Week 4: Rhythm

Quite simply

  • Increasing the rhythm of your home life is one of the most powerful ways of simplifying your children’s lives.
  • With predictability a child can relax, knowing what to expect.
  • Rhythms establish a foundation for cooperation and connection.
  • Any repeated note or activity in the day can be made more rhythmic.
  • Rhythm builds islands of consistency and security throughout the day.
  • Relationship is often built in the intervals, when nothing much is going on.
  • Committing to rhythm builds trust and relational credits.
  • The magic of rhythms is in the process, not the particulars.
  • Food is meant to nourish, not to entertain or excite.
  • As parents simplify, children’s food issues will diminish or resolve.
  • Two or three “pressure release valves” built into the day will help a child fall asleep at night. 

the power of story

Most children love stories told by a parent. Stories can confirm a truth of who we are as people and provide affirmation. We connect through story.


Things to keep in mind when making up or selecting a story:

  1. A main character, who may have a special quality or difficulty. 
  2. Some kind of movement: a journey, a change
  3. A challenge, an encounter, a helper
  4. An overcoming 
  5. An ending: happy, comic, a resolution 


our family rhythms

  • Write down a timeline of the current rhythms already established in your family's daily life. Mealtimes, morning and bedtime rituals. How is it different during holidays, summertime, vacation, weekends? 


  • Write down your weekly rhythms. Monday to Sunday. How is it different during holidays, summertime, vacation, weekends? Add some ideas for new rituals or rhythmic activities that will introduce moments for calm and connection. 

    Introducing more rhythm may take parental resolve and persistence...and will be rewarded by more confidence, calm and connection.


change process

  1. IDENTIFY dissatisfaction
  2. IMAGINE things better
  3. DESIGN a small doable chnage
  4. CELEBRATE all plans, agreements and change however small

Building Rhythm and ritual

Did you have rituals as a child? What effect did that have on you? What do you do now as a family? 

Daily ideas: short sayings "home sweet home", prayers, verses, meditations, family hugs, kitchen dance parties, gratitudes, rose and thorn

Rituals around celebrations such as birthdays, holidays, vacations. 

In Bali, rituals is ingrained in their culture...dance, song, incense, offerings. 

Some verses:

Earth who gives to us this food, Sun who makes it ripe and good. Dear earth, dear sun, by you we live, Our loving thanks to you we give. 

May wisdom shine through me, May love grow within me, May strength fill me, That in me may arise a helper to all people. A server of holy things, selfless and true. R. Steiner


imagine your child's days...

  • Your family’s days acquiring a sense of order, rhythm, and flow…
  • Difficult transitions being smoothed by reliable patterns.
  • The security your children will feel having a mental picture of how their day will proceed.
  • Your children having a place in the tasks and rhythms of daily life, their roles growing from involvement towards independent mastery.
  • Family dinners becoming more regular, the food familiar and comforting, the connections evolving with repetition.
  • Having a family fortune of stories that you share.
  • Your family’s sense of identity growing along with the number of activities you share. 


Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour by Susan Perrow

Story Telling with Children by Nancy Mellon

BEST: Your own childhood and family life stories 


Kim John Payne's Audio 

Group call video