Recent research suggests that one of the biggest influences on how a child develops emotionally is how grounded he is spiritually. In this context, spirituality doesn't refer to religion but to having a sense of one's place in the universe. For a child, this means how she fits into her immediate community -- her family -- as well as progressively larger communities she is exposed to (her neighborhood, her school, and so on). How can a parent help achieve this? Lots of ways, like creating family rituals around birthdays and holidays, participating in community events like parades, and volunteering as a family to help those less fortunate.
More Answers from Michael Roizen, MD