Oh how I love to get messages from you with feedback on my posts. Really, I do. I love hearing that you like what I’m working on. I love hearing about your similar experiences. I even love hearing that you hated my piece and wish somebody else would take over the column.
You know who you are.
The point is, I hear you. Your feedback is what inspires what I will write next. And it was from one person’s feedback in particular that was the catalyst for today’s post:
Okay, so it wasn’t so much feedback as it was a link, and it wasn’t so much from one person as it was from a person representing a school. The delightful folks at the Dharma School
in Brighton, U.K. got in touch with me just after reading a post I’d written on meditation. They wanted to let me know about a very unique project that their students are working on: “a blog about meditation and mindfulness for children by children.”
The Dharma School is the only school for young children based on Buddhist values in the U.K. After perusing their site and the children’s blog (including this gem: a graphic guide
to Buddhism for children), I started wondering… First of all, is it too late for me to enroll? And second, what other schools and spiritual resources are out there for kids and their parents?
We all know that there are plenty of religious
schools for children in the U.S.—mostly Christian schools for kiddos anywhere from pre-school to college. There are also plenty of religious books out there for children—again, mostly Christian titles around these parts. Of course this is just fine, but what about those parents and kids who want something a bit less… churchy?
The truth is, I didn’t find too much. Even in looking up “Spirituality for kids,” most of the results you’ll find are very much Bible-based. I did find the Living Wisdom
School in Nevada City, Spirit United
in Minneapolis, and lots of kids’ yoga
around the country. And a bit closer to home, in Lafayette, CA there is a Buddhist Temple called Buddha Gate Monastery
where there is children’s meditation every Saturday at 10:15. In San Francisco there is a place called Kids Yoga
, which offers meditation for kids (and you too, parents.)
A bit discouraged, I decided to stop by my local bookstore and see what they had to offer. I ended up creepily hanging out on a bean bag chair in the kids’ section for about 3 hours looking through books, but I think I found you some good ones. These were my favorites anyway:
The Golden Rule
Each Breath a Smile
Moody Cow Meditates
Buddha At Bedtime
All I See is Part of Me
The Three Questions
What is God?
I’ve also written and illustrated my own children’s book, which explores all those Big Concepts in life—mindfulness, meditation, God, being present—targeted toward readers from 4th-6th grade. So any publishers out there reading…? Just kidding. (But seriously—send me a message.)
Like I said, I don’t have any children of my own, but I do recognize the importance of addressing these things early on. I mean, just imagine: enlightened little middle school girls no longer feeling pressured to be too thin or too cool for their parents; present little middle school boys no longer making fun of their friends or worrying about being a head shorter than all the girls in their class. I believe this magical place can exist. I really do.
And parents, it starts with you.
Do you know of any great spiritual schools, books, or other resources for parents and their children? Please “send us your feedback” and spread the word!
Photos Courtesy of: Dharma Primary School
and R_x - renee barron