Parent's Guide: Tips on Raising Lifelong UUs
- Create meaningful family rituals for meal times and holidays that integrate UU principles and practices into the “everyday”.
- Have a chalice in your home to light at special times. Light it in silence or with simple words. Emerson UUC RE classes make chalices from flower pots every year. It’s a part of our RE ritual.
- Put the Seven Principles on your refrigerator; the children’s version with
“ROY G BIV” rainbow color ques to remember key words.
- Point out examples in everyday life that reinforce the ideas in our principles.
Displays of good manners, respect, inclusion and kindness are all around us.
- Attend services on Sundays or hold worship at home when needed.
At home, it can be simple:
- Light the chalice
- Check in with how everyone is feeling
- Read a storybook that touches the heart. Discuss the feelings & values of the story. Listening respectfully to everyone's interpretation
- Sing your family’s favorite uplifting song
- Extinguish your chalice and thank everyone for being present
- Respond to 'Big Questions' in a way that promotes discussion and wondering.
- Familiarize yourself with the stages of Spiritual development and age-appropriate expectations for your kids.
- Use worship and reverent behavior any time during the week. There's a wonderful, marvelous world of which to be reverent! Reverent behavior varies with age and temperament.
- Engage in your own Daily Spiritual Practice, modeling for your children that the spiritual journey is a lifelong joy.
- Encourage your children to choose a tune from our hymn book, Singing the Living Tradition, for their next music lesson piece. Sing your family's favorite hymns in the car. Buy a hymnal for your home through the UU Association's online bookstore.
- Sit down for meals together as often as you can and 'say thanks' for the meal. You can hold hands and observe silence, say thanks, or find/create the right words for your family. You can alos vary who speaks the blessing at each meal.
Helping your Children Understand
Joys & Sorrows Time During Worship
Almost every Sunday, RE classes share our Joys and Sorrows with each other.
Important events in our lives, people who bring joy to our lives, something that has made us sad such as the illness or death of someone we love. These are things that touch our hearts or our spirits. For that reason it is not the time to announce that you have a new skateboard, or video game, or have bought or traded a new collectible card, or that your family has gotten a new car. Those are things that can be shared during social hour in fellowship hall.
When we are in a worship setting, it is a time to share feelings that come from the deepest part of our souls. It is the custom in our RE classes to light a class chalice and share joys and sorrows. We encourage children to participate in this ritual in class. Other ways to share Joys and Sorrows in RE are by lighting candles and dropping stones in a bowl of water.
Our sharing is meant to help us connect with each other. When we share what has happened to us, it connects us to all the others who are present. When someone shares something joyful, we are touched and share their joy. When someone shares something sad or frightening, we are touched and feel sad with them.
UU Educational Resources
- UUA's Family Network
- UUA's Families and Faith series
- UUA's Faithworks
- Emerson's Religious Education Online Content (currently being viewed)
- Adult Religious Exploration