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15 Jan

Mindful Parenting With Adolescents

Mindfulness based approaches are ideal for adolescents, as their brains are still in the developmental stage. Mindfulness based practices target the limbic circuitry of the brain, hence reducing emotional reactivity and stress, with improvements in school performance There are sufficient studies to show that mindfulness-based techniques lead to positive changes, and justify the optimism that these techniques are beneficial to a practitioner’s therapeutic repertoire.

When treating families and children, therapists can model mindful parenting to guide change. Mindful parenting that focuses on the benefits of mindfulness based interventions, can enhance parent-child relationships.

Parents who acquire mindfulness skills have an increased capacity to listen with full attention (increased sensitivity to a child's cues) will adopt a more non judgmental acceptance of self and child. Then, parents have a greater emotional awareness of a child's emotional state and can respond more easily to a child's needs, with less negative emotions. Parents also learn self regulation, maintain a focus on parental goals, and avoid short term automated reactive responses. These practices implement more displays of affection for the parent and the child, offer more compassion in the parent-child relationship, and avoid self blame in the parenting role. Integrating these findings on mindful parenting can produce the following results: reduction of parental stress, decreased parental preoccupation resulting from parent/child psychopathology, improved parental executive functioning, reduction in the impact of dysfunctional upbringing schemas and behaviors, increased self- nourishment for the parent and child, and improved marital functioning and co-parenting.

Parents create a social and emotional climate in which children learn to self-regulate, as well as provide the safety net when self regulation fails. High levels of parental emotional dysregulation can result in a high stress environment, and this impairs the parent's capacity to be emotional available.

Written By Atiya Malik from WVCC

West Valley Counseling Center is located at 19634 Ventura Blvd. Suite 212 Tarzana, CA 91356

For more information or to speak to one of our staff, please contact us at (818) 758-9450 or email us at info@westvalleycounseling.org