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How parent mindfulness is related to less problem behaviors in children

Mindfulness means living in the present moment and paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judging them. This study explored how parental mindfulness is related to children’s problem behavior. The authors investigated the role of mindfulness, mindful parenting, children’s problem behavior and parenting practices.

 Benefits of mindfulness

Mindfulness has many benefits. For example, it is associated with:

  • Greater self-efficacy
  • Enhanced coping
  • Improved physical and psychological health
  • Better emotion regulation

 What is mindful parenting?

Mindful parenting is parent’s ability to:

  • Be aware and pay attention to the present moment during interactions with children
  • Not judge their children’s behavior
  • Regulate reactions to their children’s behavior

 Mindfulness is related to less problem behavior in youth

The results of the study indicated that higher levels of mindfulness were related to:

  • Higher mindful parenting
  • Less negative parenting practices
  • Lower levels of problem behavior in children between 3 and 17 years old

So, parent mindfulness could stimulate mindful parenting behaviors in the present moment, which could decrease the likelihood of negative parenting behaviors and problem behaviors in children.

 Tips

Try to engage in mindful parenting and maintain present-moment focus and attention. For example:

  • Pay attention to your child and be attentive when doing activities with him or her.
  • Listen carefully to your child’s ideas, even if you disagree with him or her.
  • If you are upset with your child, notice how you are feeling before you take action.

 More information

Parent, J., McKee, L. G., Rough, J. N., & Forehand, R. (2016). The association of parent mindfulness with parenting and youth psychopathology across three developmental stages. Journal of abnormal child psychology, 44(1), 191-202.

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