Parents need to be comfortable with the fact that their kid's spirituality might look different from theirs.” - Trace Bell
On this episode of the PlanSimple Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Trace Bell about parenting and your kids’ spirituality. Trace is the son of renowned spiritual teacher and speaker, Rob Bell, who wrote Love Wins. Trace talks about the freedom he had to explore his own spirituality even when his father was a pastor and founder of a megachurch.
Trace was never interested in organized religion, and never considered himself a Christian. His parents let him explore his own path and his own doorways into spirituality. He asked a lot of questions about infinity and his consciousness, and his parents encouraged his curiosity.
He finds that a lot of parents are in a hard place: they don’t want to hand down the religion and religious structure they were given, but they do want to instill a deeper sense of spirituality in their kids. Some worry that if they don’t give kids the framework that their kids will go astray. His work helps parents figure it out.
We talk about:
- Teaching kids spirituality through your own way of being and letting kids find their own doorways (even if that’s scary to you)
- Asking questions about your kids questions
- Ways to explore this process if you are part of a church or organized religion yourself
- How pushing spirituality on kids out of obligation or something inauthentic can turn kids off
- Rituals, meditation, and creating body-spirit connection
- Taking a new look at time
Trace Bell is a spiritual teacher and consciousness guide. He is the son of author and teacher Rob Bell. Trace graduated from UCLA a year ago with a degree in political science and has spent the last year teaching with his father and working with people on their own spiritual journeys and personal evolution. On the Robcast Trace has talked about time, awareness, spiral dynamics and much more. Trace works with parents on how they can talk to their kids about spirituality in new ways and how they can parent from a spiritual perspective. Trace uses the psychological development model spiral dynamics to help people live a more whole, integrated and aligned life. It’s been an incredible first year out of college for him and he is having so much fun getting to work with incredible people on their spirituality and development.
Doable Changes from this episode:
- KNOW YOUR OWN SPIRITUALITY. To teach your kids spirituality, start with what works for you. Where do you find your spirituality most open to you? Is it in a church or synagogue? Is it outside in nature? In a place where you are helping people? Show your kids what fills you with wonder or curiosity. Be open about where you are uncertain or struggle or have questions. Maybe journal on your concerns. What are you really worried about if you don’t pass on a framework that doesn’t feel authentic to you?
- ANSWER QUESTIONS WITH QUESTIONS. Instead of trying to have all the answers, try answering questions with questions. Acknowledge that a lot of the things kids may be curious about are things that humankind has grappled with for centuries. Not having all the answers is a way of nurturing curiosity and allowing kids to find their own doorways.
- CREATE ONE RITUAL. Rituals are part of many spiritual traditions. It can be as simple as lighting a candle to create a sacred space or turning off all technology for a sabbath space for your family. Think about what is meaningful to you, what you want to share (not force on your kids, but share). Can you create a ritual together or invite your kids to join you in one you have created for yourself (without attachment to them loving it)?