It was such a joy to have Meagan Wilson of Whole Family Rhythms as a guest on this episode.
Meagan is the founder and educator behind Whole Family Rhythms. She is mother to four children and loving wife to Brad. After living ten years in Sydney Australia, they have recently put down new roots in the Canadian countryside just outside of Toronto.
After the birth of her first child, Meagan developed an interest in play-based learning, natural parenting and Waldorf Education and went on to complete her Foundations in Steiner Education and Anthroposophy at Sydney Steiner College. In 2017, under the direction of Kim John Payne and Davina Muse, she received her certification as a simplicity parenting family life coach. She is currently studying to receive a certificate in Waldorf Early Childhood Education at the Toronto Steiner Center.
Meagan began to document her journey as a Mama to young children on her blog almost ten years ago on her website, wholefamilyrhythms.com. Meagan offers a range of digital guides, courses and one-on-one coaching to support parents in their striving towards a more holistic and conscious way of parenting.
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In this episode Meagan speaks from her experience from working with so many families and from her own experience as parent of four. She discusses not just the benefits of rhythm in the home for young children, but also for older children and even adults. I learned so much about rhythm from my conversation with Meagan.
Here are some of my favorite takeaways from our conversation:
- For the whole family, a daily rhythm at home creates a sense of balance and peace.
- Daily rhythm helps young children to have an understanding of time. Time is very abstract for young children and daily rhythm helps them to have a sense of predictability and security in what is happening next throughout the day. For example, something like teeth brushing, this can be a struggle in many homes. However, as part of a rhythm of pre-bedtime events, it can come more easily and gently for the child.
- Rhythm and routine are different. Rhythm is a little more flexible, more like a flow, than scheduled things through a day. Another thing that’s more an aspect of a daily rhythm than routine, is the idea of ritual. An example of this could be a blessing before mealtime, or a relaxing bath before bed.
- How do you establish a daily rhythm with your family? Meagan’s suggestion is to try and establish rhythm around mealtimes, playtimes, and rest times. For children, these are the three main pillars of their day. An example of creating a rhythm around mealtime would be setting the table together before a meal, or saying a simple blessing, sharing in being grateful for the meal together. Meagan strongly recommends eating together as a family as much as possible. Eating with our children models things like table manners.
- Keep it simple. There is a tendency in our society to go overboard with everything. Keep rhythms simple. An example of this is reading just a book or two before bed, instead of three to five. When rhythm is kept simple, it stays meaningful.
- How do you maintain or create a family daily rhythm when there is a large change facing the family like a move or a new baby? Meagan recommends firstly to be flexible. Being receptive to what the individual child needs and at the same time keep in mind the needs of the whole family work best. Knowing that it won’t always be perfect, that daily rhythm is a flow that will almost consistently be in shift.
If you caught me speaking with Tricia, co-owner of SoftStar, at the end of this episode, you know there is a little something special she's offering just for Waldorfy listeners!
Here’s a link to Meagan’s “Our Family Rhythms Challenge”. This is a free resource to help guide families to create a strong daily rhythm. This is also a great tool to help families find what their core family values are.