturing Children to Live Generously

Will Your Kids Stay Religious?

English: Map of the US showing the percentage ...
English: Map of the US showing the percentage of people who did not claim religious affiliation. 20%+ 15%+ 10%+ Not part of survey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If a child is securely attached to non-religious parents there is a greater likelihood that child will not be religious as an adult. If a child is insecurely attached to religious parents there is a greater likelihood that child will not be religious as an adult  there is also a fair number in this group who fall into the “spiritual but not religious category.  Mostly because their attachment issues make them suspicious of what researchers call, “social religion”  [i.e., organized religion].

BUT…If child is insecurely attached to non-religious parents there is a greater likelihood that child will grow up to be “spiritual but not religious.”  for the same reasons as above.Finally, children who are securely attached to highly religious parents are the most religiously attached of all groups as adults.

Read more at Will Your Kids Stay Catholic? UPDATED.

You Choose Your Child’s Religion | Plainsong Farm

I constantly run into people who say they won’t impose their religious thoughts, beliefs or traditions on their children, wanting them to make their own choice. Well, how can you make a choice if you don’t know your options?

Nurya Love Parish makes some great observations in response to a recent article / blog post from the New York Times. Read it and pass it along to all the parents of young children you know.

You Choose Your Child’s Religion | Plainsong Farm.