This is another beautiful, insightful, and gently guiding book from Sarah Napthali, this time for mothers of school-aged children. I am a fan of both her prior books in this 'series' - Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children and Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children: Becoming a Mindful Parent. Ms. Napthali wrote the first when her children were still in the baby/toddler years, and so it is most helpful to parents with similarly-aged children (although really, many of the themes transcend age guidelines.) The second is really focused on mothers of toddlers and preschoolers. And this latest one is focused on mothers of school-aged children.
Ms. Napthali is a practicing Buddhist, and her approach is to take Buddhist themes and teachings, and demonstrate their relevance to the daily lives of mothers, through examples drawn from her own life and anecdotes from the lives of other mothers she knows. Mindfulness, being fully present for our children, is a constant theme of all her books, as well as self-care and getting to the roots of any needless or harmful judgments we engage in - of either our own parenting, others, or our children. She draws on passages and themes that are universal to all Buddhist lineages - Zen, Tibetan, and Theravada.
That being said, this book - and all of them - are NOT just for practicing Buddhists. I gave the earlier books to other mothers I knew that do not consider themselves Buddhist, and don't even really have any knowledge of Buddhist teachings, and they found them so valuable. And they are not just for mothers either - my husband is now reading this one. Finally, this particular book is not just for parents with children in school - I think 'school-aged children' is perhaps a better title, because most of the themes are applicable to anyone with children this age, whether homeschooling or in school.
Chapters I found of particular value in this book were:
- Socialising: Working through issues with other mothers, with changing dynamics between mothers, with the tendency to gossip, with problems between children of friends etc., with compassion and a clear understanding of our boundaries.
- Explaining: Ideas and anecdotes on how to model and develop an open mind in our children when it comes to religion, politics, and any views that may differ from our own, while at the same time letting our children know what our own views are (in keeping with Buddhist teachings on not becoming fixated.)
- Sharing: How, how much, and when to share aspects of our spiritual views and practice, including some lovely guided meditations suitable for children this age.
Ms. Napthali is very generous with her own stories, and brings in many from other mothers that she knows as well. It is like reading a book by a friend. Highly recommend!
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Allen & Unwin; Main edition (1 October 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781741756975
- ISBN-13: 978-1741756975
- ASIN: 1741756979
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 299 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 154,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)