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Religion – Parenting Competency # 9  

Number 9 on our list of parenting competencies has to do with religion.  Parents with this competency encourage and support spiritual and religious development in their children and participate in spiritual or religious activities themselves. 

Many mental health providers aren’t particularly comfortable with spirituality.  In fact, some of the experts who were polled in the study that led to this article series made negative comments about spirituality, and overall they rated it dead last.  Nevertheless, the actual data suggest religion and spirituality are helpful things for parents to pass on to their children. 

It makes sense.  One of the things that has grown out of positive psychology is the idea that having a sense of meaning contributes greatly to life satisfaction and happiness.  Spirituality and religious practice are a marvelous ways to build meaning.  Having a sense there is something bigger than us and more important than us in the universe actually makes us happier.  Our society in general doesn’t always support this idea, but most religious and spiritual practices do. 

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