Chill Out Child-Rearing Book: If the Buddha Had Kids

I received the book, If the Buddha Had Kids, on a particularly frustrating day. My youngest, age 4, was on a hunger strike, refusing to ingest anything other than milk. One twin had bitten the other–they’re almost first graders. Then, after my 6-year-old spilled her cup of orange juice all over the inside of the refrigerator, I decided it was fate. I was meant to read this book. (Plus, it has the cutest cover.)

It’s very zen. It made me want to take deep breaths and sit cross-legged on the floor.

If you like daily meditation books–Journey to the Heart by Melony Beattie is my favorite–then If the Buddha Had Kids might be up your alley. If you’re into yoga and all of those teachings about separating yourself from attachments, check out this one. It’s not just for crunchy people, but it’s for the introspective, sensitive souls. On the other hand, if you’re the kind of parent who listens to Metallica while you fry buffalo wings after kickboxing with your kiddos, maybe sit this one out.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book–which comes out today–that helped me be a teeny bit more patient with my kids:

“We’re all just standing where we landed in life–made up of our genetics, experiences, conditioning and personalities. You give understanding and empathy to others to the extent that you have kindness and mercy for yourself. It’s on ongoing process because it means accepting this moment as it is.”

“There will never be a substitute for arms to hold you when you cry, someone to cheer for you when you shine or hear the excitement in a parent’s voice when you talk about a new discovery.”

“When we step back from our expectations and engage honestly with our children, take pleasure in their company, guide rather than demand, inspire rather than pressure, model rather than preach, we bring a peacefulness to our parenting that becomes internalized in our children.”


Add a Comment
Back To Mom Must Read
  1. by Laura Harrington

    On August 31, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    The Buddha did have a kid: Rahula. Textual evidence suggests that Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, left home permanently after his son’s birth, leaving his wife to raise him. Siddhartha Gautama was undoubtedly a great mind, but perhaps not such a great parent. And perhaps the title of the book could be better informed, as well.

  2. by Lisa Sayer Hancock

    On September 5, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I thought the Buddha was a monk? Kind of weird to take parenting advice from a guy who vows off family. Like asking a vegetarian for a good burger recipe.

  3. by Ed

    On September 12, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Hey Laura, that is true about Buddha, but don’t stop the story there- did you know Rahula became a monk living working and meditating with his Father? Did you know Buddha’s step mother did the same, becoming the first Buddhist nun, or that Yasodhara his wife became one as well? Life is long, and I hope none of us are judged solely on one act alone. There is hope for reconciliation for all of us. Buddha, like all of us was a human being flawed just as we all are, and just as we all are, capable of waking up.