Let’s face it, growing up in today’s modern world can be hard – which is why many of today’s moms aim to provide their kids with a strong spiritual foundation through teaching them about faith.
From the sounds of it, kids really do benefit from this open dialogue. Stephanie Kennedy says that from the time her kids were old enough to participate, her family would converse at the Sunday brunch table on whatever they had noticed at the church service that morning. She says her 19-year-old son Christopher recently told her what he valued about their many discussions about faith.
“I don’t think many families talk about their faith or their religion as easily as we do,” he said. “I appreciate that you’ve given me the grounding of our religion but also the freedom to encourage me to think for myself.”
We spoke with moms about what they want to teach their kids about faith and they shared these six main ideas.
Faith provides a strong foundation to stand on
Kennedy, who is the co-founder of My College Planning Team, where she often writes about faith in college, says that teaching her kids about faith has helped them as they grow.
“As the mom of a college student and soon-to-be high school senior, I can only hope that my husband and I have built a strong foundation of faith for my children to stand on,” she says.
“We often talked about the homily, and how we each interpreted it and the gospel in our own lives,” she says, sharing that as her kids got older, their conversations became more in-depth. “We were vocal to our children about parts of our religion that we felt were not ‘Christ-like,’ and we often discuss how we feel the Holy Spirit guiding us in our day-to-day activities and decisions.“
Author and speaker Tara L. Paige agrees, saying her eight children have learned how faith is the foundation for self-esteem.
“Faith is the most powerful tool any one person can have. I have worked very hard to teach my children about faith,” she says. “I believe that faith is the foundation to self-esteem, self-worth, joy and hope. I say this because faith is believing in what you can’t always see.“
Faith means knowing all of your emotions are OK
Kristy McCarley says she teaches her kids that faith means trusting your emotions and knowing that all those feelings are perfectly normal.
“I teach my kids that faith means you trust that God has your back, even when you’re scared or mad or sad,” says McCarley, who is CEO of Shazzy Fitness. “And that it’s OK to feel all of those things — it’s perfectly normal and doesn’t mean you are weak. Just don’t let those feelings stop you. Faith means you keep trying and you keep doing, despite any emotion or circumstance.”
Faith means feeling confident in what life has in store for you
Author and speaker Darah Zeledon says that she strives to teach her kids that faith means trusting in their personal journey.
“As a mother of five who has overcome a great deal of adversity, this is a topic that resonates to the bone,” she says. “I strive to teach my kids, by way of example, that faith is the trusting in the process, in the unfolding, and in the journey. It is aiming to maintain a helicopter view on one’s own life. From said aerial perspective, it becomes obvious that colliding with a brick wall or slammed door isn’t the end because with a slight turn or adjustment, you see that another two doors have opened to you.“
Faith will help you in the “real world”
Dana Vaudrin of Modern Motherhood Magazine says she makes a point to teach her kids that faith isn’t just a passing trend, but it will actually help them as they navigate the real world.
“I want my kids to have a genuine and demonstrative faith. I’ve gotta show them that faith fits in real life and growing in faith is fun. It’s easy to get swept up in parenting trends. I think teaching global and timeless qualities of godliness is important to growing a relevant faith in them. I want the principles I teach to be applicable today in my city just as easily as they could be applied 500 years ago or on the other side of the world.”
Faith means taking action to make your goals a reality
Zenobia Dewely is a mompreneur of three kids and the owner of Zenobia’s Sweet Tooth, and she says she wants to teach her kids that faith means not only believing in your dreams, but it also should spur you into action to make those dreams a reality.
“I’ve taught my children to always believe no matter what things look like, never to give up on their dreams. Faith is more than believing it will happen, but faith is making it happen,” she says. “Like the bible says, ‘Faith without works is dead.’ A lot of people have faith in faith. For example, someone may have faith to get a job, but they’re not looking for one. That’s not faith.”
In fact, Zenobia says her son has already grasped onto this concept. “My 9-year-old Kevin Jr. has encouraged me more than once with his faith. He told me once, “Mom, you’ve come too far to give up, you’ve put in so much work, just continue to wait, it will happen.'”
Faith is trusting the voice within
Marilena DeSantis, Spiritual Advisor and a mom of three who blogs about her parenting experiences on Spiritmamma.com tells us that she teaches her kids that faith means to trust the voice within.
“My goal is to help my children understand that God is always inside of them and all living things. I want them to be able to look within and hear the voice of truth resounding within,” she says. “That voice will help them to grow and to prosper. It will be their companion through troubling times and help them to soar when victory arises.”
Cat Mosley, Director of Marketing and Enrollment at Holy Cross Regional Catholic School, says she listened to her own inner voice when transitioning jobs and that this decision has not only benefited herself, but also her child.
“I want my child to know that he always has God and Jesus in his life. People may come and go in his life, but our faith is strengthening and ever-present,” she said. “My son started at Holy Cross in the third grade, and it — with his parents’ consistency — has helped him bloom into a confident, happy and challenged child. I am now working at the school as well. I took a huge pay cut, but a quality-of-life increase as I believe what I market and sell.”