Want less conflict and more calm? Find your rhythm
by Olynda Smith, AMS Certified Montessori Teacher and Simplicity Parenting Life Coach.
Are you looking for ways to minimize parental overwhelm while also increasing connection with and cooperation from your children? There is an incredibly powerful Simplicity Parenting practice that can support those goals and more: Creating Rhythm.
The positive impacts of having a consistent, predictable rhythm in our family lives is extraordinary. Here are a few:
- Better sleep
- Less friction around transitions
- Fewer meltdowns
- Stronger connection
- Learned healthy self-care habits
- More Joy in the day to day
- Stronger ongoing relationships with our children: even through Adolescence
Sounds amazing, right? It is! If you have been with us for a while, you’ve seen how simplifying the stuff in your playroom positively impacts your little ones. Simplifying our stuff is just one way to bring more simplicity into your home. According to Kim John Payne, founder of Simplicity Parenting,
“Increasing the rhythm of your home life is one of the most powerful ways of simplifying your children’s lives.”
This is especially important in the first three years of life. This work deeply affects much older children as well, but the work we do in these early years can set the tone for the rest of our children’s lives. When we set up the rhythms from the beginning, it’s simply part of our family life.
In a nutshell, creating rhythm is about building in moments of predictability and regularity that kids can relax into and even look forward to. As Payne says, the best rhythms not only provide consistency but they also provide points of connection.
Here are examples of moments that could add to family rhythm:
- Saturday morning family walks
- Five minutes of snuggling before getting up every day
- Lunch with Mom on Mondays
- An hour of unstructured play time every day after school/daycare
- Tuesday after dinner dance parties
- A tradition of “previewing” the following day each evening
When kids know what to expect, and the rhythm of our days or weeks is consistent, we are less likely to have push back from them about a transition. When we have points of connection built into everyday life we build a storehouse of trust and positive relationship “credits” that are the foundation for cooperation and wellbeing - now and for years to come. As we build in time for reflection and little “pauses” in our days we all feel less overwhelmed and more able to be at our best. The ripple effects of such a simple practice are felt deeply within the child. Payne says, “Not only can children find security in the patterns of daily life, they can begin to find themselves.”
It is likely you already have some rhythms built into your lives! Understanding the importance of this work allows us to lean into it more consciously, craft rhythms intentionally and gain more and more benefits.
There are many aspects of this deep practice - which is great because only some of them will fit into each unique family’s lives. If the reality of your life is that consistency and predictability are really hard - do not worry. Bringing even a little more rhythm into your family life in ANY way will pay off. Anything done repeatedly in a way a child can count on can be a great start.
This March we are geeking out about creating Rhythm, so watch your inbox for some specific ways to bring this practice into your home! If you want a really deep dive, please check out “Simplicity Parenting: Using the Ordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer Happier and More Secure Kids” by Kim John Payne.