For many people, studying mindfulness can provide a tremendous sense of peace in a harried, overworked world. Focusing on the present moment can help you — and those around you — maintain calm and focus. You may also wonder how far mindful parenting can go toward helping your children. For instance, does mindful parenting help with ADHD? Because sometimes, parenting a kid with ADHD can feel like you're trying to harness a tornado.
First, it's helpful to understand the basics of mindful parenting. According to Mindful.org, mindful parenting involves noticing your feelings toward your child, pausing prior to responding, and listening attentively to your child's views (even when you disagree with them). Although you could fill volumes with info about this parenting strategy, attentiveness is the general takeaway idea.
Next, you'll need a refresher on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). According to Kids Health, ADHD affects approximately 10 percent of children, and its symptoms include an inability to sit still, a lack of focus, and hyperactive behavior. Although these traits could apply to all children on occasion, kids with ADHD have these symptoms over a longer period of time, and it often interferes with their ability to perform well at school or socially, as further explained by Kids Health.
So how well do mindful parenting and ADHD mesh? This focused approach to parenting may be a tremendous help for parents of children with ADHD. For starters, it can help the parents keep their cool. As noted by the Child Mind Institute, parents of children with ADHD often get stressed out and even tend to have a higher risk for anxiety and depression. By slowing down and letting go of the idea of perfectionism, parents can find time to breathe and stay calm amid the frenzy. And maintaining a sense of calm is important not only for the parent, but also for the children. After all, kids definitely pick up on the fact that their parents are stressed out, and this tends to stress out the kids even more, as further noted in Child Mind. A sense of calm focus can be contagious.
Lastly, mindful parenting may provide direct benefits to kids with ADHD. According to a 2012 study in the Journal of Child and Family Studies, children's ADHD symptoms decreased significantly after mindfulness training for the entire family. It seems that parental mindfulness may be a key part of helping kids with ADHD learn to manage their symptoms. So if your child's ADHD symptoms are wearing thin on your nerves, then mindfulness parenting may help both you and your child achieve more focus and peace in your lives.