Resources for Families
Lent for Families
Dying, Death, and Grief
TOP 10 Books and Articles – Reading for Parents:
- The Great Spiritual Lessons Every Child Should Learn If you have a deep faith and keep the rituals and calendar of your religious tradition, then you’ve probably given a lot of thought to your child’s spiritual development and have it all mapped out. If, on the other hand, you wonder how to put what you believe into words and aren’t sure what tradition you want to pass on to your kids, this article is for you.
- The Sacrament of Back-to-school “As parents and Christian educators, we see such sacred moments all the time – those small glimpses of grace, where God breaks through. These times of shared hope and joy can be almost impossible to articulate, but it is important that we name these moments, especially with children. By doing so, we can share with children the sacramental grace in everyday life.”
- Neuroscience Reveals the Nourishing Benefits That Silence Has on Your Brain We have begun some Centering Prayer with the children on Sundays. Another reason to practice Sabbath/rest, with times of silence:
- A Manifesto Against ‘Parenting’ “We can work to love better without thinking of love as a kind of work.”
- Let ‘em Play! – There is now empirical evidence that free play is not only good for young children (indeed, for everyone), but it primes the mind, body, and spirit for a life-time of healthy practices, aptitudes, and capacities
- Let the Kids Learn Through Play, Live Science
- Godly Play Basics, A sensory integrated practice for Christian formation we use to supplement our Sunday programs with children.
- In Nature – Granted, it’s New York City, but studies show that children in rural areas now spend as little time outdoors in nature as their urban counterparts. Some intentionality is necessary. Free play in wild nature is possible and new science is proving that our children’s physical and mental health can be healed and soothed by allowing ourselves to reconnect to creation which reflects similar life cycles. So our spirits can come closer to our creator by physical proximity and interaction as well.
- Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv
- Liberate your Spirit – Take the opportunity this summer to jump off the Ego-Centric Merry-go-round and visualize your lives on the flip side, in the Soul-Centric Wheel. These reference mainly secular practices. However, the Christian practices and Christ Church’s community, worship, service, and programs can easily be applied to all.
- Nature and the Human Soul, Bill Plotkin
- Building Spiritual Capital and What’s Your Purpose?, David Brooks
- About Church – This little book is by far the best illustrated description of liturgical worship for children (really, anyone). Do yourself and your family a favor and gift yourself!
- Sunday Morning, Gail Ramshaw and Judy Jarrett
- Bring it on Home – In our Friday Night Feast Gatherings with parents of younger children or adolescents, we began to explore our and our children’s spiritual gifts and tasks on the Soul-centric wheel. We also talked about our parenting as spiritual vocation. Beuchner said, “Vocation is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” This is where we also find ourselves as mothers, fathers, teachers, and mentors. And sometimes it feels like chaos, mainly because of the impossible expectations placed on parents today to produce “perfect”, high-achieving children. Again, a lot of us were reared with God and Church God being compartmentalized and distinct. Jumping off this book, we talked about ways in which ordinary family life is, or can be spiritual practice; worship, gratitude, forgiveness… when we’re paying attention and truly present to our vocation.
- In the Midst of Chaos: Caring for Children as Spiritual Practice and The Rule of Family Faith, Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore
- Parents and Youth Leaders, That Problem You Most Worry About? Try this, Michelle Thomas-Bush and Science Says: Eat with Your Kids, Anne Fishel
- And last but not least, about your adolescents – Some of the above sources cover all children through teens. Here are some non-religious pieces on teenagers. Understanding some of the physiology, sociology, and neurology, can offer deeper insight into the development and new capacities of a teenager’s spirituality.
- Facts Every Parent Should Know about Their Teen, Live Science
- Feelings are as Important as Grades to Teens, The Conversation
This article focuses on possible proaction in school settings. It enumerates its necessity and why this may not be possible. However, perhaps families and other communities like churches can offer support that is not clinical or diagnostic, but deeper, authentic, personal, and spiritually rooted. For instance, in worship when the stories of humanity’s deep ancestry and our infinite future are connected to our present human condition, we begin to discover the Alpha and Omega, and our place in the Holy Trinity. This can be overwhelming, yet soothing to an adolescent’s emerging existential awareness.