Mindful Parenting in Mental Health Care
“Bringing mindfulness into parenting (“mindful parenting”) is one of the applications of mindfulness. Mindful parenting interventions are increasingly being used to help prevent and treat
mental disorders in children,
parenting problems, and
prevent intergenerational transmission of mental disorders from parents to children.
However, to date, few studies have examined the hypothesized mechanisms of change brought about by mindful parenting. We discuss six possible mechanisms through which mindful parenting may bring about change in parent–child interactions in the context of child and parent mental health problems. These mechanisms are hypothesized to be mediated by the effects of mindfulness on parental attention by:
(1) reducing parental stress and resulting parental reactivity;
(2) reducing parental preoccupation resulting from parental and/or child psychopathology;
(3) improving parental executive functioning in impulsive parents;
(4) breaking the cycle of intergenerational transmission of dysfunctional parenting schemas and habits;
(5) increasing self-nourishing attention; and
(6) improving marital functioning and co-parenting.”
Extrait : “Second, the assumption behind loving kindness meditation is that all individuals are worthy of compassion and unconditional love. Parents are taught to cultivate the intention to be compassionate and unconditionally loving towards themselves and others, regardless of how they feel about themselves or others in that moment. In this way, the practice reinforces the idea that compassion and caring for self are a given and do not have to be earned. A further assumption is that all individuals have the capacity to love and can choose to direct that love towards themselves and others.”
There is preliminary evidence that mindful parenting programs reduce parental stress and resulting parental reactivity (process 1), reduce aspects of child mental disorder (process 2), and improve marital functioning and co-parenting (process 6).
in Bögels, S.M., Lehtonen, A. & Restifo, K. Mindfulness (2010) 1: 107. doi:10.1007/s12671-010-0014-5