Since 2014, Theresa Wiggins has been combining her passion for kids, families, and education through her business, Village Parenting. Theresa teaches mindfulness and offers in-home behavior management support to families dealing with chronic behavioral issues.
Additionally, she consults with both students and school faculty around effective family engagement.
You might be thinking this episode is going to be a really kid- and family- focused one. Yes, we are going to talk about Theresa's work for context. We’re also going to discuss how she came to it. Yet, there is so much in this episode for grownups without children, too. My husband, Craig, and I don't have kids currently, but the conversation left me with some ideas that stuck since Theresa and I recorded this conversation.
In this episode, Theresa shares both a deeply personal, courageous story and her professional story with us. She shares how mindfulness instruction came to be part of her core offerings, and how she helps children understand true happiness, which is not contingent on achievement. (I found this to be quite, thought-provoking as a recovering Type-A lady.) We also discuss the misconceptions of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and what life is like after the diagnosis. We consider the concept of courageous communication, which also plays out in real-time in this episode. As always, I hope you find comfort and ideas through our conversation.
All of this wisdom is from Theresa herself (with some minor edits for readability).
[00:08:10] To really truly partner with families, we want to be listening to the particular needs of our community.
[00:17:45] It made me realize how it's so easy to make assumptions about each side. What if there were no sides? What if we all just came to the table and truly partnered on behalf of our kids?
[00:20:10] Parents and teachers, I know how hard you are working. In fact, anything that I do in Village Parenting is to not add anything to your plate. It's to make sure that what's on your plate is the most efficient way to help the child.
[00:37:20] I really spent so long obsessing about whether or not I was a good parent. Then, I learned to really embrace my current parenting philosophy, which is: I don't have to be perfect. My kids are not mine (even though I just called them my kids). They are their own human beings. I’m meant to guide them, and I'm not meant to do that perfectly because I'm also a human being.
[00:53:30] I kept it - everything - on lockdown, which is why I can't live that way anymore. If I feel myself locking down I'm like, “ALERT! ALERT!” I need to share, I need to speak.
[00:56:20] Mindfulness to me is being in the present moment no matter what internal or external distractions arise.
[01:10:45] My children will be happy if they can emotionally express themselves and tune into their core self. It [their happiness] has nothing to do with what sports team they’re on.
[01:14:50] [Parenting and productivity] does not need to be all-consuming. Neither does whether or not I got all the things on my to do-list done, or whether or not my kids got good grades, or what teams played. It just doesn't matter.