Looking back on my life, I can see my seasonal/yearly rhythm playing out as early as my grade school years. The daily school routine would get the best of me. Up every morning at the same time to catch the school bus, homework every night, and the pressure to perform each day took its toll. Christmas break was never long enough. Summer gave freedom and flexibility. A routine sounded good at the beginning of a new school year, but within the first month I was already feeling the weariness of the day-in and day-out schedule.
Recently a mom of four was sharing how her youngest has really struggled with the daily routine of school. He's having a difficult time getting up in the morning and pushing through the day. She hadn't even read the book yet, but by reading the website posts on the different rhythms, she determined her son most likely beats to the seasonal/yearly rhythm.
We talked about helping him to think in seasons to enable him to manage his little life in blocks of time. Having a beginning and end to things will help him to find a break from the routine. Giving him the freedom and flexibility to be unscheduled on the weekend would be important, a respite from the Monday through Friday drill. It will give him downtime and breathing space to be ready to get on the school bus Monday morning.
A dad of two shared with me how he and his wife share the seasonal/yearly rhythm, as well as their teenage son. This leaves their middle school daughter who's daily often frustrated living in a household with three seasonal people. Structure? What structure? You can imagine with both parents beating to a seasonal rhythm, to-do lists, routines, and daily tasks are not a significant part of home life. This poor daughter must be going crazy living with seasonal only family members who tend to be more random than routine. Being aware of this is crucial to parenting. As a middle schooler, she can be guided in creating a routine for her days that make sense with the rest of the family. Perhaps a personal note pad where she can create a daily to-do list and check off the tasks (homework, household chores, etc) upon completion would be satisfying for her.
It's important for parents to think about their kids life rhythm in regards to their spiritual formation. A mom of two junior-highers has been encouraging them to have their daily devotions, but after discovering Life Rhythms, realizes this might be counterproductive in their time with God.
Taking your child's unique Life Rhythm into consideration will be beneficial in helping them to connect with God in ways that are life-giving rather than defeating. If a child is daily, they will lean into the structure of a set time with God each day. Perhaps morning prayer before they head off to school, or a bedtime routine that includes prayer and a devotional book at the end of the day. If they're not daily, helping them discover the life rhythm they naturally lean into will guide them in how they spend time with God. A spiritual growth goal for the weekly/monthly child will motivate them to pursue a child-size plan that moves them forward in becoming more like Christ. Giving the seasonal/yearly child time to reflect, either through conversation or by keeping a journal, to process thoughts on life, things they're learning about God, and how they see themselves, will be meaningful to the seasonal child.
Now, it makes sense to me that I roamed country roads and pastures on the farm I grew up on, in deep contemplation of God and life and faith. My third-grade teacher often accused me of day-dreaming, which I'm sure I was doing to take a mental break from the tedious routine of school. Even as a child, not knowing I lived to a seasonal rhythm, I found ways to experience life-giving moments in the midst of the daily.
Discovering a child's life rhythm will empower a parent to know best how to facilitate their child's schedules. Whether a child is daily, weekly/monthly, or seasonal/yearly, understanding their life rhythm will only help them to make more sense out of how they do life.