While parenting has been said to be one of the most rewarding experiences, it can also be one of the most intensive and challenging tasks. With the stress of busy schedules and high demands, the richness of raising children can become reduced to managing relationships rather than connecting with and enjoying our loved ones.
One of the biggest challenges in modern family life is managing stress. When we are stressed, we are more likely to parent on automatic pilot, leading us to say something we wish we could take back or, for lack of a better term “lose it.” Parenting under stress can also create difficulties in setting boundaries and resolving conflict with our children. Stress can also have a very negative effect on our relationship with our partner, further increasing distress and negatively impacting parenting If any of these sound familiar, know that Mindful Parenting can help you learn to stay calm in the midst of any emotional storm.
Research tells us that a parent’s ability to manage their own stress is one of the most important factors for children’s success and happiness. Mindful parenting utilizes exercises and education about stress, parenting, and mindfulness to increase our awareness of these automatic reactions, so that we can choose to respond differently, in more effective ways.
How Mindful Parenting Can Help
When under stress, knowledge about best parenting practices and techniques tends to go out the window despite parents’ best intentions. This can be an additional source of stress and self-judgment for parents, especially those who find themselves repeating patterns from their own family. Mindful parenting can help you make purposeful choices about how to respond to the circumstances and moment in which we find ourselves.
In Mindful Parenting, we learn to parent with full awareness. This means learning to focus our attention to be more in the “here and now” and to shift to the “being mode” instead of the “doing mode” while parenting. Learning to focus our attention in this way can help us to deal better with stress in ourselves, in raising our children, in our relationship with our partner, and in our family.
Mindful Parenting is a structured 8 week program grounded in evidence-based practices, meaning research supports its effectiveness. This program aids parents in cultivating calm in the face of unpredictable modern life with children. Drawing upon the work of Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn (Everyday Blessings; Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)), this program integrates knowledge of mindfulness meditation practices with neuroscience and psychology in a way that is useful and practical, helping parents bring full awareness to raising children with compassion and wisdom.
Who is Appropriate for Mindful Parenting?
The mindfulness skills taught in this program are relational, meaning they help you relate to your experience and that of your child in different manner, this program is appropriate for parents with children of all ages, as well as for expectant parents. As such, nearly every parent who has participated in this program reports positive changes in both their relationship with their child, as well as with their spouse and others in their lives.
Parents who have completed this program report feeling less stressed, more responsive and less reactive to their child, more compassionate towards themselves, and closer to their children.
For more information on Mindful Parenting, contact Dr. Ahmadinia today!