Day four, Rhythm. Today I feel so lucky to have Haydee of Happenstance share her thoughts. She has nailed it with her personal stories and excerpts from the book. Sit back, absorb and comment away... I hope you are all enjoying this as much as I am.
At first I wasn’t quite sure how I would quantitate “rhythm” with child rearing. But after reading this chapter, not only was I enlightened by the idea and effects of “rhythm,” but I recognized many of Dr. Payne’s points about “rhythm” from my own childhood. When I was younger we often had the same dishes for dinner which always seemed boring, but now I get why. My friends always wanted to come to my house when we were teenagers. I never understood it, but now I know why. You would never find sugar cereals in our pantry. It was kind of a bummer, but now I embrace why. Most of all, I realize that I have adapted these same “rhythms” as a kid, into my own home, with my own kids. I understand now that with consistency and repetition, the vibrations of the rhythms of life have a powerful ability to carry on. Below are some soundbites I noted from each section of the “Rhythm” chapter that I thought you’d be interested in reviewing. Some I have commented on. I would love to hear your thoughts too!
RHYTHM / PREDICTABILITY
“Meaning hides in repetition … what stands out is not the splashy, blow-out trip to Disneyland but the common threads that run throughout and repeat: family dinners, walks, reading together at bedtime, Saturday morning pancakes.”
“A form of predictability can also simply be in the form of politeness.” –– Hooray! The monotony of reminding them to say “please” and “thank you” pays off!
“After school time is also a great opportunity for free unscheduled time. What a delight it is for a school-age child to set their own agenda; what a blessing, even, to be bored.” –– This will forever make me see “boredom” so differently. It’s so valuable and easy!
“Simplicity establishes a connection with our children that is ‘bankable.’ By that I mean we have ‘relational credits.’ In difficult times we can count on, and draw from, this connection.”
“Relational credits, the emphasis you’ve put on being there for them, and with them, can make things easier for you both, during their adolescence and other difficult times.” –– I plan to rack up these “relational credits!” Who knows what those dreaded teenage years have in store for us!
FAMILY DINNER / FOODS
“The dinner table is one of a child’s most consistent laboratories for learning social skills (and impulse control); it’s democracy in action.”
“Food is meant to nourish, not entertain or excite.” –– You hear that chocolate-dipped, deep fried Oreo’s!
“How can a carrot compete with Hot Wings and Blue Cheese Doritos? “Big hit flavors” (like Doritos––usually additives, and stimulants) set up an addictive cycle. Such foods are the enemy of rhythm. You can’t flow through speed-crash-and-burn.” –– I have a “big hits flavor” (or lack thereof) story of when Penelope was four. We reluctantly attended a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese and when it came time for lunch the only drink provided was soda. Surprisingly (because I thought I’d have to deal with a “why can’t I?” scenario) Penelope matter of factly asked for milk. It’s true what Dr. Payne says about “what happens at home” naturally evolves. At that time and to this day Penelope has never tasted soda.
“There are 17,000 “new food products” introduced to shoppers in this country every year.” –– This usually means that there is little to no nutritional value in these new foods. Especially if it didn’t exist 50 years ago.
“Is it [food] unnecessarily complex with ingredients you can’t identify or pronounce?” –– This reminded me of Jamie Oliver’s simple suggestion. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, don’t buy it. I never realized what a great rule of thumb this was until I started realizing how easy the ingredients were to decipher on my Trader Joe’s items.
“Everything your child does and who they will be are affected by their sleep or lack of it. Too little sleep is the first thing I look for.” –– This blew me away. I can honestly say that we have never had sleep issues with either kid. Now five and three, both were trained to sleep in their own bed without a night light at two months thanks to the suggestion of our amazing pediatrician, Dr. Levy. He made a great point about babies being used to darkness and natural outside noises while in the womb. So creating a similar environment for them at home would only make them more comfortable. Every night they go to sleep between 8-8:30 pm without any resistance. In fact, our three y/o has been known to just say he’s going to bed on his own. Again, all a testament to Dr. Levy and his amazing guidance.
“Stories are wonderful pressure valves. Children recognize themselves in the characters; they sense their own worth as they feel the heroine’s fears, experience her bravery, compassion, and hope.” –– I had never really thought of any benefits past word recognition and playtime reenactments. This was great to know.
“Most of the answers a young child is looking for can be found through story. This is a good example of the difference between our worlds as children and adults.” –– This, too, is so great to realize.
Thank you so much Haydee!
P.S. Levy really is awesome. I feel like I could write a post just about the things he has taught me about parenting.
*Above is a photo of Haydee's little ones "being bored" too sweet. Especially with their crowns on. Love it.