Beth Milner: Misconceptions about Self-Compassion: It is Important to Practice | Raising Parents #30

In this episode, host Dina Sargeant is joined by Beth Milner, a meditation teacher, training psychotherapist, and the director of Geelong Meditation Centre

Parenting involves balancing the nurturing of children with the need for emotional stability and self-compassion. Trying new things, allowing children to grow, and maintaining emotional stability and self-compassion in parenting encourage a harmonious balance between these aspects.

Meet Beth Milner

Beth Milner is a meditation teacher and training psychotherapist whose work centers around cultivating compassion for self and others. She is the director of Geelong Meditation Centre, which offers meditation and personal development programs online and in person, including specialized programs for parents and teen girls.

Beth holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama from the University of Manchester, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Nottingham, certificates in yoga teaching and addiction recovery coaching, and a Graduate Diploma in Processwork Psychotherapy with Pathways Institute.

Beth delights in combining science and creativity in her work to help people better understand themselves and their lives. She has a private practice in Geelong, Victoria, and offers online therapy and meditation coaching.

About the episode

Many people view self-compassion as being selfish or an excuse for self-indulgence, focusing on personal needs at the expense of others. Beth emphasizes that self-compassion is essential for overall health and well-being, especially for parents. 

Exploring new interests and endeavors becomes a guiding principle in continuous exploration and curiosity. Parents should embrace presence and awareness, allowing their children the freedom to express themselves authentically. Fostering an environment where children can carve their own paths, explore their interests, and discover their authentic desires can avoid the imposition of expectations and experiences on children.

Beth also acknowledges the messiness of the parenting journey, one that can be transformative and may stir up past traumas, requiring a surrender of control. This unique perspective, encompassed in parenting, positions the experience as a shared, evolving journey for both parents and children.

Beth identifies a common pitfall for parents — the unintentional perpetuation of a stress response through harsh self-criticism during challenging situations.  Self-compassion is a simple yet potent remedy. Parents should treat themselves with kindness and understanding, mirroring how they would treat others. Additionally, parents should understand their limitations, prioritize well-being over productivity, and foster a mindset that transcends perfectionism.

Beth discusses the three elements of self-compassion. The first is acknowledging that one has experienced a difficult moment involving mindfulness and self-soothing. The second is recognizing that suffering is a common human experience and that everyone goes through hard times. The third is offering oneself kindness and support through phrases or imagining a compassionate friend. 

In conclusion

Self-compassion as a modeling tool for compassionate behavior creates a holistic approach to parenting, fostering an environment of understanding, curiosity, and continuous growth. Parents alleviate their own stress and model healthy responses for their children, fostering an environment of understanding, kindness, and resilience. Self-compassion can help parents become more aware of their thoughts and feelings and develop a more attuned awareness of their inner life.

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