The Beginner’s Guide to Parenting After a Faith Shift
Call it a faith shift, a faith crisis, a faith transition, or something else entirely — it’s increasingly common.
Whether or not you belong to a religious community, you may be looking for help parenting after a faith shift.
That’s what this guide is for.
Download the PDF version, or read the guide in its entirety below.
Table of Contents
These insights reveal the foundation you still have in the wake of a faith shift.
- You have inner authority
- You have access to science and wisdom
- You have ways to make sense of your growth
- You have individual strengths and purpose(s)
- You have a method to access the middle way
- You have your family stories
- You have relationships
These practices give your family a way to explore life together after a faith shift.
- Keep wisdom practices that work for you
- Integrate wisdom from a range of perspectives and traditions
- Nurture emotional intelligence
- Establish healthy routines
- Use media without chaining yourself to it
- Keep the conversation going
- Find communities
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Introduction: You’re not alone.
Faith is in flux.
For the first time, a majority of American adults say they no longer belong to a church.
And those who do belong are hungry for a more expansive approach.
“In historical terms,” Harvard professor Robert Putnam says, “it’s more than any change we’ve ever seen. … It’s impossible to exaggerate what a historical change this is.”
What’s causing the change?
In part, the internet.
It’s simply easier than ever to find troubling information about religion.
Scandals, abuse, sexism, uncomfortable historical facts, and unnerving political views — all of it hits our feeds or is just a click away.
As a result, many feel disillusioned and have shifted from what the sociologist Robert Wuthnow calls a spirituality of “dwelling” to a spirituality of “seeking.”
Perhaps you can relate.
It’s a challenging place to be, especially when it comes to parenting.
As the author Rachel Held Evans once wrote, “I knew how I didn’t want to raise my two kids, but I wasn’t sure how I did want to raise them.”
That’s where this guide comes in.
Drawing on contemporary and ancient wisdom (along with years of living this question ourselves), we explore insights and practices to help you move forward.
Insight #1: You have inner authority.
In the wake of a faith shift, it can feel like you have nothing to hold onto.
Yet no matter who you are, you have an inner authority. Call it conscience, nature, spirit, source, the true self, the divine, God, or something else. Whatever word you use, you have direct access.
In a word, this is spirituality. It’s when we align with our inner compass, connect with something bigger than ourselves, and attune to our deepest values.
In this way, spirituality is essential for believers and nonbelievers alike.
As the neuroscientist Andrew Newberg writes, “spiritual practices, even when stripped of religious beliefs, enhance the neural functioning of the brain in ways that improve physical and emotional health.” Likewise, the neuroscientist Sam Harris says that “a rational approach to spirituality seems to be what is missing from secularism.”
It makes sense. Feelings of awe, wonder, and connection give life color, regardless of our religious beliefs or disbeliefs. As researcher Brené Brown writes, “Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives.”
But there’s something more.
The emerging science shows that spirituality is essential to the wellbeing of children.
Lisa Miller, professor of psychology at Columbia University, has gathered primary and secondary evidence on this topic for decades. She writes, “Children who are raised with a robust and well-developed spiritual life are happier, more optimistic, more thriving, more flexible, and better equipped to deal with life’s ordinary (and even extraordinary) traumas than those who are not.”
Then she adds, “Children have an inborn spirituality that is the greatest source of resilience they have. … Natural spirituality, in fact, appears to be the single most significant factor in children’s health and their ability to thrive.”
As a parent, you can’t possibly be present during every challenging decision your kids make in life. But you can help them attune to their inner compass so they grow into the best versions of themselves whatever they face.
When you develop a strong connection with your inner authority, you help your kids do the same.
Insight #2: You have access to science and wisdom.
Regardless of what it may feel like, a faith shift doesn’t mean you’re starting from square one. You have access to modern science and ancient wisdom.
Keep and build on this foundation.
It might include research-driven insights about growth mindset, emotional intelligence, cognitive behavioral therapy, and so on.
It might also include ancient sources — the parables of Jesus, the Tao Te Ching, Stoic philosophy, the Bhagavad Gita, and more.
In addition, it might give particular attention to neglected ancient and contemporary female wisdom writers, including Julian of Norwich, Sojourner Truth, Emily Dickinson, Ursula K. Le Guin, Simone Weil, Mary Oliver, Maya Angelou, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, etc.
This foundation can give you strength when the challenges of life seem insurmountable.
The problem, of course, is that there’s so much potential wisdom out there. How do you know what to trust and what not to trust?
It’s especially tricky because no source is 100% wise. Even the best books contain wise and foolish passages — sometimes directly next to each other. Because of this, all sources (even this guide!) must be held lightly.
One simple way to discern a useful passage is to ask whether it is true, beautiful, and good.
- Truth: Does this passage make a scientific claim that has been thoroughly tested and proven false? If so, consider dropping it. It’s likely pseudoscience.
- Beauty: Does this passage use metaphor and poetic language that resonates with your natural spirituality? If so, keep it.
- Goodness: Does this passage inspire you toward greater love for people in and beyond your community? If so, keep it.
These three questions can help you integrate science and wisdom, regardless of the source.
Insight #3: You have ways to make sense of your growth.
It’s disorienting to realize you’re not the same person you were 10 years ago.
Theories of development can help you make sense of this change.
While there are dozens of such theories worth exploring, we’ll focus on just two here — one popularized by Franciscan friar Richard Rohr and one from former pastor Brian McLaren.
Both show that a faith shift is part of growing up.
First and Second Half of Life
In the first half of life, we learn rules and develop a clear sense of ego, personality, and structure.
In the second half of life, we learn to better follow our inner compass, sensing that life is more complex than any structure can fully account for.
Successful parenting focuses on both halves of life. It’s about first giving kids structure and then giving them the freedom to explore the limits of that structure. It’s about providing safety while not letting safety stifle them.
Importantly, according to Richard Rohr, experiencing the second half of life isn’t strictly chronological. He writes, “Some young people, especially those who have learned from early suffering, are already there, and some older folks are still quite childish.” We must be aware both of where we are and where our kids are in this process.
Simplicity, Complexity, Perplexity, and Harmony
Brian McLaren proposes a four stage model — simplicity, complexity, perplexity, and harmony. The first two stages represent the first half of life and the second two stages represent the second half.
- Simplicity is defined by unquestioning trust, obedience, and loyalty. It consists of “simple dualisms of right versus wrong, us versus them, good guys versus bad guys.” At this stage we’re convinced that those on “our team” are always right, while those who disagree with us are always wrong. Many religious institutions are stuck here, full of dualistic thinking.
- Complexity occurs as we realize that there are experts on “teams” beyond our own. McLaren suggests that parents with kids at this stage should “act less like police and more like coaches.” He says that parents who don’t do this tend to be those “who have never outgrown Stage One themselves.”
- Perplexity happens when we “lose faith in both the authoritarian leaders of Simplicity and the success coaches of Complexity, whether inside or outside the church.” The gift of this stage is that it encourages deep honesty. The downside is that it can be quite lonely. “Unable to find a community that fits their stage,” McLaren writes, “many Stage Three people have only one option: … they must walk out their questions alone. If they find community at all, it tends to be among alienated individuals like themselves.” Criticism, loneliness, and doubt make Stage Three a hard place to stay.
- Harmony emerges when “we begin to see things without the obsessive dualistic judgments of Simplicity, without the compulsive pragmatic analysis and schemes of Complexity, and without the deconstructing suspicions of Perplexity.” In harmony, McLaren writes, “a new music begins, faintly at first but rising to a steady crescendo, a music of appreciation, empathy, wonder, and, yes, all-embracing love.” This sense of an all-embracing love enables us to recognize the gifts of each stage and collaborate with other people, regardless of their worldview.
The first half of life and the second half of life. A move from simplicity to complexity and then from perplexity to harmony.
Of course, just like everything, models of development should be held lightly. As the statistician George Box once noted, “All models are wrong, some are useful.” The model is not life itself; the map is not the territory.
In any case, a faith shift is part of growing up. By being aware of how you’re growing and changing, you can better adapt to meet the needs of your kids.
Thankfully, there’s no need to rush it. As Cindy Wang Brandt, author of Parenting Forward, writes, “Sometimes we are so focused on the potential of children to grow into whatever exciting persons they may be that we forget that they already are those persons, and that their potential may not be lying in the future but embedded within them in the present.”
The aim is to love wherever they are and wherever you are.
Insight #4: You have individual strengths and purpose(s).
The downside of models about stages and growth is that they can flatten the entire human experience. They can give the illusion that we’re all on the exact same journey.
It’s not true, of course. Our journey is ours alone. “Be yourself,” the writer Oscar Wilde once wrote. “Everyone else is already taken.”
It’s wisdom worth taking to heart, as there’s a natural tendency to find a guru who will give you all the answers you crave after a faith shift. But the goal isn’t to become someone else, which only results in you losing touch with your inner authority. The goal is to be yourself — and to help your kids be themselves.
Music producer and 8-time Grammy award winner Rick Rubin illustrates what this looks like. Based on his decades-long transcendental meditation practice, he helps artists find their own approach to creation. “We try to go on a journey and let the artist discover who they are, and in the process, the best art comes from them,” he says. “It’s like getting to be their true selves.”
Similarly, you can use spiritual practices to help your kids discover who they are and become their true selves. The process and results will be different for everyone, and that’s not only okay — it’s ideal.
If you don’t yet feel clear about your strengths, take an assessment from an organization like StrengthsFinder or the Institute on Character. Then play to your strengths as a parent, recognizing that your kid doesn’t need you to be everybody to them. They just need you to be you.
To round things out, find therapists, pastors, coaches, and teachers who exemplify strengths you don’t have. Without these people, your kids might unwittingly adopt your unhealthy patterns — the same patterns you wish weren’t so dominant in your life. (We all have them!)
Helping your kids follow their strengths and find their individual, evolving purpose is a shared exploration — one of the biggest joys that parenting offers.
Insight #5: You have a method to access the middle way.
It’s a principle found in wisdom texts through time, from Aristotle’s golden mean to the Chinese principle of yin and yang: Healthy development comes from holding complementary virtues, known as polarities. Courage and caution, confidence and humility, justice and mercy.
Put another way, any single virtue held too tightly becomes a vice — similar to how holding the in-breath or the out-breath too long leads to death.
Given this, healthy development happens through polarity practice, sitting with each virtue in conversation with its counterpart, finding the middle way. This principle can serve as a way to integrate healthy virtues into the lives of you and your kids. (It’s also a way to answer the question, “How will you teach your kids values after a faith shift?”)
As Aristotle wrote, “If you fly from and fear everything and do not stand your ground against anything, you become a coward, and if you fear nothing at all but go to meet every danger, you become reckless.” In this sense, he says, virtue is “destroyed by excess and defect, and preserved by the mean.”
In other words:
- Too much courage is reckless.
- Too much caution is cowardly.
- Too much confidence is arrogant.
- Too much humility is timid.
- Too much skepticism is cynical.
- Too much trust is gullible.
- And so on.
The key, then, is to hold complementary opposites (i.e., polarities) in harmony. Using Aristotle’s model of virtue ethics, it might look like this:
A Model Based on Aristotle’s Golden Mean
By teaching this “middle way” approach to kids, you’re getting at the heart of wisdom. There are many ways to teach this concept beyond Aristotle’s approach (including the Buddhist middle way, integral polarity practice, and others), even with their own nuance and flavor.
Wisdom is when we know how to strike the balance between complementary virtues.
This model based on the writings of Aristotle isn’t the only way to approach polarities. As we’ve hinted at, these concepts are explored in Buddhism, Taoism, and other wisdom traditions. In addition, a contemporary model comes from John Kesler, founder of Integral Polarity Practice Institute. In this model, participants give voice to a set of seemingly opposing aspects of the self, including desire and aversion, agency and communion, control and submission, etc. As each aspect of the self gets a chance to speak with its counterpart, the participant eventually comes to experience the still point where every polarity ceases to exist and from which virtue naturally arises.
Whether you use the model of virtue ethics from Aristotle, the model of integral polarity practice from John Kesler, or another model that better strikes your fancy, the principle is the same: To live a virtuous life, we must learn how to balance opposites and find the middle way.
Insight #6: You have your family stories.
We all come from somewhere, and our ancestral stories make us who we are.
Telling these stories builds resilience and connects us to each other. As psychologist Elaine Reese says, “adolescents with a stronger knowledge of family history have more robust identities, better coping skills, and lower rates of depression and anxiety.” And in a compilation of research on the topic, writer Bruce Feiler says, “if you want a happier family, create, refine and retell the story of your family’s positive moments and your ability to bounce back from the difficult ones.”
To get more specific, a group of researchers found that kids who knew the answers to a specific set of questions about their family history tended to have higher wellbeing. These questions included:
- Do you know how your parents met?
- Do you know where your mother grew up?
- Do you know where your father grew up?
- Do you know where some of your grandparents grew up?
- Do you know where some of your grandparents met?
- Do you know where your parents were married?
- Do you know what went on when you were being born?
- Do you know the source of your name?
- Do you know some things about what happened when your brothers or sisters were being born?
- Do you know about the national background of your family (such as English, German, Russian, etc.)?
- Do you know some of the jobs your parents had when they were young?
How many of these questions could you and your kids answer? In the wake of a faith shift, an activity like this can give your family a sense of their roots — especially if the stories contain heroic moments alongside challenging moments. The more that kids understand that they’re part of a larger unfolding narrative, the better the chance they have to feel like they’re not alone in the universe. They’re part of something — a story where they play an important ongoing role.
Insight #7: You have relationships.
There’s no question about it: A faith shift can strain your relationships, particularly with those who no longer see faith the same way you do. In some cases, certain relationships might even become untenable, buckling under the weight of your newfound differences in belief. At the very least, you might need firm boundaries when it comes to charged topics.
However, chances are that in most cases you still share far more similarities than differences with people in your life when it comes to core virtues. As you look for these similarities and add a dose of compromise, you can still pursue timeless ideals such as truth, beauty, and goodness together. Perhaps you will talk long into the night about your favorite books, go on walks together in nature, or serve at a local homeless shelter — anything but focus on differences of belief.
As Mark Twain once wrote, “There isn’t time, so brief is life, for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving, and but an instant, so to speak, for that.”
As you focus on loving the people in your life (including yourself), you have the possibility of making your relationships stronger than ever. This is especially true with your children.
Seeing the Foundation You Already Have
In the wake of a faith shift, you might feel like you’ve lost the ground you’ve been standing on. But, as these insights show, you still have a strong foundation.
- You still have an inner authority.
- You still have science and wisdom.
- You still have a way to make sense of your growth.
- You still have individual strengths and purpose(s).
- You still have a method to find the middle way.
- You still have family stories.
- You still have relationships.
With this foundation for parenting after a faith shift in place, here are some practices you can consider exploring.
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Practice #1: Keep wisdom practices that work for you.
Meditation, prayer, journaling, singing, attending church, spending time in nature, studying scripture, etc. Wisdom practices such as these provide comfort and guidance for billions of people around the world.
The emerging science suggests that many of these practices have evidence-based effects on wellbeing. For instance, Andrew Newberg studies brains and found that people who meditate regularly have healthier brains. “The longer and more frequently you meditate,” he writes, “the more changes you’ll notice in the brain.” Better to start a simple practice when they’re young.
Likewise, journaling has been shown to reduce stress, improve mental health, create a sense of order, and much more. With just a few minutes on a regular cadence, we can help our kids (and ourselves) develop gratitude, plan the day, or work through something traumatic.
In addition, even though studies on the efficacy of healing prayer are all over the map (with some showing it has a positive effect, some showing it has no effect, and some showing it has a negative effect), the emerging science suggests prayer may have a positive effect on the person who prays. One study says, “Prayer was found to have pervasive effects on the emotional experience, social behavior, and cognitive appraisals of praying individuals. Whenever people are confronting their own anger and tendencies to aggress, they might consider the age-old advice of praying for one’s enemies. Even when such prayers do not directly benefit those enemies, prayer may still help people coexist more peacefully.”
In light of this, if a practice that worked well for you in the past still works, keep it. Sing in a choir, read sacred texts, journal — whatever it is.
If a practice has stopped working, it might need to be reimagined or replaced with a new practice. Perhaps attending church causes more harm to your well being than it once did, but you can still find a way to participate in a choir. Or perhaps scripture study has lost its power in a way that a silent meditation hasn’t.
Practice #2: Integrate wisdom from a variety of perspectives.
It’s impossible for any set of parents or culture to have all the wisdom and experience their kids need to thrive in the world. To make up for this, it can help to expose kids to a variety of perspectives.
One set of perspectives comes from exploring world religions and philosophical movements. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sihkism, Judaism, Stoicism, indigenous wisdom, etc. Each of these traditions carries insights and practices that can prove helpful to anyone.
Another set of perspectives comes from hearing firsthand from people who have been and continue to be oppressed by those in power. These might be stories about people who have experienced racism, hostility for being queer, unkindness for mental illness, or disdain for poverty.
Kids who are exposed to a variety of religions can see that human beings around the world share so much in common. As a character in the children’s show Avatar: The Last Airbender says, “The greatest illusion of this world is the illusion of separation. Things you think are separate and different are actually one and the same. We are all one people, but we live as if divided.”
Practice #3: Nurture emotional intelligence.
Chances are high that at some point your children are going to experience intense emotions, whether it’s depression, anxiety, grief, or rage. By preparing them ahead of time, you can lessen the negative impact of these experiences.
It’s like a warning sign on a nature walk to watch out for bears. If you know an encounter with a bear is a possibility, you can prepare. If you have no idea, a peaceful walk might turn into a tragedy.
For instance, you can help your kids understand that, as Lisa Miller and others have found, depression can be a portal toward awakening. Viewed in this way, depression might be a sign that it’s time for them to let go part of the ego so they can become someone new rather than a sign that they aren’t worthwhile (despite the negative self talk that can emerge with depression). While this is just one approach of many — including medication, therapy, exercise, relationships, and more — this spiritually centered approach can help kids transform depression into a new way of being in the world.
The same is true for emotions beyond depression. Emotional intelligence is about seeing the wisdom that each emotion has to offer, rather than denying or suppressing or antagonizing the emotion. Anxiety carries the wisdom of caution. Grief carries the wisdom of empathy. Rage carries the wisdom of indignation about injustice. By acknowledging the wisdom of each emotion and preparing ahead of time for the possibility that these emotions make surface in life, you can work as a family to keep life flowing.
For more details about how to help kids and teens navigate emotional intelligence, see our collection of lessons on the topic.
Practice #4: Establish healthy routines after a faith shift.
Given that a faith shift upends life, it can be more important than ever to keep some routine, however small. Chores, meals, bedtime — decide as a family how you want to be together and deliberate in the home.
By establishing and holding routines, you can decrease the downsides that may come from a loss of structure in the wake of a faith shift. In this way, weekends can become about renewal and uplift, not just about distraction and tuning out.
In addition, it can be helpful to lean into the seasons as a way to reorient yourself and find solid ground. Seasons represent a rhythm that kids naturally sense every day as they play outside, which makes them a natural springboard for exploring virtues and life topics together.
- Spring is a time to set new goals and intentions
- Summer is time to focus on hard work
- Fall is a time for gratitude and letting go
- Winter is a time for reflection
It’s easy to forget, as each of our holidays get flattened into a consumer-driven experience centered on candy, that holidays around the world often emerged from nature’s natural rhythms. In every case, the meaning behind the specifics of the holiday are worth holding onto. There’s wisdom in tying routines to nature.
Practice #5: Use media without chaining yourself to it.
It’s increasingly impossible to avoid digital media today — and there are signs it’s not the boogeyman it was once thought to be. For example, a report from the London School of Economics summarized a vast trove of peer-reviewed research and found the quantity of digital media use isn’t the problem. They write, “Parents should instead ask themselves and their children questions about screen context (where, when and how digital media are accessed), content (what is being watched or used), and connections (whether and how relationships are facilitated or impeded).” In other words, as long as it’s used wisely, digital media can support wellbeing.
Researchers Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff likewise dove into the emerging data and came to similar conclusions. They had initially thought that the quantity of screen time was wreaking havoc on kids and teens, but the more they looked at the data, the more they realized the truth is more complicated. They write, “We were wrong to suggest that parents should focus on the total number of hours of ‘screen time.’ That turns out to be an unhelpful construct since it includes an enormous variety of activities. … Studies that examine the correlation of ‘screen time’ or ‘device use’ and mental health generally find small and inconsistent relationships. Social media, however, is different. When you zoom in from examining all “screen time” to just social media time, the correlations with poor mental health get stronger.” In other words, certain uses of media are destructive for kids while other uses aren’t. Wisdom is about knowing the difference.
Practice #6: Keep the conversation going.
After you talk about a virtue or life topic, you’ll find that it often surfaces again naturally. You’ll see it appear in a movie you watch together, in a situation your child’s facing at school, or in a fraught moment in the home. In other words, you don’t have to cover everything in a single conversation or sit down. Just hold an intention to keep the conversation going — listening deeply to what each moment calls for, if anything.
This listening and attentiveness is especially important for conversations that can stir strong emotions, such as conversations about sexuality, which can be awkward for all involved. However, by shifting from the idea of having “the talk” to the idea of having an ongoing conversation, you can make these topics more natural and organic. (See our list of resources to help you talk to your kids about sex for help on this particular topic.)
Practice #7: Find communities.
Before a faith shift, you may have held a worldview that said that a single organization was the community of communities — the one place where you could find and share ultimate meaning. After a faith shift, however, that worldview might no longer work for you.
Specifically, you might find that it takes communities, not just one community. A community for physical health, a community for emotional health, a community for social health, a community for spiritual health, and so on.
Unfortunately, that last one — a community for spiritual health — can be tricky. It’s difficult to find communities that embrace life’s most important topics without also embracing dogma. To return to Brian McLaren’s four stage model outlined above, there are plenty of religious communities for the first half of life (where simplicity and then complexity reign). But there are currently few communities — especially communities that include kids and teens! — that work for the second half of life (where perplexity and then harmony reign).
One reason for this is that those who are in the stage of perplexity are understandably skeptical of community altogether. They’ve been stung enough to know that no community will ever fully measure up to their expectations.
But another reason is that it’s incredibly difficult to find the balance of structure needed for kids and teens in the first half of life and expansiveness for adults in the second half of life.
Still, given how many people are experiencing faith shifts today, finding — and perhaps creating — such communities is essential. As McLaren says, “I can’t give up on the potential for a new generation of four-stage faith communities to teach a new kind of spirituality to a new generation of people” and he adds, “that’s why I must doubt that religion in its current form is good enough, and that’s why I reach forward into the unknown toward something better that I trust can become real.”
These communities can become real. They are emerging inside and outside of religions. They take various forms, including wisdom schools. As more people take interest in these new forms of spiritual communities, it will be easier to again feel a sense of deep belonging around life’s biggest questions.
Conclusion: Embrace the shared journey.
“Perhaps the secret of living well is not in having all the answers,” writes author Rachel Naomi Remen, “but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.”
We agree. In the end, each of us must embrace the shared journey, realizing we’ll likely never know the answers to all of life’s deepest mysteries. But we can enjoy the exploration side by side with those we love, including our children.
In this way, parenting is a shared exploration where you follow your child’s natural curiosity and trust that, with a bit of guidance, they will develop the ability to tune into their needs. Your role, then, is to be authoritative (serving as a knowledgeable and reliable resource and companion) rather than authoritarian (forming your kids after your image). This is the core of spiritual parenting: Helping your kids align with their inner compass so they realize that they, too, have inner authority and can handle life’s challenges.
What are the next steps?
As Lisa Miller writes, “In the absence of sound knowledge and credible science, parents have told me they felt stuck. We have books, blogs, online sources, and other media advisers on nearly all sides of parenting, but not for this crucial inner resource of spirituality.”
Uplift is one such resource. We offer resources to create weekly spiritual experiences with your family. Our resources are means to the end of deepening your relationships. Above all, that’s why we exist.
Here is what some of our members have said:
“I’d been searching for a character and spiritual development program, and your lessons are exactly what I’d been spending way too much time trying to cobble together myself each week. I want my children to be educated about the best the world’s religions have to offer, but desperately want to avoid indoctrination or prescriptive spirituality. This program provides just that.”
— Ashley Halsey (Westminster, MD)
“Even though we’re active members of a church community, we wanted to teach additional lessons on helping our children discover and nurture their spirituality outside the common language of our faith. So far, it’s opened some very rich discussions.”
— Geoff Steurer (St. George, UT)
“Uplift has offered our family a mindful and curated template to explore the values that matter to us collectively and get curious and respectful of each person’s unique differences and similarities to living into that value. The conversation and connection that Uplift has fostered in our family has been a gift.”
— Sara Hughes-Zabawa, LMSW (Billings, Montana)