Buddhism has been brought to the west within the last 60 years, and though it has gained popularity, it isn't really part of our culture. Most American Buddhists converted as adults. There is extremely little written material in English on how to raise Buddhist children or parent in a Buddhist way. Christians have all kinds of books, games, homeschooling curriculums, parenting courses, and church and other social groups. But the same support and guidance simply does not exist for English speaking westerners.
I have not changed my parenting style since becoming a Buddhist. There are no Buddhist teachings which contradict AP parenting and gentle discipline philosophies, so I feel all aspects of my life are lining up well.
I really don't have enough experience with "Buddhist parenting" per se to feel comfortable sharing advice on any "how to"'s. I am just trying to figure it out as I go along!
If it makes you feel better, I have heard someone ask a version of this question at just about every dharma talk I've ever hard on the subject of nonattachment/letting go/embracing the moment. I think we all have a lot of fear of what will happen if we abandon our habitual patterns of relating to the world. Actually, I find that when I am at my most open, my response to the situation in front of me is quite creative. Buddhism would not prescribe a particular response to this situation with your son, but by letting go of our ideas about how we should respond, or habit patterns or fears, or whatever, we might find a way to respond to our children that is more helpful and beneficial for everyone, including the adults.
This is different than passivity. To me, passiveness is disengaged from reality; it's the opposite of the Buddha's teaching. Rather, I find that Buddhist teachings encourage us to be fully engaged with exactly what is happening, however difficult, and to meet it squarely in the face. And then what you do in response could be a lot of different things. In a particular situation, saying "No!" might be appropriate and the most loving and kind thing. Or having your child evaluated for sensory issues. Or not. :)
I'm so happy to see this thread picked up -- just this week I've steered myself back onto the more mindful path and am once again (why do I ALWAYS forget??) reminded how much better everything is when I'm living Buddha-inspired. My books of reference right now are: Planting Seeds; If the Buddha Married; Peaceful Parents; People & Permaculture; and also a great video series on NVC. I feel like this is what's going to keep me sane and relatively balanced as my son enters 4... oh, so lovely 4. My mantra the other day as he repeatedly mauled his baby sister-- I can handle anything with compassion and grace...I can handle anything with compassion and grace...*unclench jaw -- breathe* I can handle anything.... which helped only because I sounded less Zen and more on the edge of psychosis and my twitchiness made me laugh. So, yeah-- this. Awesome. :)
Mama to my crazy little circus boy ('09) and feisty little sunshine girl ('12).
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