Mindful parenting project

From the very beginning, Kirlin Charitable Foundation has had a central organizing interest and focus on early childhood development. In particular, we have had a growing interest and involvement with the research, practice and policies that constellate around the core issue of early and formative relationships: the mindful and reflective ways of being with one another; the nurturing and supportive bonds that develop between children and the adults caring for them; and the mutual development of empathy, kindness and compassion.

Lately and specifically, our exploration has been focused on the integration of formal and informal mindfulness practices and the development of reflective functioning within the context of strong parenting, caregiving, and family support programs. We hope, in the next phase of the project, to help orchestrate and support several aligned action/research projects that can move conceptualization, measurement, curriculum development and integration strategies to the next level.

In early 2009, Kirlin began to lead an effort to bring further attention to this area of research and practice. With an initial seed grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Kirlin Charitable Foundation leveraged several investments of dollars and time to bring in additional philanthropies in support of several national meetings on Mindful Parenting. Kirlin, along with the Fetzer Institute and Talaris Institute, co-sponsored the first national meeting held in Seattle in September 2009. The second meeting took place in September 2011, hosted and co-sponsored by The Garrison Institute. Linked here, we provide the summative report resulting from this most recent gathering. We hope you will find it of interest and a source of inspiration.