The Garrison Institute’s Initiative on Contemplation and Education, in collaboration with the Kirlin Charitable Foundation, recently convened the leadership forum Mindful Parenting: Conceptualization and Measurement. This event brought together researchers, clinicians and others interested in and working with family intervention programs. The aim of the meeting was to address measurement issues around the topics of mindful parenting and reflective functioning in parenting, in order to develop effective measurement systems for use in research.
During the three days of the meetings, the group spent the majority of their time together in group discussion, sharing one another’s work involved, raising pertinent issues to be addressed during future clinical trials and research, and considering the questions, “What is mindful parenting? And what indicators of mindful parenting are evident in parenting behavior?” Questions were raised around similarities and differences across age groups/developmental stages of children, differences in cultural/ethnic understandings of parenting, and the role of language in disseminating and implementing any such mindfulness-based parenting programs. The discussions were highly stimulating and brought out several key points the group members took with them as they respectively and collaboratively move forward in their work. At the close of the meeting it was agreed that a multi-method, multi-informant approach is vital to the measurement of mindful parenting.