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Brighton-based Clinical Psychologist

Dr Sophie Ann Bafunno-Clifton

Mindful parenting: Raising emotionally intelligent children

In the journey of parenting, incorporating mindfulness and emotional intelligence can profoundly impact the emotional development of children. As a psychologist, I have seen how mindful parenting fosters a nurturing environment, conducive to the growth of emotionally intelligent, resilient, and compassionate children. However, to effectively implement these practices, it’s crucial to dispel prevalent mental health myths that often misguide parenting approaches.

The essence of mindful parenting

Mindful parenting is about being present and engaged with your children in a non-judgemental and compassionate way. It involves understanding your own emotions and reactions and how they impact your parenting style. This approach encourages open communication, deepens the parent-child connection, and supports the emotional wellbeing of both the parent and the child.

Building emotional intelligence in children

Understanding emotions

Teach children to recognise and understand their emotions. For example, when Lucy’s son felt frustrated, instead of dismissing his feelings, Lucy encouraged him to recognise, label/name, express and explore his emotions, helping him understand and manage them effectively.

Model emotional regulation

Children learn by observing. Demonstrate healthy ways of handling emotions. When facing a challenging situation, show them how you manage your feelings, offering them a real-life example of emotional regulation.

Foster empathy

Encourage empathy by discussing how others might feel in different situations. This not only helps children understand their own emotions but also develops their ability to empathise with others.

Debunking mental health myths

Myth: Children don’t experience stress

Reality: Children, like adults, can experience stress. It’s vital to acknowledge their feelings and provide a supportive environment to discuss and manage their stress.

Myth: Talking about emotions makes children weak

Reality: Discussing emotions helps children understand and manage them, fostering resilience and emotional intelligence.

Myth: Strict discipline is the best way to shape behaviour

Reality: While boundaries are important, understanding and addressing the emotional needs behind a child’s behaviour is crucial for their emotional development.


Mindful parenting, with a focus on emotional intelligence, prepares children to navigate life’s challenges with resilience and empathy. By debunking common mental health myths, we can adopt more effective parenting strategies that support the emotional and mental well-being of our children. Remember, raising emotionally intelligent children starts with our own mindfulness and understanding of mental health realities.

How Brain Matters can help you further

If the topics discussed in our articles resonate with you and you’re seeking a deeper understanding or specialised assistance, we are here to assist. We recognise that each person’s journey is distinct, and we’re dedicated to providing bespoke support tailored to your individual needs.

Dr Sophie Ann Clifton

Dr Sophie Ann Clifton

Chartered Clinical Psychologist
ASD assessor, EMDR Therapist

From August 2024, we will be taking on new referrals, and we wlcome you to get in touch and connect with us. Whether you’re looking to enhance your mental wellbeing, navigate relationship dynamics, manage anxiety, or simply seek a space for personal growth, we are ready to support you with expertise and compassion. Discover how our personalised psychological services can contribute to your path of healing and self-discovery. 

Contact Brain Matters Psychology to arrange your session and take the first step towards a more enriching life.