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Establishing daily rhythm helps pave way to success

Posted: April 16, 2014 - 5:01pm

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”
­— Chinese Proverb

Best Beginnings Homer will be celebrating Week of the Young Child April 20th-27th with the theme “Strengthening Families” to honor families with young children. Homer’s celebration will be a week of fun activities to promote the importance of early learning, which helps children succeed throughout life.  Week of the Young Child is celebrated nationwide and Homer is proud to show our support for young children and the important people in their lives.
One essential way adults set children up for success is by establishing a daily rhythm. When a rhythm is in place, a child knows what is expected, which eliminates the stress of unnecessary choices. They know that after they wake up, they get dressed; and after getting dressed they eat breakfast; and on Wednesdays they know there will always be story time or lap-sit at the library.
Having a daily rhythm can eliminate meltdowns and struggles throughout the day. When children know what to expect each day, they will approach their day with confidence. A rhythm within your day and family can bring you peace, fulfillment and purpose.
Building a rhythm can be difficult and daunting at first. The best way to start is to build it around meals and bedtimes. Creating consistency with meals and bedtime can reduce the stress of these transitions, which can be the most challenging part of a day. Turn these times into something sacred with a poem before each meal and a special lullaby or story before bed. With the formation of an external rhythm will come an internal rhythm for children, which will result in children being hungry at dinner time and sleepy at bedtime.
For young children, pediatricians recommend a total of 12 to 15 hours of sleep each day. Following is one idea for an evening transition: Lower the lights after dinner, have the radio and television off, prepare a lavender bath followed by a few minutes of quiet play in a dimly lit bedroom. Allow children time to dress themselves in their pajamas and then snuggle into bed for the ritual of their lullaby or bedtime story. A calm and gentle pace during these transitions calms children for their bed time routine.
Remember to plan special events, like Week of the Young Child, into your daily rhythms. Along with fun family activities, there will be a Community Café and Training on Friday, April 25, at Kachemak Bay Campus Pioneer Building. “Communicating & Networking about Early Education, Young Children & Their Families” is open to any and all who are working with and/or concerned about the care and education of young children and their families. It is a great place to come together with visions and inspiration for our community’s future.  To RSVP contact Jenny Martin at 435-7101 or Jenny.martin@bbbsak.org.
Homer’s Week of the Young Child will include many great activities so keep an eye out for flyers. Contact Sprout at 235-6044 or Homer Public Health Center at 235-8857 for more information regarding activities.  You can also visit our Best Beginnings Homer pages on Facebook or www.pop411.org or the  www.SproutAlaska.org/calendar for a list of all events. Also, remember to check-out the Safe Kid’s Fair April 26 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Homer High School.
Hanna Young is a teacher at Homer Head Start and a work group member with Best Beginnings Homer.

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