As time is moving on, it has become more and more prominent for people to identify themselves as spiritual, but not religious. But, even with this movement which apparently is taking place, a lot of people continue grappling with the age-old question: “But, what about our children?”
There are a lot of studies done to find the link between spirituality and happiness in adults. But only a little research has been done regarding children. Even adolescents have been found to have increased their happiness when leading a more spiritual life. To widen their views regarding happiness and spirituality, some researchers from the University of British Columbia in Canada set out to find the link between children and spirituality.
Dr. Mark Holder and his colleagues, Dr. Ben Coleman and Judi Wallace in the Journal of Happiness Studies have published their results. According to what they have found, the personal aspect of spirituality and common elements were both powerful indicators of whether or not children would be happy. In contrast, their research also endeavored to find how religion affected children. In that particular portion of the study, they have found that religious practices had minimal effect on whether or not children would be happy.
According to the reports of Live Science, some other research has been conducted regarding children and religion. During the period of those studies, those children that were religious were found to be well-adjusted and well-behaved, but, as they point out, that was not the same as happiness.
According to another study, which was published in the Journal of Religion and Health from Columbia University, happiness and the character traits of grit and persistence go “hand in hand” with spirituality.
Moreover, according to Time, the study also found that “children are born with an innate capacity for spirituality, just like they are born with the capacity of learning a language, reading, as well as thinking. But, just like it takes some time and effort to develop the ability to speak or read, it also takes some time and effort to develop our innate sense of the spiritual.”
When the researchers were asked about their thoughts on the results of the study which was conducted by the University of British Columbia, they explained that “Enhancing the personal meaning may be a key factor between spirituality and happiness.” Holder even suggested to Live Science that acts of kindness towards other people, as well as altruism and volunteering, were also significant ways of giving children the meaning they so yearned for.
While some of the studies are never entirely conclusive, there is no harm from raising children who are more spiritually in tune with other humans. Honestly, for us, we could envision no other way of raising our children. What do you think about that?