Mindful Parenting is a FREE six week course for parents, grandparents and foster parents of children with an intellectual disability or an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The course is based on the theory and practice of a mindfulness-based intervention called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT uses mindfulness, acceptance and behaviour change strategies to help people take positive, values guided action in their lives.
Mindful Parenting is very different to a traditional parenting course. Mindful Parenting helps parents to make workable, lasting and positive changes in their own lives and in the lives of their children by improving their own psychological flexibility and behavioural adaptability. Parents develop ways to get space from difficult thoughts and make room for unpleasant or painful emotions and body sensations so they can make choices and take action that is guided by personal values. Parents also improve motivation and commitment towards their own self-care and stress reduction.
Mindful Parenting aims to deliver the following outcomes for parents:
- Increased psychological flexibility
- Expansion in range of adaptive parenting behaviours
- Increased skills in mindful attention and awareness
- Increased ability to take positive action that is guided by personal values
- Improvement in relationships with children
- Improvement other family and personal relationships
- Increased kindness and compassion towards themselves and others
- Opportunities for social connection with others in similar situations
- Opportunities to share personal stories in a safe and validating environment
- Access information, knowledge and wisdom from other parents and caregivers