Bridgeen’s top 10 Tips on Mindful Parenting

Following the interest in my Belfast Telegraph parenting article about being an older mum, I thought I would share a bit about my approach to being a mindful parent. I want to stress this does not mean being a perfect parent, I’m a big believer in being ‘a good enough’ parent.

Fortunately, I got the gift of mindfulness, long before I became a mum. Once you’re in the midst of the mayhem of motherhood (or fatherhood for that matter) the idea or even the very chance of time to practice can be elusive. How can you fit in on top of everything else?

So, I offer these wee tips with a great deal of empathy and understanding for just how challenging life with children can be, but also with real belief that mindfulness practice really helps.

1. The first and key thing to do is to practice for yourself. Don’t try to get your child to be mindful. Transmitting and fostering mindfulness is simple (and incredibly hard) – you just must do the work yourself. We need to practice being present, non-reactive (except in dangerous situations which happen a lot with a 2-year-old!) and calm. It’s not easy but the most valuable gift we can give our children is to be a positive role model.

2. My teacher Thich Nhat Hanh famously said “The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” So, this is another hugely important tip – be present physically as well as mentally. Take the time, put your phone away. It seems obvious but it’s so easy to get caught up with busyness and important stuff, yet every single person with older kids I know frequently says ‘it goes so fast’. So, while you’re in it…create opportunities for quality time and connection with your child. Engage in activities they enjoy, such as playing, reading, or going for walks together. Show interest in their interests and engage in open and meaningful conversations. It can be fun to learn what’s going on in their wee minds . For example I love to go to a coffee shop with my wee girl she loves being in a new environment and I get to sit down and have a coffee!

3. Children look to their parents for emotional guidance. Model emotional regulation by managing your own emotions mindfully. Take deep breaths, use calming techniques, and express your emotions in a healthy and constructive manner. They do literally do what we do, not what we say.

4. When the Plum Village monastics were in Belfast recently (June 2023), I had a chat with Sister Tam Muoi about the challenges of parenting. She offered “Thay said the best gift you can give children is ‘non-fear’.” So, another really simple and difficult tip is to ‘be not afraid’. Offer the children your joy and happiness show them the good in the world. This will help both of you.

5. Another helpful tip I like and that mindfulness fosters is ‘non-judgement’. Allow your kids to be who they are even if it’s very different from you or against your expectations… Rather than labelling their actions as “good” or “bad,” try to understand the underlying emotions and needs that might be driving their behaviour.

6. Set Clear Boundaries – all the advice tells us this. My daughter has only just turned two, so I haven’t fully got into this one. I am a bit indulgent with her because she is my wee precious but I do believe it is wise to establish clear and consistent boundaries for our children and their behaviour. Communicate these boundaries calmly and respectfully. Help your child understand the reasons behind the boundaries and offer alternatives when redirecting their behaviour.

7. Self-Care: Prioritize your own self-care and well-being as a parent. Take time for yourself to recharge and rejuvenate. Engaging in self-care activities helps you stay balanced and better equipped to meet the demands of parenting. We’ve got to put our own oxygen mask on first. (Check out my upcoming classes which you can use as your self-care time!)

8. Practice patience: all kids learn and grow at their own pace. Cultivate patience and understanding as you guide them through their development. Remember that mistakes are opportunities for learning and growth. They’re also opportunities for us to practice calm acceptance.

9. Embrace Imperfection: Let go of the expectation of being a perfect parent. Embrace your imperfections and recognize that making mistakes is part of the parenting journey. Practice self-compassion and offer the same understanding to your child.

10. Reflect and Learn: Take time to reflect on your parenting practices. Notice what works well and what could be improved. Continuously learn and adapt your approach based on your child’s individual needs and your evolving understanding of mindful parenting.


Remember, mindful parenting is an ongoing practice that requires patience and self-awareness. Embrace the journey and enjoy the deepening connection with your child.


My 8-week self-compassion programme (for everyone with or without kids) starts on Wednesday 19 July. Early bird pricing ends on 30 June. For more details go here:

Love for Türkiye

This is me and my wee Turkish baby Bediha (Beddy – in matching dresses) with our Turkish family in Altinkum, Türkiye back in October 2022. Thank goodness they don’t live anywhere near the devastating earthquake that happened in their country on 6 February 2023.

Beddy has 20 Turkish first cousins. One of them Onur is currently doing his military service and is stationed in Kilis close to the earthquake epicenter.

Luckily despite his building collapsing that night, he and all his friends escaped with minor injuries to their physical bodies though no doubt a lot of trauma. It is impossible to imagine the impact of the devastation of 40,000 people in your country being killed by a horrendous act of nature.

To hear one terribly sad story of a friend who has lost his home, his wife and his children is horrendous to multiply that by thousands, is unimaginable. The horror, heartbreak, trauma, and sadness that all Turks are experiencing right now are unfathomable. there is currently a state of emergency in Turkey and the wounds run deep.  It’s not just people, animals and buildings that have been destroyed, but whole towns and cities.  So many displaced families and children. So much suffering. It’s hard to watch, to read to talk about.

With things like this, it’s natural to want to turn away, it’s not in our street and we have enough to deal with in our own lives. But when it’s affecting people I know I always say ok, ‘what can I do?’ I really can’t do much. But I do have classes that I offer and I can donate that money to help those who are helping. As Mr Rodgers famously said ‘look for the helpers.’

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world. If we look for the helpers we don’t have to fall into despair.”

My next class this month is online on Saturday 25 February at 11am. 100% of all the money raised will go to the DEC (Disasters and Emergency Committee) fund for those affected by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. You don’t have to come to the class you can give directly to the DEC here

So far with my in-person love class in Namaste and the bookings for Saturday I’ve raised £615 and I hope I can raise a bit more so if you fancy some love meditation and knowing that your money is helping others please book in, I’d Love to have you x

In the scale of things it’s not much but to take action and do something in the face of a situation where there is really not much we can do, feels positive and it shows that we care.  We are always the first recipients of our own kindness… 

When we are so far away our donations and our prayers Do make a difference.

Two of the participants from the in-person version of the workshop earlier this month said this about the workshop:

“An experience of meditation, connection, warmth, honesty and calm. I always learn something new at your sessions and leave relaxed, lighter and rejuvenated. Thank you. X” Julie

“A lovely time of peace, calm and tranquility. 💓Very uplifting, interesting and so good to devote uninterrupted time to oneself. Thank you Bridgeen.X” Denise

Please book directly with me or via the website:

Final Whiteabbey Mindful Walk, in memory of Thay

My teacher, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, passed away on 22 January 2022. A week later I held a mindful walk in Whiteabbey, to commemorate his life.

I first met Thay in Plum Village, France in July 2005, and from that moment he had a huge life-changing impact on my life. (Please click here to read the previous blog I wrote about the impact Thay had on me.) He was a huge, influential advocate, teacher, and practitioner of mindful walking as a healing, peaceful and effective daily practice.

Over 30 people came to that first mindful walking event in Whiteabbey and so, encouraged I decided to make a commitment to hold a walk on the last Sunday of EVERY month in 2022. I’m happy to say that I did it. Some months there were over 15 people (plus a couple of dogs – Buddy and Bonnie mainly) others only one or two… but miraculously it NEVER rained on us.

While I would like to continue the monthly walks they are a big commitment and I’m committed to lots of activities this year, plus my baby is now 19 months and wants to get out and walk too – but not in a straight line, and not the whole way, and NOT in silence! 🙂

As I can’t always guarantee someone to be there to be with her I think it’s best to wait till she’s a bit older before re-committing! This doesn’t mean that walks can’t happen if enough people are interested. Watch this space…

This final walk on Thay’s 1st anniversary on Sunday 22 January 2023 is FREE. On my Eventbrite page, I’m asking for a donation, as what I also noticed is that when the event is free spam or bot accounts sign up and pollute my email database. Every month I got about 10 of these! But you don’t need to register here just turn up at the location. If you do donate I’ll put the funds into my return to Plum Village with the family savings 🙂

Details on the day:

  • Meet 11am at the top of Glenavana Manor, where the ‘big white stones’ lead to the glen.
  • Form a circle and sing some Plum Village songs (this is how every mindful walk starts in Plum Village).
  • A silent mindful walk through the Glen.
  • Stop for tea at end of practice (bring your own cup/flask).
  • Sharing is optional but encouraged at tea break.
  • Walk back freely not silent. 🥰
  • A short instruction in mindful walking will be given for newcomers. Everyone who would like to experience the practice is welcome.
  • Dogs and children are most welcome but you must take responsibility for them, Immeasurable Minds cannot accept responsibility. Please note – we will be practicing walking in silence so if your children or dogs won’t like this then they are not suitable. If they can adapt both children and animals will profit from the peace generated by the practice, please consider the group when bringing children and animals.

The monthly mindful walks throughout 2022 happened on:

  1. 30 January
  2. 27 February
  3. 27 March
  4. 24 April
  5. 29 May
  6. 26 June
  7. 31 July
  8. 28 August
  9. 25 September
  10. 30 October
  11. 27 November
  12. 18 December


I’m SO HUGELY grateful to Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) I wanted to do something to mark his passing as his only request ever was always just for us to practice for him, to breathe for him, and to walk for him. For example, for his 80th birthday, he asked people to have a mindful cup of tea every day as a gift for him. So we can do that too. 🫖🍵

, it’s hard to express the magnitude of his influence on me but I’m not the only one. In every county of the world people’s lives and hearts have been enormously affected and changed by Thay, his teachings, and his Plum Village community.