Mimi Doe holds a master's degree in education from Harvard University, and Marsha Walch is her mother. This book won the 1998 Parents' Choice Seal of Approval. Doe has appeared on Oprah, been heralded as "a parenting guru" by Ladies Home Journal, and regularly speaks about spiritual parenting for New Morning on the Hallmark Channel. She inspires thousands of parents across the country each year with her personalized workshops and a popular online newsletter. In the introduction to this paperback, she writes:
"Spirituality is in our routine lives with our children, the ordinary miracles. The everyday events dinner conversations, lighting candles, creating comfortable rituals, performing daily chores have the potential to be sacred moments. Think of your child's mind recording each event of her life soaking up the ambivalence of her environment. These experiences become lodged in her subconscious and her soul. You can't choose your child's memories, but when you embrace a spiritual approach to parenting, you increase the odds that her recollections will enrich her life and soul."
According to Doe, spiritual parenting is an evolving, fluid endeavor and so she presents 10 principles with techniques, ideas, and exercises that can be used in the home. Included in each chapter are affirmations, insight building ideas, children's guided journeys, and parent and children check-in questions. Here are the principles:
• Know God Cares for You
• Trust and Teach That All Life Is Connected and Has a Purpose
• Listen to Your Child
• Words Are Important, Use Them with Care
• Allow and Encourage Dreams, Wishes, Hopes
• Add Magic to the Ordinary
• Create a Flexible Structure
• Be a Positive Mirror for Your Child
• Release the Struggle
• Make Each Day a New Beginning
There are many excellent and creative exercises and spiritual practices in this paperback. Here are a few examples:
• "Suggest to your older children they gather 'God data' by taking a survey of friends and neighbors, adults and kids. They might ask, 'Where do you think God lives?' Children can even interview imaginary creatures or animals. A third grader we know had a ball with this idea and was certain that the lizard who lounged on her kitchen window thought God lived in each sunbeam that baked its back."
• "Remain open to the ideas and energy of others. Affirm, 'Today, I will be open to all who come my way.' Try it in the morning with your children, then report back who was put on your paths. It is not necessary always to agree or adopt another's idea or way of living, only to be open."
• "Ask your child to write his personal 'code of honor' or 'rules to live by.' You might be surprised."
Doe has many fine things to say about silence, enthusiasm, hope, forgiveness, gratitude, and other spiritual practices. We will end with this quotation which seems to sum up the essentials of spiritual parenting:
"Accept your child as a beautiful and miraculous gift, a loan from God. See the best in him, for he will then see the best in himself. Praise and encourage his positive qualities. Feed his spirit by making sure he knows you love him, flaws and all. He is worthy just as he is. How you see your child expands into how he sees himself."