In The Spiritual Child, psychologist Lisa Miller presents the next big idea in psychology: the science and the power of spirituality. She explains the clear, scientific link between spirituality and health and shows that children who have a positive, active relationship to spirituality:
* are 40% less likely to use and abuse substances
* are 60% less likely to be depressed as teenagers
* are 80% less likely to have dangerous or unprotected sex
* have significantly more positive markers for thriving including an increased sense of meaning and purpose, and high levels of academic success.
Combining cutting-edge research with broad anecdotal evidence from her work as a clinical psychologist to illustrate just how invaluable spirituality is to a child's mental and physical health, Miller translates these findings into practical advice for parents, giving them concrete ways to develop and encourage their children's—as well as their own—well-being. In this provocative, conversation-starting book, Dr. Miller presents us with a pioneering new way to think about parenting our modern youth.
“Innate spiritual capacities can wither unless cultivated—the way innate math faculties can go undeveloped without instruction. Loving families nurture these capacities, especially when parents speak explicitly about spiritual quests . . . In an era in which so many people slip off the rails during adolescence, we don’t have the luxury of ignoring a resource that, if cultivated, could see them through.”—David Brooks, New York Times
“Not since Paul Tough declaimed on the importance of ‘grit’ in his 2012 best seller How Children Succeed has a book made a bigger argument on behalf of an amorphous personal quality without which children are sunk.”—New York Magazine
“Wonderful and thought-provoking . . . a warm, hopeful, and encouraging call for parents to nurture their children’s spirits as well as their bodies and minds. Thank you Dr. Miller!”—Harvey Karp M.D., New York Times bestselling author of The Happiest Baby on the Block
"Lisa Miller is the leading psychologist of her generation on the benefits of religion and spirituality. She asks, ‘What makes life worth living’ and finds evidence-based answers."—Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, bestselling author of Authentic Happiness and Learned Optimism
"A masterpiece. The Spiritual Child is an outstanding blend of science, psychology, and spirituality. Essential reading for anyone raising a child or helping others take care of their own children. This practical, complete, and easy-to-read book changes the landscape on raising children to be happy, healthy, and flourishing."—Andrew Newberg, M.D., author of How God Changes Your Brain
“The Spiritual Child by Professor Lisa Miller, Ph.D. is not only a guide to understanding the innate untarnished spirituality found in children, but a call to nurture same in children for the safety and wellbeing of our society. Professor Miller is brutally honest and portrays our current predicament and values just the way they are—engulfed in a mad dash for material success. At the same time, Professor Miller compassionately shows us exactly how we can grow to be more spiritual and how we can secure for our children and for ourselves a lifetime of happiness.”—Rabbi Shaul Marshall Praver, Founder of Global Coalition for Peace and Civility
“Lisa Miller’s book, The Spiritual Child, is timely and vitally important. It gives parents permission to celebrate their child’s expression of his or her natural spirituality—what it means to be fully human. More than that, Miller invites parents and teachers to make a spiritual journey alongside the child in their care. Do that and we better be prepared to experience wonders yet untold.”—John Graham, M.D., President and CEO, Institute for Spirituality and Health
"In this extraordinary new book, Lisa Miller does more than mediate the rocky relationship between science and spirituality. Not only will parents gain insight into the spiritual development of their children, they will see very clearly the traps we fall into when we value love less than logic and reason."—Barnet Bain, filmmaker and author of The Book of Doing and Being
“Startlingly fresh scientific research and beautiful teachings about the many ways children can lead parents to deeper spirituality and fulfillment. The Spiritual Child is a fascinating, ground-breaking and important work.”—Wendy Mogel, New York Times bestselling author of The Blessings of a Skinned Knee
"Who can take the elusive subject of spirituality, subject it to rigorous scientific inquiry, and teach us more about it than we ever imagined? The answer is Lisa Miller. While honoring its depth and complexity, she shows in this important book how and why spirituality nourishes our children's well-being. And most important of all, she shows parents how to help this happen."—Carol Dweck, PhD, Lewis & Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology, Stanford University, author of Mindset
“Perceptive, thought-provoking, and heavily researched, this is a valuable book for anyone interested in spiritual development in children, adolescents, and families.”—Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
“The Spiritual Child is the most important book I've read in 25 years as an educator.”—Dr. Mark A. Carleton, Headmaster, Presbyterian School, Houston Texas
“A reassuring and instructive lesson in spiritual parenting . . . nurturing spirituality in your children may save them a world of pain.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Provides thoughtful advice on encouraging the quest for meaning and purpose in a child’s life . . . full of teaching moments, plenty of families’ stories, and lots of sage advice, this highly readable volume should prove useful for unaffiliated and observant parents alike.”—Publishers Weekly
Reviews from Goodreads
Built for Spirituality
We stand chatting by our SUVs and hybrids, a half-dozen moms and dads watching as our fourth-graders finish soccer practice. We're glad to see one another. The parents of my...