The Benefits of Mindful Parenting Programs

A meta-analysis on the benefits of mindful parenting programs.

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We posted yesterday about Edward Timpson's invitation to schools to start teaching mindfulness as a "normal part of the school day". Parents, of course, can benefit from mindfulness too.

A growing body of research is pointing to the effectiveness of mindful parenting programs in promoting both parents' and childrens' wellbeing. We were delighted to come across this review this afternoon, which analyses the current data (conducts a meta-analysis) we have thus far on this very important topic. The primary objective of the review was to systematically evaluate the effectiveness of mindful parenting programs in promoting children's, adolescents' and parents' wellbeing, particularly in relation to the intensity of symptoms associated with internalising (depression, anxiety, stress) and externalising (conduct) disorders. The secondary objective was to evaluate how effective mindful parenting programs are in improving emotional regulation, attention regulation, quality of the parent-child relationship, resilience and mindfulness of the children, adolescents and parents.

1232 articles were identified from a search of the literature, from which seven randomized controlled trials met the inclusion criteria. The findings indicate that mindful parenting programs may reduce parental stress, increase parents' emotional awareness of their 10-14-year-old children and reduce preschool children's symptoms associated with externalising disorders. A recurring finding was that the mindful parenting programs reduced parents' emotional dismissal of their adolescents and preschoolers.

Surely this is all the evidence we need to make mindful parenting courses available to parents up and down the country.

Heather Mason

Founder of the Minded Institute, The Minded Institute

Heather Mason is a leader in the field of mind-body therapy and the founder of Yoga Therapy for the Mind. She develops innovative methods for mental health treatment drawing on her robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies, studies in Neuroscience and a current MSc in Medical Physiology.. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. Heather offers various professional trainings for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals and therapists, lectures around the world, and delivers training to medical students. She also develops protocols for different client populations by translating cutting edge research from the psycho-biology and neuro-biology of stress into yoga practices, breathwork, mindfulness interventions and therapeutic holding. Further she is involved in research on the efficacy of these practices, holds the annual UK yoga therapy conference and is blazing the trail for the integration of yoga therapy into the NHS