Sara Marlowe includes her three-year-old son Beckett in her practice of mindfulness, which encourages being in the moment.
(Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

An article published in Slate last week entitled, “Crap, I Forgot to Be Mindful Again: How the mindful parenting movement is setting parents up to fail” has been sparking conversation. After acknowledging that mindful parenting does have some positive attributes, writer Hanna Rosin ultimately concluded:

“The last thing American parents need are more goals that they are failing to meet. “Breathe” and “live in the moment” are just two more things you didn’t get to that day.”

As you might imagine, she provoked a flurry of responses ranging from comments such as “The notion of mindfulness is absurd,” to “This article is pointless drivel.”

Mindfulness bloggers quickly responded with posts such as:  “Hanna Rosin Dissed Mindful Parenting Because She Doesn’t Understand It,” and Mindfulness Parenting Isn’t for Everyone.”

The New York Times and The Huffington Post also weighed in on the subject, while the Toronto Star decided to reprint Rosin’s original article with the milder headline; “Mindful parenting is a paradox.”

It certainly seems that mindfulness has become mainstream enough to warrant a degree of backlash. Reading through the responses from proponents of mindfulness is also an interesting glimpse into how different writers approach the challenge of responding mindfully to a difference of opinion.

Whatever your thoughts on the subject, as our facilitator Sara Marlowe mentioned recently in the Globe and Mail; “The parents do [mindfulness activities] with the kids, it is a family activity, spending time together.” In my book, that can only be a good thing.


Naomi Eaton