July 20, 2017
Some Practical Suggestions for Raising Kids in 5Rhythms by Meghan LeBorious:
(Read Meghan’s full story on raising her son in 5Rhythms here)
I – Off the dance floor
1. Dance often and everywhere.
2. Approach your relationship with your child with flexibility, presence, and honesty; and be available to joy when it arises.
3. Use the vocabulary and language of 5Rhythms in your daily conversations, even when you are talking about other topics; and build up how special 5Rhythms is in your stories and discussions.
II – On the dance floor
1. If there are children’s classes in your area, consider signing your child up.
2. If there are no children’s classes in your area, check with your local teachers to find out the policies about bringing children to adult classes.
3. If children can attend an adult class and you plan to bring your child, make sure you, yourself, have established a personal practice before bringing them along.
4. Don’t go to class needing a workout. Get enough exercise at a different time in the day or be willing to take the day off.
5. Consider bringing snacks, a few special toys, and books. It is strongly suggested that parents not allow children to use electronics during the class.
6. Let your child pick a spot in the room where he or she feels safe, and have them set up toys and snacks there.
7. Teach your child that the practice room is sacred and silent space, and create some sort of ritual for moving into and out of the practice space.
8. Instruct your child only non-verbally as much as possible, being careful to observe the no-talking rule.
9. Pay attention to the child’s needs, including leaving the room from time to time if they need a break.
10. Give your child as much space as he or she is comfortable with and encourage him or her to take just a tiny bit more than seems comfortable.
11. Keep a close eye on your child, even if they are having fun on the other side of the room and you are deep in dance. They probably need to know you see them in order to feel safe.
12. Even as you remain aware of your child, fully step into your own dances and partnerships, and realize that the more fearless and vibrant you are willing to be, the more your child will be willing to be fearless and vibrant.
13. Consider resisting the temptation to mediate all of your child’s relationships and experiences within the class.
14. Be deeply willing to follow your child, to take on the experiments they propose, to fall into their rhythms and patterns, and to learn from them.
15. Be open to the idea that the patterns, challenges and delights of your relationship with your child may arise, and be willing to take your reflections and insights seriously, yet lightly.
16. Realize that even if your child seems shy or not into it, there is a pretty good chance that if you continue to expose them to 5Rhythms without pressuring, guilting or bribing them, at some point they will probably buy in.
17. Be ready to leave early if your child wants to leave early.
18. Have an ice cream, a snack, a nice lunch, or a trip to a favorite park after class and discuss your experiences, asking open questions and listening with receptivity.