Creating a Calm Home Life with Rhythm, Rituals & Reverence
By Chinyelu Kunz
/ in this article
01. Examples of daily rituals for you and your child
02. How creating rituals can deeply connect families and infuse daily life with enthusiasm and joy
03. Combining rituals with a daily rhythm for more restorative days
You can cultivate your intentional family, connect more deeply and transform daily life in your home and with your child through the rituals that you create.
By creating rituals you’ll quickly discover that enthusiasm and joyful anticipation fills each day for both you and your child. Rituals not only add significance to daily rhythmic activities, they also strengthen the ties that bind family life. What I absolutely love about rituals is how children so lovingly embrace the special touches that we intentionally create in daily life. Rituals, like rhythms, are strengthened when they flow harmoniously each day and are repeated over and over again so try to make sure that your rituals are rhythmic, too. Repetition of rituals gives young children a sense of security through knowing what will happen and how it will happen. Children want to experience rituals again and again and repetition deepens the joy.
Creating a rhythmic home life that includes rituals can be transformational. With rituals, you’ll find that your daily rhythms at home will be elevated and everyday life will be experienced on a deeper more rewarding level. Use the three pillars of Rhythm, Ritual, and Reverence and you’ll be on your way to turning your home into a sanctuary. And don’t we all want our homes to be our sanctuary?
The feelings of reverence surrounding the rituals we establish can have a lasting impact. Years later, when your child has grown beyond the early years, the joyful feelings that were part of the rituals you created will still remain and continue to be alive. This is because joy became a part of that ritual and a result of the experience of that activity. It’s like the memory of any experience that still joyfully resounds within.
“It is not easy, at first, to believe that feelings like reverence and respect have anything to do with cognition. This is due to the fact that we are inclined to set cognition aside as a faculty by itself — one that stands in no relation to what otherwise occurs in the soul. In so thinking we do not bear in mind that it is the soul which exercises the faculty of cognition; and feelings are for the soul what food is for the body.”
– Rudolf Steiner
When we create rituals, we imbue an activity with reverence and intention, because we are actively transforming an activity through our intentional thought and care. When you create a ritual within an activity, you are more mindful of your approach, your words and actions and this brings about greater awareness, deeper intention and more care surrounding that activity. You’ll discover that the rituals you create will transform your child’s experience of that activity and result in joyful feelings. Your child will engage with enthusiasm.
Reverence is a mood of the soul from which a sense of wonder, love and devotion are experienced. Nurturing the experience of reverence within the rituals you create for your child is key to cultivating harmonious experiences in your family’s daily rhythm. By cultivating reverence, especially in your child’s early years, you gift your child with deep feelings of gratitude which are best experienced through your guidance. You set the example and they will imitate. It’s also important that you live what you wish to resound as goodness in your child.
If you are wondering how to establish rituals in your home, I suggest that you start by first looking at the rhythm you currently have in your home and then see where you will want to start. Start small and keep in mind that rituals can be simple. I also suggest that you take the lead role when creating any ritual – you are the parent, you are the one guiding your child’s development and you are the one who knows what the day needs in order for it to flow as harmoniously as possible. Keep in mind that young children can’t hold the meaning of a ritual and what it takes to create, develop and hold a ritual. As adults, we have the mature capacity to plan, implement, reflect and make changes when needed. Once you have established a ritual, your child will eagerly accept it as long as it meets what they need and that you, as the parent, trust and believe in the decisions that you make.
Your Morning Ritual
Parenting requires a lot of energy and to do it to the best of our ability we need to be present, mindful and attentive. This means that we must take care of ourselves and carve out time just for us. Even if it’s only for a few minutes. I encourage you to fill your cup and find what brings you joy!
Here are a few morning rituals ideas. Maybe there is one that you can carve time out for even if only for 5 minutes a day.
– Getting up earlier than your children and taking time to have a cup of tea or coffee can be just enough of a lift to start your day.
– Rising earlier than your child to have a warm bath or a nice hot shower with rose scented soap can prove to be an amazing way to begin your day.
– Nurture yourself by meditating for however long is possible. When possible, gift yourself this time before you start your day.
– Journaling is a healing way to start the day. Try keeping your journal on your bedside table and do this first thing in the morning. Imagine the wonderful possibilities for the day ahead by having gratitude for what you already have. You will begin your day with so much positivity!
– Having an exercise routine like a simple 10 minute workout that includes, for example, sit-ups and stretches is very beneficial especially when you do it rhythmically.
Your Childs Morning Ritual
Morning rituals set the tone for the day and whether your child is an early riser or sleeps in a bit longer, I believe that you can guide the tone or energy for the day through your enthusiasm and joy in the morning. How your child rises in the morning can tell you so much about what they will need to begin their day, in as harmonious a way as possible.
Waking your child with a verse or a song that you sing is a simple and beautiful ritual you can begin at anytime, but I suggest that you are consistent. This way of waking up in the morning will be a life long treasure for your child and the joyful feeling and memory of this loving time together will remain with them.
A morning ritual that includes a child waking to the gentle tones of a human voice instead of electronic or recorded sounds is a wonderful way to greet each new day.
A few rituals to try:
– Singing a good morning song is a beautiful way to start the day.
– A morning verse such as the one below is a delightful way to begin the day with your child and a beautiful ritual to have. It’s from the book ‘Seven Times the Sun’ by Shea Darian – pg. 31.
“The light opens up and I walk in,
The day invites me to begin.
I ask the day, “How shall I start?,
Says the day, “With a wish upon your heart.”
Then you could ask your child what their heart’s wish is. Maybe this ritual can grow with them as they grow.
– Cuddling with your child for a few minutes before getting out of bed. Allowing your child to cuddle with you in your bed is a ritual that perhaps many children initiate. What can make it even more special? When we welcome our children with an open heart and let them know that there will always be room in our bed for them.
– Telling your child a short story which you make up. The story could be about the day ahead that’s told in a simple playful way. Stories like this are especially good for children who are anxious or have a need to know what will happen in advance. It’s like a preview to the day ahead.
Your Breakfast Ritual
When my children were young, I often found breakfast time to be the gentlest mealtime of the day. I found that holding breakfast in a way where I was creating an inviting and welcoming mood to a table that had already been set with love made all the difference. Although my goal wasn’t to set a fancy table, I did aim for simplicity and beauty. Having a candle on the table is centering and helps create a welcoming atmosphere in every season of the year.
Since children learn from us and imitate what we do, I suggest that everything that will be needed for the meal is placed on the table before breakfast starts. When we get up and down from the table our child will imitate this which can lead to making mealtime disjointed and possibly chaotic. If everyone stays in their seats until the candle is extinguished, you will be amazed with how your breakfast ritual will be a time that everyone will look forward to and really enjoy. You will also find that when meal time is held with deep intention, your child will become more interested in their food even picky eaters.
It’s a journey to develop ways to nurture and care for your family and yourself – rituals help this process. I encourage you to find joy in your journey because rituals are a form of self-care! Rituals are the antidote to the stresses that come with daily life. There’s no better time than now to begin this journey by creating your family’s daily rituals!