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If the Buddha Had Kids by Charlotte Kasl

Pub Date: | Reviewer: Kate Padilla

If The Buddha Had Kids
Charlotte Kasl, Ph. D.

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
9-29-12
Hardcover/320 pages
ISBN: 9780-143116318

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". . . sound methods for a path to a peaceful environment . . ."

Healthy and peaceful parenting, Dr. Charlotte Kasl suggests in her latest book,“if the Buddha had kids,” is achievable without “screaming, shaming, humiliating, lecturing, punishing and hitting” children.

Based on the principles of Buddhism, and teachings from various peaceful societies, as well as her own psychotherapy practice and personal experiences, Kasl suggests stepping back from expectations. She offers a practical guide to self-evaluate in the midst of a power struggle with a child that aids in a more skillful response. She relates a childhood memory of how she felt when she was to sent her room for biting her sister, recalling with anguish, a “ … swirling ball of shame (that) welled up inside me,” and a feeling of loneliness and isolation. If her mother had spent time understanding the motivation, she’d discovered underlying conflicts and perhaps pursued a more peaceful solution, Kasl thinks.

What is different in this book from the multitude of parenting books and magazines available is not more ways to promote the brightest child rather but instead sound methods for a path to a peaceful environment, one in which parents’ reactions are comforting and nourishing.

Kasl also offers observations on how the educational system “perpetuates inequality” and offers alternatives ways of motivate learning and character development. Food, she notes, is “one of the deepest, most powerful relationship we have in our lives.” Failure to respond in a positive way to the ritual of eating harms learning and causes major health problems (obesity for one).

This small volume is crammed with essential and intelligent recommendations toward developing a peaceful environment helpful to everyone and not just limited to parents.

Reviewer: Kate Padilla