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Spiritual needs of the child

Spirituality and the child


Children live in their spirits more than adults
Spirituality should include the child’s capacity for searching meaning in life; sense of
relationship to “self, others, nature and God or Universal Force”; and is viewed as
the “deepest core” of the child’s being.
Ill children tend to be straightforward in expressing their questions and concerns.
They expect no less from their caregivers.

Spiritual care behavior of the nurse;

Honesty and directness, to the degree possible and appropriate, is the most
therapeutic approach for a nurse in the provision of spiritual care to an ill child.

The ill child and religious practices

Children do not make clear distinctions between spirituality and religion
Children draw on previous experiences of life, including religious and spiritual
beliefs to cope with crises.

The hospitalized child

being in a hospitalized is a crisis situation and needs are usually identified in
spiritual language of hope, trust , love and acceptance.
Such needs may be met through the use of religious resources or simply by
developing caring relationships with the child and family.
Spiritual care should include spiritual support of the parents

Spiritual needs off the chronically ill child

May interfere in sibling relationships
Therapeutic play – to generate understanding of the child’s perception of
spirituality and the illness experience
Bibliotherapy – storytelling or journaling
Providing devotional material
Use of self in establishing rapport that may comfort them