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Home » Green parenting, Ritual and celebrations

Top 10 books for raising loving, spiritual children

Submitted by on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 Loading Add to favourites  41 Comments

reading-books-with-childrenI’m sure every participant in this month’s Carnival of Natural Parenting found limiting their list to just 10 items virtually impossible; I know I did! However, I’ve chosen 10 books that will help us stimulate an interest in spirituality; 5 for children and 5 for parents which we have found invaluable on our own parenting journey. As a couple, Mr Green and I are not religious, but spirituality is an important value which adds meaning to our lives. If we follow anything at all, it’s an eclectic mix of Buddhism, Shamanism and Paganism, though not defined to any one thing. For us spirituality is about feeling the connectedness with every person, animal, plant, rock on the planet, it’s about non judgement and tolerance, it’s about living lightly on the Earth and it’s about a life filled with unconditional love. Most of all it’s about seeking our own truth and living a life with integrity. Spiritual books for parents:

[amazon-product small="1"]1741140102[/amazon-product]Buddhism for mothers

by Sarah Napthali As a mama who can get pretty angry at times, this book helps you nurture yourself as a parent. As I’ve expressed before on the site, taking care of yourself as the main nurturer of your child(ren) is one of the most selfLESS acts you can do. But it’s hard right? This book brings you an oasis of calm and helps you become a more present, emotionally available and joyful parent. It helps you find ways to parent free of anger, worry and negative thinking. We all know that motherhood is one of the most rewarding, yet can be one of the most exhausting and challenging experiences in our lives and as our children grow, there is no getting away from the fact that we change too. Many women embrace these changes fearlessly but for many of us we find we ‘lose ourselves’ and through this can come a lot of fear, negativity and anxiety. You don’t have to be religious or a Buddhist to benefit from this book; it will help you in times of isolation and frustration and enable you to be a calmer, more loving parent even during times of stress.

[amazon-product small="1"]1878424602[/amazon-product]7 Spiritual laws of success

by Deepak Chopra This book is my ‘bible’. Although some of the concepts are incredibly simple, they are also very complex. What I love about this book is it’s size! It’s small enough to carry around with you and you can dip in as you wish. I keep mine next to my bed and begin my day by meditating on the law for the day. Deepak Chopra recommends focusing on one spiritual law each day of the week; starting with the Law of Pure Potentiality on Sunday and ending with the Law of Dharma on a Saturday. He has written ’7 spiritual laws of parenting success’ too specifically for using with children. This gives you ideas on how to use the laws as a family, along with suggestions on how to encourage children of all ages to take part. It’s a great way to bring meaning and reverence into your family life. You’ll find some of Deepak Chopra’s lectures about the 7 spiritual laws on YouTube. Each is less than 4 minutes long and it gives you a fascinating introduction to the laws.

The Prophet

by Kahlil Gibran [amazon-product small="1"]1851681787[/amazon-product]This book covers all aspects of life and the words Kahlil Gibran speaks about children, love and marriage are particularly poignant for me. Regarding children he says: “You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.” This reminds me that although my ego may think it knows best and although I want to protect my daughter from making some of the mistakes I did, she is essentially a unique soul, a free spirit who is on her own journey. Sure I have the privilege of sharing it with her, but I do not have the power to shape or manipulate her life. All I can do is be here for her and love her unconditionally. The Prophet is essentially a reminder that all wisdom comes from within and it’s one of my favourite all time books.

[amazon-product small="1"]1892005034[/amazon-product]Non Violent Communication

by Marshall B. Rosenberg Spirituality for me is all about tolerance, compassion and love. We cannot achieve any of these if our words are thoughtless or harmful. In Non Violent Communication, you’re given opportunities to improve your communication skills. This book reminds me that ‘or else’ tactics are just plain cruel and that there is always a better way to express myself. I can be pretty hot headed at times, but I celebrate the days when my communication is loving and non manipulative and this is a book I come back to time and time again to remember all the things I have learned. Non Violent Communication teaches you how to indulge in peaceful communication which can create compassionate connections with others. Some of the examples sound a bit inauthentic, but you can use your own words to express the way you feel. The key is to be able to communicate honestly without blame or confrontation. It forces you to be more honest about your feelings and shows how it is ok to express anger and to ask for your needs to be met but it helps keep your unresolved issues out of the way so you can express yourself with love. It’s a fantastic book for families and can be used in a professional setting too. There is also a book called “Raising Children Compassionately; Parenting the Non-violent Communication Way” which I have not read. This focuses on resolving conflict peacefully in both the classroom and at home.

[amazon-product small="1"]0892815507[/amazon-product]Celebrating the great mother

by Cait Johnson As a family who love everything Mother Nature does for us, this book give us lots of ideas for reverent celebrations. It is really a book to introduce you to the wonderful rhythms and cycles of nature; whatever your belief system. It’s centred around sharing our love of the earth with lots of suggestions and activities to help us bring meaning and reverence back into all the modern holidays which have been corrupted by consumerism. What I love about this book is there is something in there for people of all ages. From tiny tots who would love a nature walk to older children who might like to create a talking stick you’ll find heaps of ideas for keeping you all grounded and centred in our modern technological age. It includes recipe suggestions as well as both simple and elaborate celebrations. Spiritual books for children

[amazon-product small="1"]0935699074[/amazon-product]All I see is part of me

by Chara M. Curtis This is a wonderful book for introducing children to the concept that we are inter-connected with everything and everyone in life. The illustrations are beautiful (we each have our favourites even to this day!) and the book teaches children how special they are and how we are all equal. Inspired by a star in the sky, the child in the story finds the light within his heart and sees this light in all of creation. As we are coming to a time in our parenting journey where Little miss Green is discovering her individuality and entering a more solitary phase I think this book will have created a very important foundation so as she approaches her teenage years she can still feel connectivity somewhere in the Universe.

[amazon-product small="1"]0915811251[/amazon-product]The Lovables in the kingdom of Self esteem

by Diane Loomans Oh how we love this book! It’s a huge poem with the most joyful theme imaginable. Instead of some of the useless trash we read our kids, we’d be living in a different world if all children were bought up on these words! The book infuses self esteem with the most lovable of animals. No matter how they look or act, all these animals know they are lovable, unique and they celebrate themselves and others. There is a catchy chorus which you can’t help but join in with – the book is fun, the illustrations are wonderful and it’s a firm family favourite.

[amazon-product small="1"]1571740872[/amazon-product]Little Soul and the Sun

by Neale Donald Walsch Adapted from “Conversations with God”, this story is designed to help children discover a God she or he can love, and learn more about who we are in the universe. It’s an incredible book that had me welling up with tears the first time I read it. It tells the story of how two souls agreed before being born that they would help one another. It certainly helps you see your ‘enemies’ in a new light and is a book to come back to time and time again whenever your child faces a challenging situation with somebody. Even though it is technically a children’s book, if you’re in any doubt about the true meaning of ‘soul mates’ this book will tell you everything you need to know!

[amazon-product small="1"]1857070674[/amazon-product]All kinds of people

by Emma Damon Here’s another book that should be introduced to children in schools across the world. We’ve always bought LMG up with the knowledge that ‘people are different’ and here’s a book to celebrate our differences. It’s a lift the flap book making it great for younger kids, but at the age of 9, Little Miss green still loves it. She’s been on the receiving end of bullying, but this book helps to increase compassion and her mantra is ‘everyone is different’. I think it helps ground her in the reality that we all speak and act differently (not to mention all LOOK different!) and that even when children are unkind it’s not usually done deliberately. She realises that lots of bullies are hurting deeply inside and this book has given her a great foundation to not judge people by what they look like. If only every other kid had read it too! There are other books in the series – All kinds of beliefs and All kinds of bodies.

[amazon-product small="1"]1841488100[/amazon-product]Tenzin’s Deer

by Barbara Soros This book makes me cry every time I read it with LMG. The story is about a Tibetan boy’s relationship with a wounded deer. He cares for the deer tenderly until the deer is ready to leave. Each step along the way, the Tibetan boy is guided by his dreams on how to best care for the deer, but one night he knows the most powerful lesson of all is to come – the lesson of loving deeply enough to let go. With it comes a powerful lesson in the power of detachment – something which most adults in the Western World need to learn about. Our Western culture values the opposite – we focus on the acquisition of material possessions and we even try to possess people. This story teaches about selfless compassion, altruism and true, deep love. I’d love to hear your suggestions. I’m sure I could have easily written 40 in each category, but I’d love to be inspired by your choices please!

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

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