Jun 13, 2023

Book Review: The Children of Tomorrow by Om Swami

 Staying true to the tagline of this book - "A Monk's Guide to mindful parenting", the author has beautifully brought up various situations in parenting where mindfulness is much needed.

Some of the lessons from this book were eye-opening and I could resonate with my experiences as a mother. For eg, in the very first chapter, the author shares this insight - "When parents are too excited to introduce something to a child, the child almost always rejects it". I was nodding my head, wondering "How true!" :-)

The book is divided into 3 sections - Understand, Build and Nurture.

The "Understand" section focuses on 4 key aspects - dealing with lies and demands (child's issues), how to manage anger and attachment (parent's issues).

Instead of creating fear or shame, parents can use the power of love and acceptance to build trust, which will prevent the child from lying. The author's life example of lying and the response of his father drive home this point so well.

He has also illustrated how deep attachment affects our children in multiple ways, which leads to saddling them with a burden of expectations.

In the section on Build, the concept of Identity Capital was thought-provoking. Once we help our children build their identity capital, it helps them to face challenges related to identity crises in their late teens and twenties.

The author has referenced principles from the Danish way of parenting (the acronym for PARENT is a great reminder!), Meg Jay's book - "The Defining Decade" (added to my To-Read list) and other relevant resources. The process of practicing mindfulness in speech is conveyed brilliantly through an example from Buddha's life.

Favorite quotes:

"If we are to help our children grow, we must not be afraid of letting them face the challenges of life"

"Effortlessness in anything comes from immense effort"

"If you want anything done from anyone without getting into a conflict, make it look like it's their idea"

"Appreciate the action along with an attribute and not the outcome"

"There's nothing called an extraordinary child, only an extraordinary childhood"

Laced with anecdotes, stories and examples, this book is surely a must-read for parents, especially those with young kids.

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