Rhythm is one of the most beautiful gifts you can give your family. It doesn’t just need to be set by a parent; instead it can be set as a family according to family priorities, and it should also be nourishing to ALL members of the family.
People get upset at the idea of rhythm because I think they feel it will be constraining. Rhythm, to me, isn’t so much as “do x at y time” but a general flow and a look at the day, the week, the month, the year.
I like to plan rhythm in a year/month format on a large piece of paper that I divide into twelve squares. In each monthly square I can write down what we usually celebrate under that month, and also things I associate with each month (examples – strawberry picking, lake days, light displays at the Winter holidays, etc). I also use this in my adult life! Today, I wrote down in my calendar that April is kind of crazy so I remember to do something a bit different next year and to be sure to take Easter Monday off of work next year! LOL.
Daily rhythm doesn’t have to be complicated. For those of you with small children, just getting through the day with rising, breakfast and clean up, personal hygiene, play, eating and napping, play, dinner, bath, bedtime – well, that’s all you need along with some songs, fingerplays, and a smile. 🙂
Older children can have more complicated rhythms but I would encourage you to step in for those under the 16 year old developmental change (and some 17 year olds may still also need help) and help them craft a rhythm that reflects a balance between head, heart, hands. Where is the bodily movement? Are they learning and expanding their minds? Are they helping the family and helping others? Where is their community of people?
The rhythms in the house should even nourish the adults. If every bit of the rhythm is geared around the children, where is the time and space for you as a person? For you with the other adults in the house? Time with your spouse? Time with your parents or extended family? Time is our most precious commodity. Many of us have children and aging parents and understand this all too well.
Rhythm can be a great source of renewal and a great source of joy – you really can have and make time to have fun! Living together is wonderful.
I would love to hear about your Eastertide New Beginnings!