The joys of parenting are sometimes stressed by unpleasant interactions with our kids. In the heat of the moment, we may find ourselves snapping at them or arguing with them. Upon reflection, we may find that we are actually reacting more to our own frustrations and fears, and less to the behaviour of the child.
It is possible to cultivate a way to parent mindfully – aware of our own feelings and emotions, aware of how our mental states change when our children behave in particular ways, and aware of how we react to these feelings. As we become more aware of these stressful mindstates, they lose their ability to control us. We find that our responses become more appropriate to the situation and are based less on our own emotions. With mindful parenting, communication improves. We feel more connected to our children, provide them with greater space for growth, and are more at peace with ourselves.
The Mindful Parenting Group provides a place to learn how to parent mindfully, as well as a support group to share your experiences and to learn from others who are working to parent mindfully. The group meets monthly at a local library. Meetings are on Saturday mornings from 10 till 12.
Each meeting consists of a talk on some aspect of mindfulness as it relates to parenting, an exercise to help us to experience this aspect of mindfulness, and a discussion period. Typical topics for the meeting include:
- What is mindfulness? What is its value? How is it cultivated?
- How do I use mindfulness in my parenting?
- What resources are available to help me get started?
- How do I keep it going, even when things get tough?
This program is offered by John and Laurie Cunningham. John teaches insight meditation (mindfulness) in the Cleveland area. Laurie has a doctorate in Social Work, and has been a child and family counsellor for several years. We are working together to be mindful parents to our young son, and we felt that others might benefit from learning and applying the timeless principle of mindfulness to their parenting.
Currently the program is for parents only. We are working on having a complementary Children’s Program that will be offered at the same time so that families may attend together.
If you are interested in this group, please either join our email list or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (call John at 216-407-2809) for the current schedule and location of our meetings.