Buddha Heart Parenting

The future depends on what we do in the present – Mahatma Gandhi

You must be the change you wish to see in the world – Mahatma Gandhi

What is Buddha Heart Parenting?  Buddha Heart Parenting is Buddhist parenting ie it is a way of parenting that integrates Buddhist philosophy and contemporary psychology to arrive at a method of parenting that is both effective and allows family members to realise their true Buddha nature.  What more could we ask for?

“Buddha Heart” or “Buddha Nature” is the potential of our mind to become the mind of a Buddha. We have always had this potential, and always will.

Until you reach the path,
You wander the world
With the precious Buddha
Completely wrapped up inside
As in a bundle of rags
…you have this precious Buddha.  Unwrap it quickly!
            From the Sutra of the Holy Buddha.

Buddha Heart parenting is not a new parenting style – it is a combination of tried and proven ways to bring joy to family life and to our role as parents, whilst deepening our study and practice of the Buddhist teachings. It is timeless and appropriate for all historic periods.

Core aspects of Buddha Heart parenting are compassion, loving kindness and cooperation. It is a form of parenting that is a step beyond democratic parenting. It builds on the communication skills within democratic parenting to create compassionate communication.

Within Buddha Heart parenting there are a number of strategies and techniques we can use to help our children to modify their behaviour and develop a code of ethics. These techniques give us options other than reward and punishment as a means to develop appropriate behaviour in our children. There are strategies that help our child learn cause-effect and responsible, compassionate action; to learn to effectively solve their own problems to the higher good of all concerned; to understand and express their feelings; to listen empathically to others and understand their feelings and needs; and there are strategies to support us to meet both our child’s needs and our own.

The most important thing that determines the success of these strategies and techniques is whether we are coming from our own Buddha Heart when we use them.

Instead of being the boss and in control of our children, our role is more as an enabler, as a facilitator of our children’s empowerment. Our aim is to support our children to develop self-discipline, not to reward or punish them in order to teach appropriate behaviour.