Annotated Bibliography on Spirituality in Children.

Theresa Tolan


Talking to Your Child About God:  A Book for Families of All Faiths – David Heller, Ph.D. Questions, that children ask, and responses that are helpful in developing spirituality. Talks about the importance of routine, modeling and structure.  Does not specify a religion, but incorporates different traditions.


Every Day Blessings – Jon Kabot Zinn & Myrla Kabot Zinn. This is a book for parents, by parents who also specialize in meditation practices.  Easy to ready, wonderful stories, especially the personal stories that they each share.  This book has really brought into focus a guiding principle in developing spirituality in children:  stay present. Live in the present moment and know that this path of parenting is an incredible parenting practice.


The Spiritual Life of Children – Robert Coles. This book is research based, written by a wonderful psychologist who has dedicated his lift to understanding children’s spiritual, emotional and social development.


You Are Your Child's First Teacher – Rahima Baldwin. An excellent resource for parents of young children birth to six. This author is trained in Waldorf Education, and draws on many other resources to enhance the young child.


Spiritual Intelligence: What we can learn from the early awakening child – Marsha Sinetar. Introduces us to spiritually aware children who mirror the spiritual qualities we were born with and may still be developing.


The Common Vision: Parenting and Educating for Wholeness – David Marshak. This book is a description of the needs and potential of children and youth from birth through age twenty-one, a description based on a holistic understanding of what human beings are and can become.  This understanding is founded on the insights of three early twentieth-century spiritual teachers--Rudolf Steiner, Aurobindo Ghose and Inayat Khan--whose works articulate a common vision of human growth, wholeness and evolutionary change.  Maria Montessori included.


Growing Up AgainJean Illsley Clark & Connie Dawson. This book provides excellent stage & development information including task of particular stage, typical behaviors, affirmations for stage, helpful & unhelpful parenting behaviors.


Giving the Love that Heals: A guide for parents – Harville Hendrix and Helen Hunt. A wonderful book that guides parents to loving in action.  Tools for parents to end the “cycle of wounding and the most effective way to nurture the stages of our child’s growth while remaining mindful of how each stage affects the child’s relationships.


Seeds For Success; Ideas to help children develop essential life skills for future success. Growing Responsible Kids, Creative Kids, Happy Kids and Thinking Kids Evelyn Petersen.  Helpful practical advice to help you create a sense of responsibility in your child. (Early Childhood). All from Totline Publications 1-800-421-5565


Zen Parenting: The Art of Learning What You Already Know—Judith. "This is a wonderful, lively, practical book which takes the timeless principles of Zen and applies them to everyday parenting so that all can apply them.

Five Love Languages for Children. – Gary Chapman. Each child expresses and receives love through one of five different communication styles. A parent's love language may be totally different from that of his or her child, which causes hurt feelings and misunderstandings. With the help of this book, adults can discover their child's primary language and learn what they can do to effectively convey unconditional feelings of respect, affection, and commitment that will resonate in their child's emotions and behavior,


Joining Children On The Spiritual Journey: Nurturing the Life of Faith—Catherine Stonehouse.

Understanding how a child's faith forms is crucial to knowing how adults can most significantly enhance the child's spiritual development. This book provides caring parents and teachers with valuable insights into spiritual formation during childhood. It also gives practical ideas on how they can nurture a child's faith in God.


Come Join The Circle: Singing and dancing for early childhood education—A how and why handbook for parents and teachers. Susan Slack.  Come Join the Circle combines brain research, the arts, step by step instructions and interactive charts to present a well-rounded case for dancing with children on a daily basis.


Motherhood as a Spiritual Practice:  A Journeybook -- Patti Sinclair. This journey book traces stages in the author’s changing experiences as a new mother through journaling, poetry, prayers, rituals, quotations, visualizations, letters to herself and others, and questions. It all forms a template, albeit a free-flowing one, for the reader to write and reflect on her own experiences of motherhood.


Curriculum of Love. --Morgan Simone Daleo. This is a must have book. Includes practical and experiential ways of “expressing harmony, being of service, celebrating community, nourishing compassing, mindfulness, awareness, developing balance and creating joy


The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families – Steven Covey. The Seven Habits is about developing healthy family concepts—mission statements, prioritizing, making a plan. Recognizing your family mission is a spiritual process.


The Family Virtues Guide: Simple ways to bring out the best in our children and ourselves – Linda Kavelin Popov. I like this book because it's one that you don't have to read more than a page of two to get an idea.  They present virtues/values that we want to pass on to our children, how to do it, and what a parent would see if the attribute/virtue has been acquired in their children.


Ten Principles for Spiritual Parenting:  Nurturing Your Child's Soul – Mimi Doe and Marsha Walch, Ph.D. Ten Principles for Spiritual Parenting is both incredibly thought provoking and incredibly practical.  It is filled with little ideas about how to incorporate spirituality into your everyday life with children. It doesn't tell you what beliefs/ideals you should say to your child; it simply offers many suggestions on how to open the door to your spiritual beliefs in many everyday situations.  It also helps you listen to and encourage your children's innate spiritual beliefs.


Nurturing the Teenage Soul – Mimi Doe


Nurturing Children's Spirituality – Peggy J. Jenkins. Ph.D. "Indispensable in developing children's self-esteem and balanced life".  I have found this book to be very practical in doing "fun" activities and direction of the spiritual message.  It can be used with children of all ages, but I believe three year old and up will really start to understand it.  It also has information categorized according to age.



The Sacred Art of Listening: Forty Reflections For Cultivating A Spiritual Practice –  Kay Lindahl. Illustrations by Amy Schnapper. Inspiring text and contemplative artwork combine to communicate the three essential qualities of deep listening—silence, reflection and presence.  These are essential qualities in spiritual parenting.


Teaching Your Children Joy Linda Eyre. The social and emotional "joys" that children should learn before they enter kindergarten. This book is the foundation for the international movement called "Joy Schools."


The Book of New Family TraditionsMeg Cox.  Overcoat Day, Welcome Summer Party,  Monthly Pizza Blast, Bus Stop Party ... these are just some of the enjoyable and inventive new traditions you'll find in The Book of New Family Traditions. Life isn't like it used to be, and we need to invent new traditions for today's families. Meg Cox guides you through the simple steps that help families fully cherish all of those special moments and milestones, help heal the wounds of trauma and loss, and strengthen that indomitable spirit of identity within a family.


How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and How To Listen So Kids Will Talk – Faber and Mazlish. This book you would hardly find in any spirituality section.  I choose it because it is a necessary book for every parents who strives to build a respectful relationship with their child.  This book teaches communication techniques.  It does not mention spirituality at all, but if we can really listen to our children and guide them to learn the skill of listening….especially listening to their own heart…then this is what I would call spiritual development.


Spiritual JournalingJulie Tallard Johnson. Most teens and young adults search for ways to express their individuality and to discover who they are, without being judged. In Spiritual Journaling Julie Tallard Johnson shows that journaling is an informative and supportive outlet for the joys, frustrations, and questions that arise for those making the transition toward their own independent ideas and lives--and a powerful tool for awakening creative potential.


The Thundering YearsJulie Tallard Johnson. Shows teens how to harness the intense emotions and drives of the late-teen years using wisdom from cultures around the world. Includes exercises, personal and community rituals, and resources that show how to successfully navigate the Thundering Years.


I Ching For Teenagers—Julie Tallard Johnson. The only comprehensive guide to the I Ching especially for teens. Includes down-to-earth descriptions of the original hexagrams and practical examples of how they can be applied to the teen experience.


Teen Psychic—Julie Tallard Johnson. Teaches teens to develop and use their intuitive powers. The wisdom teachings of numerous traditions blended with activities--such as meditations, exercises, journalizing, and quizzes--will help you tap into a reservoir of inner strength and knowledge, increasing your confidence and self-esteem.


The Children’s God – David Heller, Ph.D. Heller draws on developmental psychology, psychoanalytic theory and religious philosophy to describe forty children—Catholics, Baptist, Jews and Hindus, aged four to twelve—and their images of God.  The result is both a celebration of childhood creativity and an intriguing exploration of the roots of human search for the divine.


Facets of Unity:  the Enneagram of Holy Ideas—A. H. Almaas. Facets of Unity presents the enneagram of Holy Ideas as a crystal clear window on the true reality experienced in enlightened consciousness.


Nonviolent Communication


Teaching Tolerance


Reading Literacy


Challenging Parenting Issues:



Web Resources is a site dedicated to information about Unconditional Love; what it is, how to give it, get it, and what it will mean in YOUR life!  We explore forgiveness, Relationships, Spirituality, Psychology, and more. This site has several web links, including books by Neale Donald Walsch (The Little Soul and The Sun).


HeartMath LLC is a cutting edge performance company providing a range of unique services, products, and technology to boost performance, productivity, health and well-being while dramatically reducing stress


Spirituality and Practice Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat have been covering contemporary culture and the spiritual renaissance for three decades. They are the authors of Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life, a collection of more than 650 examples of spiritual perspectives on everyday experience, which is the basis of a 26-part DVD series. In that book, they introduced the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy — 37 spiritual practices that are common in the world’s religions.  I highly recommend this site.


Living Compassion: Cheri Huber’s website that addresses family and individual practices of peace and compassion. 


Children of the New Light is an institute of self-mastery, dedicated to informing and educating individuals about the personal and planetary Ascension that we are now experiencing. In short, we are interested in revealing a path of personal healing that will allow us all to awaken to the consciousness of our souls.


Nurturing Children’s Spirit (newsletter Archive)


Indigo Children


Roehlkepartain, Eugene; King, Pamela; Wagener, Linda; Benson, Peter (editors). (2005).  The Handbook of Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence (Sage). A landmark volume that summarizes most of the key research to date on children's spirituality, with chapters written primarily by the researchers involved. The Forward is written by Robert Coles, and the board of review is essentially a Who's Who of Children's Spirituality Development.  This text is expensive, expansive and reads in the intellectual base.

"Creativity is God's gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God," Julia Cameron has observed. Far too often, people think that this path is restricted to artists. But every person has the gift to imagine and join with the Divine in the ongoing creation of the universe.

Every culture and tradition links creativity and spirituality. Music, dancing, singing, poetry, and painting are common ways to express our soul and our delight in being. Creativity shows up in our play and our improvisations. It spins out into the ways we relate to others, handle difficulties, and find innovative solutions to the world's problems. It is evident in the crafts we make and the hobbies we pursue. "Every person," according to potter M. C. Richards, "is a special kind of artist and every activity is a special art."