Bringing anything for our children, especially when they are young, usually involves us doing our spiritual practice. Whatever it may be, and exposing them to it. It doesn’t need to be forced or explained. Usually in the early childhood years (this is understood up until seven years of age) even if they ask questions, it’s more of an exploratory curiosity that can be answered in short succinct answers, there is not enough mind or rational brain development for complex concepts or ideas. Children during this early childhood mimic what we do; for this age span, that is more than enough. 

After this, children from 7 to 14 years of age, experience many “awakenings”, life experiences that are more connected with a broader understanding of life. During these experiences, many more profound questions can emerge, and it’s important to first listen to what they are saying and feel them as they speak. The mind wants to give definite and deep answers (especially about the mysterious and mystical). However, their minds are still discovering the world, and allowing them to explore and realize things for themselves is essential. If they ask how you support yourself during times of difficulty, you can share what works for you and open the invitation if they would like to try what you practice or maybe they are aware of other practices they would like to try. During this period, their brains are still forming, and even though they can have deeper conversations, the world is still new to them, and so many concepts and ideas do not taint their experiences.

For children 14 and above, it can be pretty tricky. They are moving towards connecting more and more with peers and following their lead rather than their caretakers. They could oppose what they have done for some time or what you believe and practice – this opposition is part of their development. It is important to listen more, to hold more space for them, and to embrace more of a quality of experiencing them. It requires more tact and wisdom because they are more complex themselves and can answer in ways that can be more mirror-like. 

Raising children is a magnificent opportunity for caretakers to deepen their practice in action with the little ones as they grow. This is the most significant gift you can offer children: more than concepts or ideas, an example they can see as consistent and humble humans. This will stay with them as they embark on their own journey of discovery, which will be personal, unique, and valid—just as your own. 

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