Science now tells us that this spiritual faculty is inborn, fundamental to the human constitution, central in our physiology and psychology. Spirituality links brain, mind, and body. As we’ll see shortly, epidemiological studies on twins show that the capacity for a felt relationship with a transcendent loving presence is part of our inborn nature and heredity: biologically based, identifiable, measurable, and observable aspect of our development, much like speech or cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development. However, in contrast to these other lines of development, children are born fully fluent in this primal, nonverbal dimension of knowing. They need time to develop the wraparound of cognitive, linguistic, and abstract thinking, but young children don’t have to learn the “how” or the “what” of spiritual engagement. Bird and flower, puddle and breeze, snowflake or garden slug; all of nature speaks to them and they respond. A smile, a loving touch, the indescribable bond between child and parent that science has yet to fully explain, all of these speak deeply to them, too. Spirituality is the language of these moments, the transcendent experiences of nourishing connection. Spirituality is our child’s birthright. We support their development when we read with them, talk with them, sing and play with them, feed and bathe and encourage them. Science now shows that the way in which a parent supports a child’s spiritual development has a great deal to do with how a child grows into that rich spiritual potential.
From “The Spiritual Child: The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving” By Lisa Miller, PhD