Susan Bögels

Mindful Parenting


Finding Space To Be – In a World of To Do

An inspirational guide for busy parents who want to better understand the automatic ways in which they can react to stressful situations, balance the ‘doing’ and ‘being’ modes in their everyday lives, and move from instinctive to more mindful responses.



Sometimes being a parent seems like one long to-do list: taking the children to and from school and clubs, arranging babysitters, feeding them and putting them to bed. Parents can feel trapped in a straitjacket of tasks, all of which prevent them from spending quality time with their children. Susan Bögels has developed and delivered training on this subject for over twenty years. Now, for the first time, she shares her expertise, along with her experiences as a mother and child, with a general audience. In a series of accessible chapters, she shows how we can find a balance between “doing” and “being” modes when interacting with our children. She also explains how to deal with stress, conflict and guilt, and how to cultivate conscious, unbiased attention in a simple way. Together, the chapters form an 11-week course in mindful parenting, supported by simple exercises and guided audio meditations.

Mindful Parenting is an inspirational guide for busy parents who want to better understand the automatic ways in which they can react to stressful situations, balance the ‘doing’ and ‘being’ modes in their everyday lives, and move from instinctive to more mindful responses.



Susan Bögels is a Clinical Psychologist and Founder of the Mindful Parenting method. She is Professor of Family Mental Health, in particular focusing on the role of mindfulness, at the University of Amsterdam and Founder of UvA Minds, an academic training and treatment centre for children and parents. She has published over 200 journal papers and is associate editor of the journal Mindfulness. She is lead author of the scholarly book Mindful Parenting: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals (Springer, 2014).

This book reflects Susan’s two decades’ experience of working with parents in mindful parenting courses and leading a research group exploring the role of attention in child development and psychopathology. It was also inspired by memories of her own upbringing and of raising three children, and by her experiences as a participant and instructor in mindfulness retreats, training and personal meditation.



ISBN: 9781912755769

Publisher: Pavilion Publishing and Media Ltd

Publication date: 14 February 2020





Table of Contents



1. Mindful parenting: Being there without prejudice or judgment

2. Being your own parent: Self-care and compassion

3. Parental stress: From surviving to finding breathing space

4. Parental expectations and the true nature of the child

5. Rupture and repair: Deepening the bond

6. Parenting together in good times and bad

7. Setting boundaries: Where I end and you begin

8. Guilt and shame: Forgiving, connecting, apologizing

9. Love is blind: Denial and acceptance

10. Schemas: Re-experiencing your own childhood

11. Lifelong parenting

Appendix 1: 11 everyday rules for mindful parenting

Appendix 2: Guided audio meditations


This publication will benefit parents, prospective parents, step-parents, foster parents, grandparents and caregivers of all kinds seeking to learn more about mindfulness and how it can be applied to parenting in order to stay in control and respond thoughtfully to stressful situations. Health, mental health and family practitioners who help individuals and couples with parenting skills. Trainees on courses given by the author and others.

Sample Chapter

Click the book cover to view a sample chapter


  1. Peter Fonagy, Professor of Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Developmental Science, University College London

    The most difficult task for a human being is being a parent. Mindful Parenting will be of assistance in this because it points to specific activities with well-specified aims, with an exceptionally well-structured training programme that will bring readers closer to being the best parent they can be. This scientifically grounded, well written, exceptionally accessible book should be required reading for all of us struggling to do the best we can with our sons and daughters. This book is highly recommended to anyone caring for children and young people.

  2. Mark Williams, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Oxford

    ‘I don’t have time to do mindfulness – I’ve got kids’.
    It is indeed the hardest thing to take time for yourself when you’re juggling work, homemaking, and parenting. Any spare time you might have had has already been allocated. How on earth could you find time to meditate? Internationally acclaimed psychologist and mindfulness teacher Susan Bögels shows how this is possible. Yes, there are some short guided meditations to help you reclaim a few minutes of the day for yourself, but mostly she invites you to make your daily parenting schedule into your mindfulness curriculum. Sounds simple. It is. But remembering to do it is not so simple. So each week she suggests new methods that will help you. Research shows that cultivating these skills can help you transform your life: keeping your feet on the floor when things get tough, dissolving the over-critical voice in your head, and enriching your relationships with your children and wider family. I highly recommend this book.

  3. Christopher Germer, PhDFaculty, Harvard Medical School, Author, The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion

    At last, a book for parents by the world’s leading expert in mindful parenting! Susan Bögels and her colleagues have spent over a decade figuring out precisely how and why mindfulness is so helpful to parents. She offers the reader her latest insights, along with charming personal examples and carefully selected practices that bring it all to life. This short book is packed with wisdom, candid and absolutely non-judgmental – a compelling road map for handling the trickiest dilemmas parenting has to offer.

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