Tapping Into Young Children's Spirituality Temperament and Self-Control Research Paper

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Tapping into Young Children's Spirituality, Temperament, and Self-Control

Years ago, when school systems actually permitted religious instruction, children were able to tap into their own spiritual sides, and were able to process their feelings about their emotions and their concerns about the world against a more nuanced and detailed spiritual backdrop. This allowed them to have a clearer sense about moral values, feeling obedient vs. disobedient, engaging in respect, honesty, truth and communicating their feelings with compassion. By allowing students to have some sort of spiritual education, educators were ensuring that they would be able to more confidently shape these children into good people who were well-rounded and who had a clearer understanding of how to behave in the world, along with stronger values of what matters most to them. Parents have to offer their children the following aspects of care and education: building confidence, self-esteem and self-worth, nurturing their spiritual side and wonder at the world, and a side which demonstrates compassion and empathy for other people. Once these pillars and factors have been properly cultivated, then children will be in the most positive place possible to allow for strong spiritual development
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to occur.

One reason why these inner factors need to be developed within children is because human relations are inherently fraught with conflict. This is the nature of human relations and struggle. Thus, it means that learning and understanding forgiveness becomes absolutely paramount. "In the last two decades, many researchers have broadened our understanding of the process of forgiveness from a psychological and theological perspective among adults…The rich, complex, and unique nature of children's spirituality is explored with a particular focus on the salience and importance of relationships. Conflict among peers is common and relevant to children's spirituality, and ripe for developing the spiritual craft of forgiveness… children are capable of responding with forgiveness and that the process of forgiveness should be nurtured in children for their spiritual development. This article is an effort to expand the discussion of forgiveness in childhood and into the realm of children's peer relations" (Flanagan et al., 2012). Essentially, what the research finds is that the more children engage in forgiveness, the better off they are in terms of emotional maturity for adulthood. Learning a spiritual lesson like the importance of forgiveness is thus something that becomes the obligation of parents and educators alike. It is something…

Sources Used in Documents:


Flanagan, K.S., & Loveall, R. (2012). The spiritual craft of forgiveness: Its need and potential in children. Journal of Psychology & Christianity, 3(1), 3-15.

Karlsen, M.L., Coyle, A., & Williams, E. (2013). "they never listen": towards a grounded theory of the role played by trusted adults in the spiritual lives of children. Mental Health,

Religion & Culture, 17(3), 297-312.

Roehlkepartain, E.C. (2006). The handbook of spiritual development in childhood and adolescence. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

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