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Transcripts of Selected Group Discussions on CYC-Net

Since it's founding in 1997, the CYC-Net discussion group has been asked thousands of questions. These questions often generate many replies from people in all spheres of the Child and Youth Care profession and contain personal experiences, viewpoints, as well as recommended resources.

Below are some of the threads of discussions on varying Child and Youth Care related topics.

Questions and Responses have been reproduced verbatim.

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Spirituality as a development domain

Hello All!

Do you think that spirituality should be considered a development domain?
Why or why not?

Celeste Clifford
United States

I think it would be important to define 'spirituality'. To me, spirituality is a connection between myself and the world around me. My spirituality guides my decisions; it is part of my system of values, morals and beliefs. I believe that a sense of spirituality must be consciously cultivated.

I absolutely believe that spirituality is a developmental domain. I see the Baby Boomers as having brought a lot of this to light in their mid-life quest for self and how it has been reflected in marketing campaigns. This sense of spirituality used to be discovered, for many native cultures, in the entrance to manhood ceremonies, for example. Maybe the western world are late bloomers, but, to me, if we discovered our own inner spirituality at a younger age than 55 perhaps we would all get along a little better?

Interesting question. I shall ponder this all day now!


Hi Celeste,

My first question before answering whether I think spirituality should be considered a developmental domain or not is, what is your definition of spirituality?

Donneth Dennis

Of course. Goals can be set and objectives (progress) tracked.

Let me know if you want specific examples, but generally the youth can generally come up with these goals easily.

Alfonso Ramirez, Jr.

My own experience developed around reading and talking, and adolescents are definitely capable of conceptualizing the precepts of a spiritual vision. Perhaps the key element for facilitating this dimension developmentally would be willingness to engage youth in conversation (dialogue) openly without judgment. I think there can be some risks if people don't discuss and reflect on their thoughts as indicated in the controversy around spiritual communes vs. 'cults'.


Hi Linda – Further to your idea of experiencing spirit I would like to offer this. The more we experience things outside our selves, the more confident we grow. Focusing outward increases our ability to both connect with others and find a sense of confidence in our own abilities.

The high school here requires a certain number of volunteer hours to graduate. This is a great way to involve youth early in their community. We just finished a huge Trash Bash weekend where everyone goes out and retrieves garbage from the forest and streets around town. I believe that, as adults, we inadvertently teach children to be selfish by not reaching out ourselves, as parents, into the communities. Spirituality, as you pointed out, can be experienced at any age.

Thanks for the discussion. I have learned a great deal from the Child and Youth Care net. I shall add this topic to my quiet ponder moments! :)


Laura – that was so well articulated by you. I couldn't agree with you more. Spirituality is difficult to describe to some and also difficult to find a place to jump off of when presenting to youth. I believe many would benefit greatly. Simply, it may begin by stepping out the door and looking to the sky, the stars, all the unknowns. It is a world beyond the immediate. As youths are so focused on self and their surroundings, why wouldn't it be beneficial to offer up an alternative which begins with nature and beauty beyond one self. I believe that one doesn't have to grow old to experience spirit. We would be cognizant of not presenting our own belief, just offering an opportunity for youth to find their own spirit.

Linda Moore

Other boomers read 'Siddhartha' and 'The Prophet' around 20 yrs of age. :)

Mike Kaminski

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