Mindful Parenting

What do you mean by mindful parenting and why do I need support?

Maybe you, as the parent or caregiver, are increasingly concerned your child or adolescent is lacking the necessary life skills and will not “survive” away from home without your constant prompting and needling and you don’t know what else to do!

For parents, there is often a natural expectation that their child or adolescent will be able to regulate emotional behaviors, navigate the demands of completing chores and homework, and competently perform activities of daily living. However, for an adolescent or young adult with executive dysfunction, there is an ongoing need for specific cues, repeated prompts, clear structure, and parameters within their environment to promote successful participation in tasks and activities. Parents often provide support to their child, adolescent, or young adult despite having little understanding of executive functioning or how to effectively facilitate executive skill development. This lack of awareness can sometimes lead to parental under or over-compensation as the adolescent participates in everyday tasks. Evidence suggests parents unable to adequately address their child’s or adolescent’s specific executive functioning needs leads to poorer occupational outcomes and dependence for the adolescent and feelings of incompetence for the parent.

Mindfulness can be defined as a way of focusing attention in a non-judgmental way on any experience occurring in the present moment. Use of mindful parenting techniques provided concurrently with executive functioning or occupational therapy for your child, adolescent, or young adult can interrupt parenting stress and decrease parental preoccupation, negativity, and reactivity. By engaging in a mindfulness approach, parents can learn to stop and shift their awareness within the larger context of the parent/child relationship, provide compassionate support when attending to their child’s or adolescent’s needs, and exercise self-regulation and optimal choice in responses and actions occurring in the present moment.

Parents report they are often burdened by the amount of support and time the child, adolescent, or young adult requires in completing his/her daily routines. Kim can help you learn how to use mindfulness parenting techniques that can better guide your child or adolescent to help increase their self-awareness, develop individualized routines, structure their environment, organize and manage their time, and learn to use internal feedback to enhance performance and independence.