In this group, clients learn about “re-parenting” themselves and discover tools for “waking up” in their families, safely experiencing any feelings of regret and developing compassion for themselves. Clients also learn mindful, authentic ways to reconnect with their families and recognize what they want to pass on to their children. Both parents and non-parents are encouraged to attend.
Mindfulness focuses on calming the mind by staying in the present moment and acting with nonjudgmental intention. The primary difference between mindfulness and mindful parenting is that in mindful parenting, these principles are applied to the many challenges posed by raising children.
A core tenet of mindfulness is paying attention to the here and now. The goal of mindful parenting is to improve the parent-child relationship and set a positive example for children. Mindful parenting encompasses three primary factors. First, notice your own feelings when there is a conflict with your child. Second, learn to pause before responding angrily. Third, listen carefully to your child’s viewpoint even if you disagree with it.
How Mindful Parenting Helps
Mindful parenting helps reduce stress, boost self-acceptance, break with the past and increase well-being. These principles and techniques can be especially helpful for parents in recovery who are trying to stay sober while sorting through deeply personal issues. Research indicates being attuned emotionally to children rather than reacting positively is key. The same study shows mindful parenting may indirectly help prevent some of the problems of adolescence, including rebellion, depression, anxiety and drug use.
The Benefits of Mindful Parenting
Mindful parenting enables greater flexibility and a more accurate assessment of what’s happening in the moment. It allow parents to exercise choice in their responses to children. Mindful parenting provides a healthier alternative to engaging in impulsive, habitual or negative reactions to parent-children interactions. Benefits include:
- Reduced stress
- Decreased reactivity and impulsivity
- Reduced maladaptive behaviors
- Greater degree of acceptance
- Heightened compassion
- Increased self-regulation
- Enhanced observation and awareness
- Fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression