5 Lessons In Parenting From Buddhism
Buddhism has certainly made its way into pop culture. Becoming ‘mindful’, having compassion, and ‘being zen’ are starting to become common words talked about by coaches and business strategists all over the world. But what does that really look like in the real world…or even when it’s applied to something more specific like parenthood? The truth is it’s simply a matter of perspective.
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Embrace impermanence in your life
Everyone likes routine and consistency. But the real truth is the world is always hanging in constant motion and impermanent. Life and death are just part of that equation. Because of this constant change, it’s a much better idea to accept, rather than fear, change in the world. After all, we don’t always have a choice. This can help us be grateful for everyday, because every day is unique and different. Children thrive on this optimistic view of the world.
It’s Ok to Feel Anxious
There’s always a small amount of anxiety we carry around; this is because the nature of the world is impermanence. It’s not that something is wrong…it’s just the experience of being alive. Anxiety is not something we can permanently banish, so that means we have to get comfortable with the unknown. By simply acknowledging and accepting our anxiety, it naturally begins to dissipate.
Recognize that a Calm Mind is a Powerful Mind
Life is constantly in flux, right? That’s why Buddha said happiness doesn’t come from external circumstances, but from the way we react and relate to those circumstances. In other words, we can choose to create a stable mind. You may be rushing to get to work and still arrive late, which is bad; or maybe you somehow beat the traffic and arrive early which is good. But in Buddhism, all events are equal. Accepting that gives you a great sense of power and control over your emotions and state of being. By modeling this, your kids will pick up on it.
Pay Attention to Your Emotions
Buddhism is all about noticing what is. Emotions aren’t necessarily good or bad…they’re simply part of being human. They simply report on the moment we’re in. We can teach children to process emotions in a natural way by helping them to understand emotions rise and fall, and experiencing them until they pass.
Your Child is Stronger than You May Think
Disappointment is a natural part of life; that being said, it’s very easy to cushion children because we hate to see them upset. But that’s simply not how the world works. Not only that, but safeguarding a child too much can hurt their growth. Allowing kids to struggle lets them build up resilience and learn how to problem-solve on their own. This will also encourage them to see the world as it is…and maybe help them understand why it’s so important to practice Buddhist principles.
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