This is a really valuable episode where Dr Koa Whittingham (Parenting from the Heart – www.koawhittingham.com) leads us through using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to be the parent we want to be even if we feel angry at times. Angry parents please tune in! Feeling angry is normal, but we don’t have to act from anger.
- ACT is largely about developing Psychological Flexibility
- Psychological Flexibility is being able to change or persist in your behaviour with full awareness of what is going on around you and inside you in the service of doing something that is very important to you, that you value.
- Feeling anger at your children at times is extremely normal
- Problems arise when we parent from anger
- How can we be the parent we want to be despite anger?
- Live in the here and now, focus on your child’s current behaviour, not what they did yesterday, or what might happen if she or he keeps acting this way
- Avoid getting consumed by angry feelings and thoughts
- Diffusion: Acknowledge they are just thoughts “I am thinking that…”, talk back “thank you mind, that’s really helpful” (sarcasm), imagine your thoughts are like a radio in the background
- Accept the emotion: Notice the physical feeling of the emotion and try to make space for it.
- Regular mindful practice when you’re not angry and throughout the day. You can get a guided mindfulness practice from the next episode to be released next week, Koa’s Meditations, or buy some from Russ Harris (whom I learned ACT from).
- Lower the bar when you are feeling stressed – make things easier on yourself.
- Parenting from the Heart: www.koawhittingham.com
- Dr Koa Whittingham’s Meditations
- Dr Russ Harris Mindfulness Meditation CDs
- Possums Sleep Intervention: Possums Online, and Feed your baby to sleep – The possums sleep intervention new recommendations and podcast episode PRP017 coming soon.
For more great resources on Mindfulness and ACT for parents, check out thes links:
- Free Mindfulness Meditation App for pregnant couples: Mind the Bump .Org .Au
- 9 Tips for Mindful Mothering
- ACT: Taking Hurt to Hope – Struggling with attachment with Newborns
This is the first Episode in the series, here are links to the rest of the series:
- PRP014: Angry Parents Part 1 Acting inline with values despite anger
- PRP015: Angry Parents Part 2 Acting inline with values despite anger
- PRP016: Becoming a Mother
- PRP017: The Possums Sleep Intervention Part 1
- PRP018: The Possums Sleep Intervention Part 2
- PRP019: The Possums Sleep Intervention Part 3
- PRP020: The Possums Sleep Intervention Part 4
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Has mindfulness helped you? Please start a discussion in the comments.