Book Review: If the Buddha Had Kids by Charlotte Kasl, Ph. D.

If the Buddha Had Kids cover image

There are many books to help parents decide how to raise their children. But a new book by Charlotte Kasl, Ph. D., takes an approach I haven’t seen before. It’s called If the Buddha Had Kids: Raising Children to Create a More Peaceful World. While the guide touches on the tenets of Buddhism and how they relate to parenting children, it also has lots of common sense advice for parents who are searching for ways to raise their children with both love and discipline.

Kasl starts by explaining some of the basic tenets of Buddhism, then she goes on to explore how they can be applied to common situations parents find themselves facing. Each chapter takes an issue—why children misbehave, managing emotions feelings and impulses, use of electronics, struggles over food, and more—and looks at how parents can respond.

Kasl uses examples, both good and bad, from her own parents and discusses challenges she faced raising her own daughter. The chapters are written so it’s easy to focus and reflect on a single issue before moving on to another. To help with the reflection, Kasl frequently lists suggestions and questions for parents.

You don’t need to believe in Buddhism to find the ideas helpful, and Kasl isn’t trying to convert readers to those beliefs as she writes. Rather, she provides advice that will help parents even if they don’t accept all of her suggestions.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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