Introducing Religion to Your Toddler
Teaching kids about religion can be a little tricky, especially if they’re very young. Children are good at observing and imitating, but imitating religious acts isn’t enough. After all, it’s the meaning behind the acts that hold the most value, rather than just the acts themselves. So how do you make your child understand what religion really is?
If you or your family practices a religion, you’ve probably used certain religious terminology or celebrated some occasions or festivals. Your child is already aware of their importance – but do they understand why they’re important?
Here’s an easy way to introduce religion to children.
Differentiate Between Spirituality and Religiosity
Emphasizing to your child that God exists beyond places of formal worship is extremely important. It’s essential for a child to understand that religion is a code of principles that guide behavior. For example, the Christian commandments essentially propagate healthy behavior, kindness, and honesty.
Helping your child to differentiate between formal ways of religion and the spiritual part of it will help them develop their own relationship with it.
Whether it’s a holy book or a pictorial storybook about religion, read it with your child to help foster interest.
In fact, this will make them understand certain things about religion much better. You could even get books that have attractive covers and are fun for your child to read time and again. Check out this beautiful Bible, for example.
Teach By Example
In certain religions, individuals have to perform daily activities. You could introduce religion to children via example.
Don’t forget that kids are very impressionable and are quick learners, so make those activities enjoyable and create motivational benefits to encourage them to learn. In fact, asking your child to accompany you while you perform those certain tasks is one way to go about it.
Encourage Them to Contribute
If a religious festival or occasion is around the corner or even if it’s the daily prayer before dinner, ask your child to contribute.
You can ask them to pray for what they would like the most, or how would they like to celebrate the special occasion, or even just say a small “thank you” prayer for their day and whatever else they are grateful for. By making your child feel involved, you’re opening more avenues of learning for them.
Let Them Ask Questions
Children are really curious beings. And they can ask pretty quirky questions, too. However, it’s all part of the learning process.
Teaching kids about religion is done better when parents answer their questions and also admit when they don’t know an answer, too. It helps them to see that there is no constraint about religion.
Teaching kids about religion can be a pretty fun experience. Just remember to be open about it and give your child room to grow and understand religion on their own,