Activities such as sports or dance exercise the body. Academics such as languages or math stimulate the mind. But what do we do to nurture the spirit? While sports and education may help to nurture the spirit of the child, it is not guaranteed. Much depends on the adults who offer leadership with the children in their care. Much also depends on each families' unique culture (not ethnicity or nationality but how the family communicates — family rituals; traditions and stories; systems of decision making; approaches to opportunities and problems; style of work; style of play; etc.).
Research has shown that connecting your child with a faith community can contribute to his or her overall happiness. Nurturing the spirit, as well as the mind and body, of a child can contribute significantly to a child’s sense of well-being.
In 2007, Mark Holder, Associate Professor of Psychology at UBC Okanagan, and graduate student Judi Wallace tested 315 children aged nine to 12, measuring spirituality and other factors such as temperament and social relations that can affect an individual’s sense of happiness. “Our goal was to see whether there’s a relation between spirituality and happiness,” Holder says. “We knew going in that there was such a relation in adults, so we took multiple measures of spirituality and happiness in children.”
When we focus all our time, energy and resources on nurturing ONLY the body and the mind of a child we neglect essential elements in a child’s growth and development…
Minister with Children, Youth and Families
Dunbar Heights United Church