Being a parent is an often overwhelming responsibility – there are so many things you need to pass along to your children in order to shape them into the confident and capable adults they must be to survive in the world. Some lessons are easy, like teaching them to tie their shoelaces, scramble an egg, and practice proper hygiene. Others, like driving, making wise investments, and choosing suitable life partners, are a little bit harder. And you know there are things you’re going to overlook. Often, matters of the spirit are set aside in favor of pressing concerns like physical care and academic education. But if you want your children to grow up to be happy, healthy adults, you cannot neglect matters of the spirit. The main problem is that so many adults have never had any spiritual guidance themselves. So here are just a few tips to help your children grow spiritually, and possibly improve yourself along the way.

Spiritual health is a multi-faceted pursuit, one that involves not only how people treat themselves, but also how they interact with others. So you need to approach the issue on two fronts where your children are concerned. You can do a lot to help your kids grow spiritually by making them feel valued and loved. This is not to say that you have to manufacture ways to make your kids feel good about themselves. But you can certainly praise them when they do well. And you can encourage them to pursue their interests. Part of achieving good spiritual health is developing passions. Whether your kids are drawn to sports, science, or performing arts, just for example, you should always encourage them to try new things and applaud them for successes in life.

Of course, you don’t want them to grow up to be self-centered, entitled brats. So you also need to foster a sense of empathy and compassion for others in them. There are so many ways to do this. You have probably started unconsciously by teaching them not to hit other kids and to share their toys from a young age. But as they get older you might consider engaging in volunteer work as a family. You can work at the local food bank, build houses for Habitat for Humanity, or work with elderly people at rest homes, bringing joy and companionship to those who may not have family or friends. These activities will help your children learn that they have something valuable to give others and that donating their time and effort makes both themselves and others feel good.

Finally, you’ll need to think about spiritual guidance for your children. If you are actively involved in religion already you can certainly introduce your children to your religious community. But you may also want to consult with counselors, life coaches, or the professionals at, just for example. These people are trained to help you deal with matters of spiritual health and they can help you to find the right path for yourself and your children when you don’t know where to start. Becoming spiritually healthy is no easy undertaking, but seeing to your own needs can give you the information and experience you need to guide your kids down the right path. And the end result will be children that grow into fully-formed adults capable of being happy and fulfilled and making others happy, as well.