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Encompass Partners With the Community of Mindful Parenting – Bringing a New Take on Parenting Classes to the Eastside

January 11, 2021  |  Community  |  By Encompass

Finding Calm participant Kyla Page and her family in Cle Elum last summer. From left to right; Rosalee, 2, Kyla, Valentina, 4 , and Husband, Collin.

We’ve all experienced feelings of stress, anger, apprehension, jealousy, and much more, especially during the past months of the Pandemic.

For parents, these feelings can be magnified when navigating the complexities of raising a child. Practicing mindfulness can be a powerful tool in coping with these intense emotions.

Like many of us, in mid-winter of 2020, Encompass Community Programs Supervisor & Speech-Language Pathologist, Kim Kanzler, had little idea of what a wild ride 2020 had in store for us. Having just started her last training with the Community of Mindful Parenting (CMP), a mindful self-compassion course, taught by CMP’s founder, Yaffa Maritz, she and Rocio Collado, Encompass Bilingual Certified Counselor, worked to become class facilitators of CMP’s class series; Finding Calm and Listening Mothers.

The Community of Mindful Parenting seeks to empower, connect, and educate parents as they strive to live in the present moment and create strong foundations for their families by teaching mindful-based skills to reduce stress, practice self-compassion, and much more. The cornerstones of their curriculum rely on the two classes and although they have been taught up and down the West Coast, Encompass, with the generosity of donors along with funding from the City of Issaquah, has recently helped bridge the gap to provide access to these courses for Eastside families.

Thanks to donor funding, Encompass is able to provide generous scholarship opportunities to families who otherwise couldn’t afford it and for those who have had been through challenging situations.

As soon as Kanzler and Collado finished their training in June, they set out to start filling virtual seats in the first class, Finding Calm. The six-week course for parents of children 6 months to 6 years old had 13 mothers register, including mother of two, Kyla Page.

“This class came at the perfect time,” said Page. “Parenting in a pandemic was causing me to turn into someone I didn’t recognize. I was really irritable, quick to get very angry, depressed about all of the social outings we had lost, and was really struggling with being at home with two kids with a lot of stressful unknowns out there in the world” said Page. “I needed to flip the
script on my attitude… I had nothing to lose and everything to gain”

“There were breakthrough moments every week,” said Kanzler. One of those moments happened when she was leading a mediation. Participants visualize a loved one and offer phrases of loving-kindness to them. Next, they imagine themselves next to the loved one and offer the same phrases to the pair. Lastly, they remove the loved one and offer the phrases to themselves. Following the meditation, one of the mothers was emotional and said, ‘I’ve never said such kind words to myself’. “In those little moments, we are helping bring mindfulness tools and strategies to parents that need it the most,” Kanzler said.

“Thank you to Encompass for providing this service outside of the normal Early Intervention for children,” said Page. “By connecting with other parents and gaining easily manageable mindful tools, ones you can do in your kitchen, while the kids are screaming, I was able to largely move away from the script that wasn’t serving my family or me.”

For more information, please visit communityofmindfulparenting.com.

Encompass is excited to bring the second Finding Calm Series to parents this January. Click Here to learn more.

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