Mindfulness expert Dominic Cogan shares some wisdom about parenting and describes what to expect from his mindful parenting course starting in October.
If I am honest, I have learnt as much about Mindful Parenting from being a mindless parent, as I have from practicing mindfulness! One thing my mindfulness practice does is that it forces me to be honest with myself – every day, in every moment.
If I am over-reacting or getting in touch with my inner fascist, my mindfulness practice says: “Hey, see what’s going on here with you!” Then it gently reminds me that I have a toolkit of skills and practices that allow me to find my centre again.
When I do that, I am able re-connect with the wiser, calmer, balanced part of me that doesn’t just react to situations. I can respond with a healthy dose of common sense and compassion. Truth be told, in the heat of the moment, I still don’t always get it right with my kids! But mindfulness is the one thing that let’s me know when I’m straying off course. It allows me to get back in touch with what is actually needed at that moment.
But the kids too need help to better understand their emotions and in regulating their reactions to all sorts of challenges. And so in designing this course I was keeping both adults and kids in mind. The challenge for me has been:
- how to teach parents the kind of mindfulness skills that will allow them take better care of themselves while responding to the daily joys and challenges of parenting.
- how also to teach parents some skills that they can in turn practice with their children, in addressing such tricky concerns as worry, anxiety, anger or lack of confidence.
The course continues to be a work in progress, but I am pretty encouraged by the results so far.
So why not join me in October as we put our heads together in figuring out how we can best respond to the needs and concerns of our kids while also managing to take care of the carers: ourselves!
Dominic’s course starts on Thursday, October 5th, 7-9pm. It runs for six weeks and costs €75. You can book here.