The Spiritual Child – The NEW SCIENCE on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving

About Dr. Lisa Miller

Professor of Psychology and Education. Director of the Clinical Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Director of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute. Co-Editor-in-Chief of the American Psychological Association Journal Spirituality in Clinical Practice

Endorsing Quotes

David Brooks, New York Times

“Innate spiritual capacities can wither unless cultivated – the way innate math faculties can go undeveloped without instruction. …In an era in which so many people slip off the rails during adolescence, we don’t have the luxury of ignoring a resource, if cultivated, could see them through.’

Dr. Andrew Newberg

Director of Research, the Myra Brind Institution, Thomas Jefferson University. Author, How God Changes Your Brain.

“A masterpiece. The Spiritual Child is an outstanding blend of science, psychology, and spirituality. Essential reading for anyone raising a child…This practical, complete, and easy-to-read book changes the landscape on raising children to be happy, healthy, and flourishing.”

Book Preface

The Spiritual Child presents the next big idea in psychology and parenting: the science and the power of spirituality. Lisa Miller combines more than a decade of cutting-edge scientific research with broad anecdotal evidence from her work as a clinical psychologist, to illustrate just how essential spirituality – a personal relationship to a higher power such as nature, God, spirit, or the universe that is loving and guiding – is to a child’s physical and mental health. The research shows that children who have a positive, active relationship to spirituality are:

  •   40 percent less likely to use and abuse substances.
  •   60 percent less likely to be depressed as teenagers.
  •   80 percent less likely to have dangerous or unprotected sex.
  •   More likely to have positive markers for thriving and high levels of academic success.

“Spirituality is an untapped resource in our understanding of human development, resilience and illness…Knowledge of spiritual development rewrites the contemporary account of spiraling rates of depression, substance abuse, addictive behaviors, and other health concerns.”

“Biologically, we are hardwired for spiritual connection. Spiritual development is our species a biological and psychological imperative from birth.”   

“We know now that an ‘inner spiritual compass’ is an innate, concrete faculty …a part of our biological endowment. It has a biological basis, which can be cultivated. The evidence is hard, indisputable, and rigorously scientific.”

“In 1997, a landmark scientific article published in the American Journal of Psychiatry (By epidemiologist Kenneth Kendler) provided evidence of a hugely beneficial dimension of spirituality that was empirically rather than theoretically derived: a personal relationship with the transcendent….Spirituality was shown to be a sense of a close personal relationship to GOD (or nature or the universe or whatever term each person used for higher power) and a vital source of daily guidance.”  

“My first intention in writing this book is…to bring forward the new science that shows conclusively how critical spiritual development is through childhood and adolescence as a basis for overall health and, perhaps most surprising, as a significant factor in reducing the risk of depression, substance abuse, and high-risk behaviors that are of such great concern today.”

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