Expert offers advice on mindful parenting

It's all too easy for parents to get into the cycle of multi-tasking - preparing dinner with one hand, checking work emails with the other, all while listening to their child practise their reading.

But children can benefit from having their parents' undivided attention. While this can be challenging, especially in the school holidays as parents juggle work with more one-on-one time with their kids, it is possible.

Mindfulness instructor Bridget Dougherty is holding a workshop for mums and dads who want to become more mindful parents.

"I think all parents want to do the best for their kids; I just think the pressures on parents are getting harder and increasing," she said.

"For some, work/life balance is a major concern and they're finding it increasingly difficult."

Ms Dougherty said mindfulness was once second nature for humans, but the encroachment of technology into most parts of life had made it harder to focus on a single activity at a time.

But she said parents could easily take steps to becoming more mindful when they were with their children, whether their kids were still in nappies or in their teens.

Simple things, such as switching off a mobile phone or turning it to silent when with the kids could begin to make a big difference to the way parents relate to their offspring.

The two-hour workshop, which covers strategies for paying attention and staying connected during moments with your kids, is on tomorrow at 1.30pm at Thirroul District Community Centre. For more information visit

Mindfulness instructor Bridget Dougherty hugs her daughter Katie. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Mindfulness instructor Bridget Dougherty hugs her daughter Katie. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR


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