In this first-of-its-kind guide to Unitarian Universalist parenting, mother and experienced religious educator Michelle Richards encourages a practical and proactive approach to raising Unitarian Universalist children. Includes information about developmental stages, suggestions for incorporating spiritual practices into family life, teaching the Principles in age-appropriate ways, answering difficult questions on religious matters and dealing with religious disagreements.
Find discussion questions for Tending the Flame on our Skinner House Companion Resources page.
The Learning Curve
Rituals, Traditions and Spiritual Practices
Inherent Worth and Dignity
Justice, Equity and Compassion
Spiritual Growth in Our Congregations
The Search for Truth and Meaning
The Right of Conscience
Peace, Liberty and Justice for All
The Interdependent Web
Big Questions and Tough Stuff
God and the Bible
The Interfaith Family
Death and Grief
Sexuality and Love
Sharing our personal religious and spiritual beliefs with our children is not indoctrination. It is offering the wisdom and insight that they eagerly seek from us-just as they look to us for guidance when choosing between right and wrong courses of action. If we are vague and ambiguous when our children ask us theological questions, we lose our opportunity to have a positive influence on them in this area. Eventually, they'll stop asking us religious questions and look for answers elsewhere.
— from Tending the Flame
Praise for Tending the Flame
"Tending the Flame invites parents not just to do Unitarian Universalist parenting, but to be Unitarian Universalist parents. More than a recipe book of activities, it is an invitation to a style of parenting which is values-based and values-sharing. As we explore ways in which we parents can help Unitarian Universalism guide children in their development, we will also find ways in which Unitarian Universalism deepens for ourselves as well."
—Randolph W.B. Becker, minister, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Key West
"A wonderful blend of comprehensive research and personal experience, Michelle Richards's latest book shows just how important it is for parents who care about our tradition to embody their Unitarian Universalist faith and values at home. Tending the Flame is an indispensable resource for parents who want to give their children a head start on the "free and responsible search for truth and meaning."
—Phil Lund, lifespan program director, Prairie Star District
"Michelle Richards has given us a practical, empowering and grace-filled resource for parents who yearn to support their children in deepening and living out their Unitarian Universalist faith. Her sensitivity to theological diversity and to the nuances of different developmental stages will make the book useful in every household. You will find here a treasure trove of practical and simple things to do and the reasons for doing them."
—Jeanne Nieuwejaar, author, The Gift of Faith: Tending the Spiritual Lives of Children