Keeping a Steady Beat

Posted in: Uncategorized- Sep 03, 2017 No Comments

Yesterday my son asked me, “Mommy, what has a steady beat?”

I think that is a beautiful question to contemplate, as steady beats are soothing, reassuring and the foundational fabric of music.  In the same way, routines are an important foundational fabric for a child’s life that help guide and reassure children as to the rhythm of their life.

When my son was a baby, we fell into.a bedtime routine that is still in place today.  “Suppertime, bath time, story time, bedtime” has become a mantra that my husband, my son and I recite every night.  When this routine first developed, I found myself looking forward to it every day as I knew the next piece of that mantra was “Mommy time”!

I have found the steady beat of our bedtime routine cues my son’s body up to rest each evening.  He’s not a naturally restful child, quite the opposite, he loves being in full out motion.  So getting to sleep or sleeping in general is not his strong suit.  For those of you familiar with Ayurvedic constitutions, you’ll see my son’s Pitta shining through this story.

So, this bedtime routine developed out of the pure desperation of being an extremely sleep deprived Mommy that needed to get a child to bed so that I could rest too.  Indra needed, and still needs, all of these steps to smooth and calm his entire being in preparation for sleep.

We both love and treasure this routine which now often ends with me curled up beside him for a snuggle and an intimate, confiding chat.  Only at this point of the day, in the darkness and safety of his bedroom will he share with me his fears, embarrassments, and bad deeds from the day.

Routines are a child’s compass. Indra’s bedtime routine points him in the direction of sleep.  In the same way, his morning routine now points him out the door to school.  Routines keep children from getting lost.  My most chaotic days as a parent are those in which I have taken Indra away from his steady beat.  He literally spins out of control if he doesn’t have his bearings.

Last year when we moved to a completely new town and we went into a new grocery store, I found the child whom I had always loved grocery shopping with had turned into an unrecognizable monster.  Instead of pushing the cart politely down the aisles for me and helping me find items, he was running away, ramming the cart into people and pulling items off shelves randomly.  He had lost his bearings.  Everything looked, smelt and worked differently.  He simply couldn’t handle processing all that new stimulus.

I have learnt that in order to set my son up for success, for wellness, for balance, I need to help him keep a steady beat.  When I do, the dance is so much more delightful.

 

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