If the Buddha Had Kids - Would He Set a Good Example?

If Buddha Had Kids: Raising Children to Create a More Peaceful World is an inspiring and wisdom-filled parenting book from Charlotte Kasl, Ph.D. that I reach for time and time again. 

The book draws on Buddhist and Quaker principles, but also draws on the Sufi poetry of Hafiz and Rumi - with interviews from parents of all backgrounds including Jewish, Protestant, Quaker, Buddhist, Catholic, Mormon, Muslim, and agnostic.

I always walk away with something new to work over - "Listening without interrupting, correcting, contradicting, getting excited, questioning, spacing out, or giving advice is one of the deepest spiritual practices anyone can explore.

On these lazy summer days -  that I'm happily sharing with my four young children - I have been reading more that ever. With little eyes watching, I've been careful to reach for books more readily than the computer. With my head in a book they are quick to ask what I'm reading and usually venture off to find their own stories. 

The added benefit for me has been in rediscovering some important reading.  When I picked up If Buddha Had Kids, again, I was immediately struck by an important and relevant quote from Pope Benedict. 

If the desire for virtual connectedness becomes obsessive, it may in fact function to isolate individuals from real social interactions while also disrupting the patterns of rest, silence, and reflection that are necessary for healthy, human development.” - Pope Benedict

Well said. Isolation. Disrupting.

I think about this issue a lot - social media, children, and their healthy development. My daughter is getting older, and she's not yet exposed to that world, but I am worried about the influence these medias will have on her health and overall well-being. 

As I work to create and teach my children's meditation classes this summer, it is helpful to be reminded with words like, "rest, silence, and reflection," at how important this practice is for our kids - and their parents. Am I practicing what I preach? Am I living my days with all tasks and responsibilities, fun and adventures - but also putting time aside for quiet and reflection?

Are you? Would love to hear how you are succeeding. 

About the Author

From her website - Charlotte Kasl has an M.A. in Piano from The University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Counseling from Ohio University in 1982. She was a Licensed Psychologist in Minnesota for 15 years and is currently a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Montana. She is a Certified Addiction Specialist in the areas of chemical dependency and sexuality and has had a private psychotherapy practice for more than 30 years. She is the author of nine books and numerous articles.