Heart-Mind Parenting Project

Project Overview

The Heart-Mind Parenting Project addresses a community-identified gap in resources that help parents to promote Heart-Mind well-being in young children, from birth to 6 years old. The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education (DLC), in collaboration with parents and agencies that serve families, will produce and test a collection of evidence-informed resources, strategies and supports for families. The project will also design and test a system to educate family support workers on how to use the resources with parents.

Project Goals 

1. Develop resources for promoting Heart-Mind Well-Being in families 

Develop accessible materials to increase awareness of why Heart-Mind Well-Being is critical to healthy child development, and how it can be nurtured in parents, and in their relationships with children. 

2. Develop training and professional development 

Develop professional development training materials for front line family support workers, facilitators of parenting groups, peer mentors, early childhood development coordinators, human resources departments, employee and family assistance programs, etc. to enhance their skills and capacity to support parents in promoting their own, and their children’s, Heart-Mind Well-Being. 

3. Develop accessible, on-line resources, training and support 

Ensure the DLC's Heart-Mind Online website is designed to be user friendly and easily accessible to low income single parents and immigrant families so that it becomes an effective tool for supporting parents’ on-going learning. 

4. Develop group strategies, tools and training for parents 

Enhance the Heart-Mind Well-Being coaching skills of parents through group and peer mentoring activities, resources, and training to build their capacity and confidence to help their children improve Heart-Mind Well- Being. 

5. Develop guidelines for safe, productive learning environments 

Establish best practices to enhance learning and engagement through safe, supportive group spaces. 

Measuring Success 

One of the cornerstones of the work of the Dalai Lama Center is ensuring that the design and implementation of tools and processes are evidence-informed. The project will be guided by a literature review, and evaluation will focus on needs assessments and short-term outcomes using a participatory approach in 5 key measures: 

  • Assessment of parent Heart-Mind Well-Being needs 
  • Accessibility of Heart-Mind Online resources 
  • Evaluation of Heart-Mind Well-Being materials for parents 
  • Assessment of service provider professional development needs 
  • Evaluation of service provider professional development method and tools 

Project Advisory Committee 

The Heart-Mind Parenting Project Advisory Committee will: 

  • Review key findings from the scientific literature on social-emotional learning (SEL) 
  • Identify the gaps and best practices related to SEL in existing parenting programs 
  • Connect the project team working on the project with agency programs and participants, and 
  • Ensure that all activities and materials produced by the project are accessible, appropriate and effective in addressing SEL needs of immigrant, low income and single-parent families. 

Committee Members

  • Diane Wilmann/Lea LaBerge, Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House 
  • Priti Shah, Drishti Consulting 
  • Janice Lee, YWCA Single Mothers Network 
  • Steven Pedersen, Parent and Early Childhood Educator 
  • Syd Bosel, South Vancouver Family Place
  • Daljit Gill-Badesha, Surrey South Asian ECD Task Group & Surrey Children's Partnership
  • Angela Low, Parent Educator and Researcher in Emotional Development, UBC
  • Stacey Rennie, City of Surrey 
  • Ruby Banga, Provincial Nobody’s Perfect Coordinator, BC Council for Families 
  • Maria LeRose, Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education
  • Pippa Rowcliffe, Human Early Learning Partnership 

Scientific Advisory Committee

All programs of the Dalai Lama Center are informed by leading scientific research and evidence. A Scientific Advisory Committee comprised of world-class experts will provide advice on the project. 

Program Funding

In addition to the support generously provided by the above individuals and community partners, the Dalai Lama Center would also like to gratefully acknowledge funding support for this project from the Vancouver FoundationThe Clyde Hertzman Legacy Fund, and Purdy's Chocolatier