If we’re going to raise our children with intention, we have to create room for heart matters. As parents, it’s up to us to set the atmosphere of our home, and one of the ways we can achieve this is by creating rhythms in our daily life. Not a schedule. Not exactly a routine. But rhythms. The very heartbeat of our home.
Life itself has an ebb and flow, a way of pushing and pulling. We have seasons and signs around us that point to this rhythm. Day and night. Summer and winter. Spring and fall. Planting and harvesting. Even the moon has phases that affect us, whether we acknowledge that or not.
Our children also have times of ebb and flow, of learning and resting. Of eating and then growing. Many times, we are told to create a sort of idealistic schedule and then force the child to abide by that schedule, come hell or high waters. However, if you’ve spent any time around children, this is not the case.
At home, in the middle of daily life, we are trying to reach our children. This daily life changes and fluctuates, so why would our schedules always remain the same?
Instead, I think that there are some key areas where we can put our focus. These areas create that rhythm that we’re looking for, no matter what other things are going on outside of the home. They are also flexible, being able to change with the season that you find your family in or even adjusted on bad days. We all have them, right?
So how do I manage to stay connected with my children’s hearts even on hard days? We follow the rhythms of our home.
For us, these rhythms include a comforting bedtime, listening to read-alouds, enjoying movies together, reading poetry, listening to music, playing outside, and enjoying meals together. These key areas are not daily events that I check off of my list. Instead, they happen organically, as needed.
We adjust them at times, too. Obviously, we are not going to spend an hour or two playing outside when it’s freezing. And we won’t be as prone to watching movies when it’s a gorgeous day outside. If we leave church at or after bedtime, then our nightly routine will be cut shorter than on days when we’ve been at home all night. And when I’ve had a bad day and need some time to regroup, I will often choose to spend my mealtime alone instead of with the family.
The point with these rhythms is not perfection or a strict adherence. It’s to grow the family bonds, especially during the preschool and kindergarten years. It’s that special time between babyhood and school lessons when the child forms these close-knit bonds, and we must be prepared to take the necessary time and energy to help strengthen them.
If your children are older, I still believe that these rhythms can create meaningful connections within your family. Probably more so. However, as my oldest is 7, I cannot speak to the benefit of these rhythms with older children, and I invite you to share your experience below.
In the coming posts, I will be addressing each of these rhythms and how we implement them in our home. In the meantime, focus on one or two of them and think of some ways that you could begin implementing the idea this week. For example, how would you include music in your family’s rhythm? Do you have a special bedtime routine? How could you use that time to strengthen family bonds?
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