Mindful Parenting

The joys of parenting are sometimes dimmed 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 stress, frustrations and fears, and less to the needs of the child. Reacting from our own emotions has three negative effects. First, both parent and child are unhappy. We are reinforcing an unpleasant way of interacting. Second, we are training ourselves to react from our emotions – if we act from anger this time, it is that much easier to act from anger next time. And third, we are modeling for our child how to handle stress – we are modeling negative behaviors as the appropriate response to stress.

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 are based less on our own emotions and more on what our children really need in the moment. 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.

This Mindful Parenting Program offers an overview of a new relationship to parenting. The program focuses on learning to understand and take care of ourselves and then to parent from that place. The Mindful Parenting Program consists of 6 sessions, each approximately an hour and a half long.

The 6 sessions are as follows:

  • Introduction to Mindful Parenting

  • Self-care and Mindfulness in Practice

  • Identifying and Dealing with Your Triggers – part 1

  • Identifying and Dealing with Your Triggers – part 2

  • Mindfulness with partners and other parenting supporters

  • Developing Your Support Network and How to Continue from Here

The first part of each session consists of a presentation and a mindfulness experience or exercise. The second part of each session consists of working to see how mindfulness can be practiced and applied to your parenting. An open discussion allows for the sharing of parenting situations and how they may be handled mindfully.

This program will be offered via Zoom, on the following Monday evenings, from 7:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.:
April 22
April 29
May 6
May 20
June 3
June 10

This program is offered by John and Laurie Cunningham. John has been teaching insight meditation (mindfulness) in the Cleveland area for many years. Laurie has a doctorate in Social Work, is a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW), and was a therapist for children, adolescents and their families for several years. We are working together to be mindful parents to our son, and we felt that others might benefit from learning and applying the timeless principle of mindfulness to their parenting.

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