Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Raising children

  1. #1

    Raising children

    Is there any differens between buddhist and western ways of raising children?


  2. #2

    Re: Raising children

    Hi Emma,

    Well. I think a "Buddhist" should raise his/her children as a good, loving parent. So, no difference in that way from anyone else.

    Perhaps, at home, we might try to set a good example of Buddhist values (many of which are not exclusive to Buddhism) ... avoid excess materialism, anger, violence, so much of what we are encountering in the Precepts. Lessons in Wisdom and Compassion, Non-attachment, living by "acceptance without acceptance", not to fall into the traps of our thoughts and excess emotions.

    No need to force a 5 year old to sit Zazen, I think! I find that children learn by example from their parents. In the future, if we are good parents, they may want to do so themselves later in life.

    But the most important thing is just love and caring, like any parent. At least, that is what we are trying in our home.

    I will try to find some writings on this. The Buddha may actually have something in the Suttas about this ... there is advice on almost everything by the Buddha if you look around.

    What do the other Sangha Mamas and Papas think?

    Gassho, Jundo Papa

  3. #3

    Re: Raising children

    Rahula sutra is pretty good. Rahula was Buddha's son.

    I kind of stole it and added som to it here:


  4. #4

    Re: Raising children


    I think children do a great job of raising their parents if they let them.

    It really has to be a 2 way thing.



  5. #5

    Re: Raising children

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    No need to force a 5 year old to sit Zazen, I think! I find that children learn by example from their parents. In the future, if we are good parents, they may want to do so themselves later in life.
    Just letting you know, my son (16 months old) sits zazen with me on occasion.
    Only for a minute at a time yet, but... 8)

    May the force be with you

  6. #6

    Re: Raising children

    Hi All,
    With my 3yr old daughter, I constantly feel as if I'm behind the learning curve when it comes to her development. It seems that it's me adjusting to her new behavior and not the other way around. She can certainly be a demanding teacher!

    As for differences in parenting, I think we raise our children like other "westerners" in the sense that (speaking as a 'westerner') we were raised that way and consequently we bring that to the dynamic of parenthood. That said, I think 'Buddhist' parents may bring more Beginner's mind to the process...or at least try to.

    Happy parenting,

  7. #7

    Re: Raising children

    I find it easier to induce yogic flying in my little one :lol: ... t=Bbop.flv

    look out for 'Everyday blessings' by Jon Kabat-zinn on mindful parenting

    _/_ Kev

  8. #8

    Re: Raising children

    Nice topic, Emma.
    I think that there is nothing uniquely Buddhist about the way I raise my kids. I try to teach them patience, kindness, and empathy (very hard things to teach other than by example). I suppose this is the same as folks in other faiths. I would guess that there are differences between the way I do things now and the way I might have done things had I not found Zen. I do not try to teach them doctrine of any sort. For instance, my son (age 4) asked me the other day where God lives. I said, "That's a great question...I'm not sure but some people say he lives in heaven, some people say he lives in our hearts, and some people say he is everywhere. I guess you all will have to decide what you think on your own." I intentionally omitted that some people don't believe that God exists because I thought a 4-year-old might not be ready for that idea and that he might encounter negative reactions from others if he repeated it--this is the Bible-belt you know.

    Not to be critical, but to seek differences between Buddhist ways and Western ways assumes there is no Western Buddhism. I assume, Emma, that you are asking if there is a difference between Western Buddhist parenting and Eastern Buddhist parenting (I realize that Western Buddhism is in its infancy compared to the 2500 years it has been in Asia, but nonetheless, it is alive in the West in small numbers). There are so many "Buddhisms" across the planet that I think the differences are as vast as the cultures are different. I'd guess that Korean Christians or Japanese Christians raise their kids differently than American Christians, at least as far as the surface-level details. On a deeper level, however, I imagine that most all of us parents are doing the same thing, trying to love, care for, guide, and prepare our kids for dealing with the world they are moving into.


  9. #9

    Re: Raising children

    Quote Originally Posted by Longdog
    I find it easier to induce yogic flying in my little one :lol: ... t=Bbop.flv

    look out for 'Everyday blessings' by Jon Kabat-zinn on mindful parenting

    _/_ Kev


  10. #10
    Member roky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    silver city, new mexico, usa

    Re: Raising children

    when my now 29 yr old daughter was starting school, or one of those early grades(wasn't my idea, was hers, i wanted to home-school), she had to deal with what i guess is kindly referred to as "socialization" -- or as pink floyd long ago said, "welcome to the machine" -- as part of that, all of a sudden, the fact that we were "buddhists" became an issue -- see, the kids in school were all talking about "god" -- i remembered what it was like growing up in a catholic neighborhood as the only "nothing"(my mom was a burnt-out catholic, refused to baptize me) -- it was so bad, the guilt trip that the kids laid on me, that i used to sneak out sunday morning(my parents were very hung-over), and go to church

    anyway, back to my daughter -- my wife of the time proudly assured lydia that "we don't believe in god" --not happy with that statement, at least not for a young kid, and remembering what i went through, i thought of something honest, but comforting for her -- told her "we believe in god, but we don't have any stories about god" -- that seemed to work

    gassho, bob

  11. #11

    Re: Raising children

    Thank you all for your answers, and a really cut kid

    I think that to feel love and care,and more for your child is ground 'rules' for a mom/dad. The things that makes a person a mom/dad is not the biological meaning it's the love and care you feel for the child.

    I use to give my son gifts, especially when i have been working for many days and are shooping some food, if i see a toy i think he'd like i have bought it mostly of guilt. When i started to realice what i was doing i stopped and today, when i got home from work, I took my son out in the park. We feed the ducks and so, he had a great time and laught soo much, and I was happy to see him so happy.
    I didn't care that i have to clean in our home and so, i took our son out to play instead.

    It's so easy to think or say I'll play with him later, i'll have to do that first, and then youre forgett what's most important, and it's not to have a perfectly clean sparkling home, it's to be with your family.

    / Emma

  12. #12

    Re: Raising children


    looking forward to that.

    May the force be with you

  13. #13

    Re: Raising children

    I read the question as being are there differences between Buddhist and non-Buddhist parenting. What differences would/should there be? I was raised in a non-religious household, but it was never an issue growing up (except for the locker partner in middle school who would destroy my Motley Crue tapes because they were satan personified). My 8 year old son had some trouble with religious issues. He is very logical and methodical- for every question he wants a reasonable well researched answer. Death really troubled him, because there is no way to have a proven answer. We began attending a Shin Buddhist temple. It was exactly what he needed. He takes comfort in the ceremonies, the children's activities, and the children's dharma school especially. He still questions (a good thing!)but his happiness is no longer dependent on there being answers. For him, right now, just sitting is not enough nor even desirable. My husband and I could not have given him this community on our own, we had to branch out and find somewhere that could, and we get the added benefit of being a part of a group of wonderful people as well. Good parenting regardless of your belief system includes branching out beyond your comfort level to fill your child's needs.

    A cute story, that shows children really do understand much more than we do- we had three orphaned 1 week old kittens. Two didn't make it. My three year old took me out to the small graves in the backyard. He placed his chubby little hands together and gasshoed. Then he looked up to me, smiled, and said, "Mommy, baby kitties are Buddha now." We can only teach them the words, the understanding is already theirs.


  14. #14

    Re: Raising children

    Thank you, Jen.

  15. #15

    Re: Raising children

    Jen, thank you so much for the story. i have a 3 year old too. i wonder when/if we will need a community for him at some point. i am kinda without a model here as i grew up going to church and no longer do that. liked your comment about leaving our own comfort zones to be with out kids. thanks again.

Similar Threads

  1. Hell-raising holy men: Buddhist monks drinking and gambling
    By AlanLa in forum Archive of Older Threads
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-11-2012, 09:11 PM
  2. Raising our kids
    By lorax in forum Archive of Older Threads
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-25-2008, 12:07 PM
  3. Some advice for my children
    By Fuken in forum Archive of Older Threads
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 09-26-2008, 04:29 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts