We can practice while raising a child. Just use our children as a subject of meditation because we have to take care of them and cannot abandon them. When they make us feel love, just know it. When they make us feel frustrated, just know it. Observe our mind that constantly changes. This is Dhamma practice. Observing our own mind is a Dhamma practice that is suitable for this era.
Eventually, we will realize that the affectionate feeling that we have for our children is only temporary. This may seem surprising for parents. We keep observing this by ourselves. If we don’t observe our own mind, we might use overly harsh punishment on our children when they provoke us. Some parents may get stress from somewhere else, but they take it out on their children. So we keep observing our own mind so that we won’t hurt our children nor spoil our children so much that they can’t do anything by themselves.
Don’t replace your attention to them with IT gadgets. Your attention is irreplaceable and is very dangerous to do this. Some let their kids play with a tablet so that they can have free time. Once they have free time, they watch soap operas. This is a waste of time. The kids will be addicted to these gadgets. This is not healthy for them. Relationship among family members, which is a very important thing, will be deteriorated. So everyday, instead of isolating ourselves and playing with these gadgets, let’s converse with our family members. The home should be homey not lonely. We should keep a warm atmosphere.
So, raising children is a Dhamma practice. It is a practice for parents. Try to practice. All sorts of virtues can be practiced (while raising children) . The five precepts can be kept. Samādhi can be cultivated. When the mind wanders off, just know it. Wisdom can be developed. How to keep the five precepts? When we are mad at our kids so much that we want to punish them, just be aware and do not punish them. Is punishing our children considered committing a sin? It is a sin if we punish them with anger. If we punish them with a good intention to teach them a lesson, it’s not a sin. It’s wholesomeness.