And you thought we were done with “Back to Basics”! No, I still have a few more musings on this subject. Today I am thinking about rhythm and about how to develop rhythms that work for the whole family.
Crafting your day, your week and your year has distinct advantages for your family life:
· Gives children a sense of security
· Rhythm can calm a high-needs, anxious, nervous or difficult child
· Children can see the tasks of daily life as process from beginning to end
· Once children have external rhythms, they then develop internal rhythms for eating, sleeping
· Helps the child focus their energy on play and growth and balance as opposed to wondering when the next snack time will be or when bedtime is
· Rhythm helps maintain a person or child’s strength for daily tasks
· Connects a child to nature
· Provides a structure for a child that is neither boring nor over-stimulating; provides a balance
· A True Help in Loving Guidance – because children are so centered in their physical bodies and in imitation, rhythm becomes a real help in avoiding arguments
· Helps children become helpers in the home and in life by building in times for setting up and cleaning up activities within the rhythm; this helps calm nervous and difficult children
· Rhythm helps the adults of the family build up their own self-discipline so we can model this to our children
· A rhythm helps a child feel certain that their needs will be met
· A rhythm is a vital piece in establishing for young children that there is a time for all things
· Rhythm helps parents not only with self-discipline but with enabling the energy of the house to flow smoothly and to support the needs of everyone in the entire family, not just one child or the children
· A disorganized life is not truly free!
Sometimes mothers will tell me that rhythm in the home is near-impossible for them to develop because they lack rhythm, they did not have a rhythmical home life growing up,their children are very irregular and arrhythmical….I say these are the sorts of adults and children who NEED rhythm the most. However, it is a place that requires development of our own will-forces to execute, to get back on that band-wagon when we fall off. I wrote a post about developing the adult will here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/04/30/the-adult-will-and-how-to-develop-it/ We can only give our children the gift of inner discipline when we ourselves can model inner discipline in some area! I have a post about instilling inner discipline in children here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/04/20/how-do-i-instill-inner-discipline-in-my-child/
Here are some open-ended questions regarding rhythm:
- Do you have rhythms set around mealtimes and rest and bed times?
- What is your rhythm for your own inner work, your own work you may do for pay, and other roles you may play besides Wife and Mother?
- What kind of rhythm do you have for spending time with your partner?
- Do you have a general rhythm for taking care of your own health?
- What is your rhythm for homeschooling?
- What is the rhythm for balancing being home and being outside of your home? Are you always going, going, going? Do you find it difficult to say no to outside things?
- Do you have seasonal rhythms? What festivals speak to you –why and why not?
Hope that helps you meditate on this important subject,