by Carolyn Kolovitz
My daughter was nearly 8 years old when I adopted her, and she came to me understandably furious with the world, heartbroken by the cruel forces of fate. While most new moms must focus on attending to their child’s physical needs, I had to hit the ground running focused on her emotional and spiritual well-being.
I began with the simple practice of pointing out something beautiful whenever we went outside. “What a beautiful cardinal!” “I love how the snow outlines every limb of that tree.” At first she was resistant, refusing to even look, but then she did look and she smiled and she started to point out beauty to me. “That sunset is pink and purple!”
This is how I shared with my daughter the core of my spirituality. Gratitude, stillness, wonder and awe for creation and the Mystery which surrounds us were all modeled in this simple practice. These are also key ingredients for our children’s mental health, not to mention counter-cultural values in a time when many are focused on acquiring material things, looking attractive, spending hours either staring at screens or frantically busy.
I have a lot of ideas for how to share spiritual values with young people. I created a model that puts opportunities for living/sharing our spiritual values into a concrete visual diagram that I teach in my Spiritual Grandparenting workshops. These ideas come from not only my experience as an adoptive parent (and now grandparent!) but also my 15 years of experience working with tweens and teens.
It is common today for parents of young children to no longer practice the spiritual faith they were raised in. This leaves both parents and grandparents unsure how to mentor their children in using their spiritual imaginations and connecting to the transcendent. Register for my Wednesday Evenings (4/24/19 & 5/1/19) Spiritual Grandparenting Workshop or have me come to your group. The workshop is not only for grandparents, but parents, mentors, youth professionals too.