Create a family mission statement
Many spiritual traditions provide a framework of values or principles to follow. Try creating something similar for your family. "Even kids as young as three or four understand something like 'Our family believes in kindness, helping other people, caring for pets, and reaching out to people who are alone,'?" says Doe. You can get formal and post your mission statement in your kitchen, or simply use it when you're making choices about how to spend your time or resolve conflicts.
Open up about your own inner life
"Kids benefit greatly from hearing out loud how we handle life's ups and downs," says Doe. "It could be as simple as saying to your child 'I'm really worried about Poppy today and my stomach hurts. I'm going to take a moment to do some breathing.' Then 'Oh, I'm starting to feel better. I'm going to send Poppy some good thoughts, too.'" Miller's research indicates that kids who have at least one parent who is openly spiritually inclined--again, formal religious beliefs not required--tend to continue exploring spiritual issues on their own in adolescence and adulthood.
Delve into spiritual traditions
Consider it a way to offer your children a global education. Dubbels and her husband were raised within--and subsequently left--Catholic, Jewish, and Lutheran traditions but feel strongly about introducing their kids to a wide variety of spiritual approaches. "Art is a great way to show kids how spirituality is part of history. We live a few blocks from the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts and visit at least once a month," she says. "My son always wants to visit one of the Buddhas, and my daughter enjoys the Egyptian and Judaica collections."
Schedule in downtime
"One thing religions have done well for centuries is to offer people time to pause in their week, check in, and reflect about bigger issues," says Doe. You can do the same for your own family. Go for a walk. Try yoga together. Have your kids draw or write in a journal about a spiritual topic like "What do you wish you could ask God/creator/higher power?" Or designate an hour a week as unplugged (no electronics) family time.