Ages 10-14: Spiritual Development

We don’t always think of spiritual development as part of the overall process of growing up. But, as we mature, all humans spend time thinking about the meaning of life, why we are here, how we treat others and ourselves, and what we value. Our answers to these questions are always evolving, and they help shape our personal beliefs and personalities. It’s important to remember that spirituality can be expressed in a multitude of ways, regardless of the religious tradition that your family recognizes.

  • Kids in this age range begin to see contradictions in the world and in religious and spiritual beliefs. Many will confront and question these contradictions.
  • Some question or reject their childhood beliefs as they move beyond black-and-white thinking.
  • Some develop strong, even contradictory beliefs as they “try on” different ideas and beliefs.
  • Many begin to identify or develop interests or gifts about which they’re passionate. Learn more >
  • Many begin to rely more on friends and other adults to shape their spiritual beliefs and practices.
  • Many religious traditions have “intensive” religious training during these years to help kids sort through their beliefs.

Learn more about the importance of spiritual development >



Point number five is scary, but oh so true. I remember it myself from my own childhood. We’ve got to stay connected to our kids and develop a relationship where hopefully the will still want, although they won’t show it, our input and our involvement. Can’t have them longing for life’s lessons from their inexperienced peers. At least we have to do the best we can. We’re equipping ourselves for the middle school/tween/preteen years so we can help our son succeed. I’m very excited about a new book we’re reading that aligns with this. I have to share. It’s called “MiddleSchool: The Inside Story- What Kids Tell Us, But Don’t Tell You,” by Cynthia Tobias and Sue Acuna. It has interviews and feedback from middle schoolers, parents and teachers (and a little humor) to help us deal with faith, purity, puberty, communication, independence, discipline and accountability, tackling social media, technology, Internet, gaming, and deepening and strengthening a positive, loving relationship. It’s so rich in valuable help as we face these transitional years with our kids. I think everyone with a middle schooler or who will have a middle schooler will benefit from it. I would highly recommend it!…