Connect to Self and Others

Connect to Self and Others

Learn how meditation can help parents with adolescents (Course Preview)

Apr 17, 2024 | Blog, Course, Meditation | 0 comments

“Mindful parenting of teenagers is an art that requires us to balance guidance with freedom, patience with understanding, and discipline with compassion. It is in this delicate dance that our relationships with our teens truly flourish.”

Dr. Dan Siegel

Finding Your Calm - by Chris Phillips

Mia, a happily married mother of two, with a thriving career as an environmental lawyer had a lot on her plate. But she kept it under control with a tightly planned schedule, regular exercise and support from her husband, Tom. When their daughter Charlie, turned 13, her changing and unpredictable behaviour challenged Mia and Tom. They felt completely bewildered. “It was as though aliens had kidnapped our sweet, kind, happy little girl and replaced her with a wild banshee whose primary mode of communication was eye-rolling, shouting and door slamming.

Mindful Parenting

Mia worried about Charlie’s rebellious behaviour, her school grades, her risk-taking friends. In attempt to fix things, Mia went into control mode. Tom wanted to take a more relaxed approach. Mia’s stress levels escalated. Her relationship with Charlie spiralled into a cycle of heated arguments. Or worse, Charlie withdrawing completely.

A friend who had been through similar challenges with their teenage son, recommended a mindfulness program. “I wasn’t sure how it would help at first, but I’d tried everything else I could think of and I was at my wits end.”  Mia decided to give it a go. “The first session, we learned a really simple mindfulness of breath exercise. It took a while for my frazzled mind to settle but once it did, the feeling of calm and stillness was like a defrag for my over-taxed brain. For the first time in months, I was able to think clearly.”

Over the four-week course, Mia practiced mindfulness of thoughts and feelings, mindfulness of breath and body, and her favourite practice – metta meditation.

There comes a time for every parent when juggling, work, family and financial responsibilities can pile up and stress us out. Then add the changing and sometimes challenging behaviour of adolescence to the mix, and it can be overwhelming.

Mindfulness meditation training can help parents discover the tools, practices and habits to develop inner calm and strength, increase self-compassion, reduce stress, and navigate the challenges and conflicts of parenting a teenager with confidence.

Parenting inevitably involves moments of frustration, impatience, and exhaustion. This can escalate when our kids enter the teenage years. As our children move into adolescence, they begin to assert their independence from family. Developmental changes in the brain and body can result in mood swings, esteem issues and unpredictable behaviour. Influences of peers, social and ‘anti-social’ media add another layer of complexity.


“The metta practice was the game changer for me. Mindfulness of breath and body helped me stay calm when conflicts arose.  I was better able to respond rather than react. But the heart centred metta practice was especially helpful in reducing negative emotions, particularly towards myself.  I really needed that. I realised how my inner critic was berating me for losing my patience, not being able to cope, and my failure as a parent. And then I was projecting that outwards.”


Self-compassion is a cornerstone of mindful parenting during the teenage years. Nurturing one’s own emotional well-being ensures that parents approach challenges with a clear mind, a tender heart, and the ability to respond rather than react. By modeling self-compassion and mindful awareness practices, parents impart valuable lessons about the importance of empathy, kindness and equanimity.

Mia was surprised by the way the Mindfulness Meditation training transformed her relationship with her daughter. “The first night I came home from the course, Charlie was in her room. I went into the kitchen and made a cup of tea. Charlie came in put her arm around me and asked how my day was.” It was such a small thing but it was the first time in months we’d had a conversation without tension or conflict. It was the beginning of rebuilding our relationship.”

*Mia, Tom and Charlie’s names have been changed to protect their privacy.

Mindful parenting helps us to practice ‘pause, open and relax’, so we can step back, take a deep breath, and approach challenges with patience, empathy and calm strength. As parents navigate this transformative period for their teenagers, the practice of mindfulness becomes our north star, guiding us stay calm in a crisis, increasing self-compassion, reducing stress, reactivity and overwhelm, and helping to create a nurturing, more harmonious environment for the whole family.

“What we are teaches the child far more than what we say, so we must be what we want our children to become.”

Joseph Chilton Pearce

If you find this story relatable and are currently experiencing challenging moments at home with your teenager, Chris invites you to join a 4-week mindfulness meditation program for parents.

This program aims to cultivate compassion and empower you with the tools to find inner calm and resilience while navigating the transformative teenage years.

About Chris Phillips

Chris is a Mindfulness Meditation Practitioner, Producer and Writer. She is also the host of The Art of Mindfulness program on Eastside Radio. Chris offers meditation practices and exercises to develop calm, equanimity and reduce stress and reactivity. Her practical embodied approach to meditation makes it easy and accessible for anyone who would like to develop a mindfulness practice.

As well as a Master of Education (UNSW), Diploma of Positive Psychology (Langley Institute) and Diploma in Meditation Teaching and Holistic Human Development, Chris has studied a range of meditation practices with renowned teaches including Rick Hansen, Jack Kornfield, and Tara Brach.



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