Two Lil’ Sprouts have taken their very first steps in my Sing n’ Sprout class and both times it brought such joy to the child, the mom and the entire class. From the very first steps taken in a Lil’ Sprouts life to the balance we practice as adults, one thing is for sure, balance plays a crucial role in experiencing a joyful life.
We practice balance with the little ones in our Sing n’ Sprout classes often because it fosters their developing gross motor skills. The littlest ones work on simply standing, legs wobbling until they fall down with a plop and a smile. The two-year-olds in class giggle while they stand on one foot holding their mamas’ hands, and the four-year-olds bounce with pride across the room, hopping on one foot. Then, as a whole class at varying stages of development, they work together to build a balance bridge out of blocks and take turns walking across, some while holding a caregiver’s hand. They never want this activity to end.
There’s always something to work on with balance, in any stage of development for your child or yourself. As an adult, I might be tempted to tell you that I have the balance thing down; I do a lot of yoga and can rock a pretty solid tree pose, but balance is ever shifting. As we enter a new school year, perhaps you are experiencing a transition that may shift your balance. Perhaps your youngest is starting preschool and you’ll finally have a couple of hours to catch up on things that have not been done for the past few years. Perhaps your oldest is dropping a nap and that afternoon respite you counted on is no longer.
Children change so much in a year. Their physical and emotional needs are different from what they were last year. Take a few moments to reflect prayerfully on your own balance. Balance enough sleep with enough time with your spouse while the little ones are asleep. Balance enough activities with enough unstructured time. Balance enough giving with enough refilling. Balance enough work inside the home with enough work outside of the home.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 reminds us that there is a time for everything. It could be that we have to accept being a bit out of balance for a season. A newborn, a move, a sick child or other life experiences do indeed throw off our balance for a while. Restore it when you can. Be mindful and gentle with yourself when you cannot.
Sing n’ Sprout is a music and movement program for babies through five-year-olds. Our curricula is used in ministry programs, preschools, daycares and home businesses. To learn more please visit www.singnsprout.com.