Many people say that Buddhism is not a religion per se, but a way of life. Dedicating yourself to the pursuit of peace and enlightenment through practices like meditation is a lifelong commitment that requires patience and calmness from the person involved. Many people also think that Buddhism is a solitary religion. After all, the pursuit of enlightenment can only be done alone, and this is all that this way of life teaches. However, Buddhism is an important practice that can be followed by anyone, and carries wonderful lessons for everyone involved. You don’t have to give up on your goals to be a true Buddhist. There are lessons ranging from understanding your inner self to understanding the people around you to understanding the Universe itself. Just like this, there are some lessons that even parents can learn that come from Buddhist philosophy:
As soon as you are parents, you can immediately feel the upheaval in your life. There is no routine anymore, nor is there a prediction of how the day will go. One day, your child might be well-behaved and silent, while other days he might throw a tantrum large enough to make you feel emotionally drained. A child teaches you that nothing is permanent in your life, and that change is always constant. Embracing this chaotic world that can be highly unpredictable is one of the ways we can attain peace. If we are always trying to control things around us, we get upset and emotional when things don’t go our way. A newborn can teach new parents to get used to as well as celebrate impermanence in their life, and when a parent accepts it, they set a great example for their children to follow in the future.
2. Calm Mind
The chaos children bring with them is enough to perturb even the calmest person. New parents have no idea how to remain calm when everything seems out of control in their lives. Reminding themselves that they aren’t alone in this endeavor, and having faith in their abilities can keep them calm as they navigate through this new journey. Children find new ways of challenging a person and pushing their boundaries, and it isn’t an easy feat to remain calm when you’re holding your baby in your arms. However, slowly taking yourself towards a calmer mind can make it easier for you as well as your child in the future, because children learn to react from their parents. As your child teaches you, you teach your child too.
Anxiety is maybe the most common feeling in the world, but it also has to be controlled. Every parent fears for their child’s future, but it cannot get out of hand. The main basis for anxiety comes from an inability to predict what can happen in the future, which then becomes fear because one believes that bad things can happen. In this way, many people try to do everything they can to control the future, including jeopardizing a child’s present time. Making anxiety the only ruling emotion can make you and your child miserable. Parents need to learn that they cannot control everything, and accepting this can show your child that anxiety doesn’t have to rule their life too.
Finally, your children teach you to be a stronger person by showing you how strong they are themselves. Most parents feel like their children are delicate and fragile, and that they need to be protected all the time. This can not only stunt a child’s growth and experience, but it can also make parents overly controlling. Eventually, parents find out that their children are stronger than they could have known, which is often surprising and bewildering. Children help to teach parents, as parents support their children by teaching. Remember, a calm mind and peace are wonderful lessons to leave for your children.