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.
  • Relationship is often built in the intervals, when nothing much is going on.
  • Food is meant to nourish, not to entertain or excite.
  • Two or three “pressure release valves” built into the day will help a child fall asleep at night. 

the power of story

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them fairy tales.
— Einstein

Stories affect the way children learn to narrate their lives, and influence the stories they will tell themselves. 

Why is story telling so important?

  • Stories help children understand their place in the world
  • A story can help your child cope with a difficult situation or experience
  • Learning to tell stories helps your child become socially proficient
  • Storytelling can be the perfect way to impart a life lesson
  • It has been shown that telling stories about your own childhood is one of the most powerful ways to strengthen the child-parent bond. 

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. An overcoming with help of an encounter, allies
  4. An ending: happy, comic, a resolution 


Moments of pause— relationships are often built in the intervals, the spaces between activities, when nothing much is going on. 

Establishing rhythm

  • What are your children's "flashpoint" or difficult periods? Transitions are often difficult. Getting out the door. Family dinner. Sleep.
  • Star small. Choose basic activities that need to be made more consistent. The flow of the day will be improved when more rhythm is brought to these points. 
  • What is your weekly rhythm? Notice how it may change during holidays, summertime and vacation time. 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, family hugs, kitchen dance parties, gratitudes, rose and thorn

Rituals around celebrations such as birthdays, holidays, vacations. 

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