Today’s interview features a mother all the way from Canada, Meaghan Jackson. Meaghan Jackson of Joyful Mud Puddles is a Parenting and Homeschool Coach and an avid blogger. A mother of three boys, Timothy (12 years), Matthew (10 years) and Joshua (4.5 years), she has taken her passion for bringing peaceful calm to family life and pairs that with her background in education to help parents become more confident and well equipped.
Meaghan has a Bachelor of Education and Engineering along with several years of teaching experience at a private school. Since having children she has homeschooled her three boys and is an advocate for the homeschool community, organizing events and leading classes. As a successful business owner and entrepreneur, Meaghan understands the difficulties that many parents go through trying to juggle it all. Her family struggles and transformation is what led Meaghan to become a Parenting Coach because she desires for others for rediscover the joy in parenting. What better way to describe the messy, fun exciting life of a mom with three boys than Joyful Mud Puddles!
Excerpts from an email interview with Meaghan
1. Why do you think parent coaching is the need of the hour?
Mothers are overwhelmed and weary. They have a great responsibility for the household, raising children, the children’s education and often are working to help support the family. Mothers often loose themselves in caring for others, always giving of themselves and end up burning out.
In doing so they operate from a place of survival, and desperation. They long for peace and confidence but lack the support and encouragement to find their way forward. There is an abundance of advice and options, conflicting views, which leaves a mother to doubt her own instincts. Community is much harder to find, especially during the pandemic when social distancing is encouraged and many community programs are closed.
2. What are the common factors for parenting failures today?
One of the main factors affecting parents today is the lack of community. Parents are all taking on far more alone than then used to in past generations. Family and neighbours used to share the raising of children. Communities held onto similar beliefs and standards that were upheld by everyone. This of course can be good or bad, but the point is that there was a shared responsibility. Parents today are far more isolated and living in more diverse communities. It can be more difficult to reach out, share your struggles and get advice that fits for your family.
Parents also lack awareness that there are other ways to parent than the traditional methods of punishments, rewards and time-outs. Society portrays children as needing parenting over and strict discipline. Somewhere along the line showing respect, empathy, and modelling kindness have been forgotten or implied as permissive.
Finally parents are under a tremendous amount of stress. When we live in a constant state of stress we then revert to our typical emergency responses of fight, flight and freeze. Life is so fast-passed that there is little time to calm down and think before reacting to a situation. This is where parents fail in regulating their own emotions before reacting to their children’s behaviour.
3. Tell us more about Joyful Mud Puddles. How does it help in parenting?
Joyful Mud Puddles exists to help guide parents towards confidence and peace in their family. Through parenting courses and group meetings I offer support, knowledge and community to mothers struggling in their parenting and homeschooling journey. This is crucial given our current global situation.
The focus of my advice is on respectful parenting, problem solving and connection. Understanding the feelings and needs behind behaviour is also important. Parents also need to feel confident in their parenting decisions, without judgment or shame. Joyful Mud Puddles is here to equip parents and help them to make their own informed choices about what they feel is best for their own unique family.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, but imagine the greater impact on society if the village worked to support the mothers who are raising those children.
4. What is the PEACE FOR THE WEARY MOM course?
What makes Peace for the Weary Mom course unique is that I work with mothers exactly where they are at in their journey. I address their immediate pressing needs while also sharing valuable parenting strategies that will benefit their family. I also address the many hats that mothers wear, from parenting, their children’s education, and being a working mom. I have been in their situation and I understand their struggles.
Another value I add is community. There may be many books and courses available, but few offer personal support through in-person or video conferencing along with private chat groups. This way parents can have their questions answered immediately. The mothers I work with are very appreciative of hearing from other moms going through similar struggles. They grow and learn from each other and feel more confident because they know they are not alone.
5. How do we maintain the thin line between being strict and being
You can be kind and firm at the same time. Setting limits for our children is important, but we must remember to do so in a kind and respectful way. I encourage parents to move away from being an authoritative controlling parent towards one who sees themselves more as guides who are coaching their children as they grow. When you look at the end goals (your family’s values, and characteristics that will help your child when they grow up) you will then notice than any challenges that arise are opportunities to learn.
6. Your message to the mommies of the world
Focus on connection over correction. Parenting is all about your relationship with your child. Cherish that bond, strengthen your connection and enjoy being with your family. Challenges will come up along the way but if our connection with our child is poor, any parenting strategies you try will be ineffective. On the other hand a child who feels safe, secure and loved will be more show more kindness towards others, be more willing to cooperate and problem solve.