I believe that a new scientifically defined human faculty, which I call natural spirituality, is the next big idea for parents. We can now apply new research and data about spirituality’s relationship to human health, happiness, and thriving to our understanding of child development and parenting. Our findings show that natural spirituality exists as a human capacity – just as EQ and IQ are commonly acknowledged human capacities – and is associated clearly with life success and satisfaction.
We know now that an “inner spiritual compass” is an innate, concrete faculty and, like EQ, a part of our biological endowment. It has a biological basis, which can also be cultivated. The evidence is hard, indisputable, and rigorously scientific.
Our children have an inborn spirituality that is the greatest source of resilience they have as human beings, and we, as parents, can support our children’s spiritual development. Our parenting choices in the first two decades radically affect our children’s spiritual development in ways that last their entire lives. Natural spirituality, in fact, appears to be the single most significant factor in children’s health and their ability to thrive.
From “The Spiritual Child: The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving” By Lisa Miller, PhD