Posts Tagged ‘rhythm’

7 Principles for Peaceful Parenting

Is it me?? Is our world is tilting toward the brink, or are we merely witnessing normal global growing pains?

Oh how I wish the premise of my book Parenting for Peace had become obsolete in the 7+ years since it was published. But alas, the premise of my book could not be more relevant right now:

If we really want change the world, we need to raise a generation “built for peace”—hardwired at brain level with the capacities needed to foster empathic interdependence and innovative solutions in our challenged world.

At this point in human history, I guess I would dare to ask, “Why be a parent if not to try and bring a peacemaker on earth?” It might be peace through embroidery or engineering or being a CEO. Ultimately, our consciously enacted wish for our children becomes that they unfold as individuals with the heart to embrace and exemplify peacefulness, the psyche to experience joy and intimacy, the mind to innovate solutions to social and ecological challenges, and the will to enact such innovations.

That kind of human is never a genetically predetermined given, but the result of dynamic interactions between genetics and environment — with parents being the most influential environmental variable.

Yikes, that is pretty daunting, right?!


Brain-Wise Parenting: The Importance of Relationship & Rhythm


(Part 2 of my 5-part series at Yesterday I invited parents to relax about pushing academics for their wee ones, because their best preparation for true intelligence is play. But there is a very important area of your young child’s brain that does need active parental participation for optimally healthy development. It’s called the orbito-frontal cortex, or OFC for short.

The OFC is the seat of common sense thinking… the ability to read other people’s “signals” and recognize their intentions… to sense their emotions, and have empathy… to imbue intellectual thought with feeling, and vice versa — to moderate emotion with rational thought. In short, the OFC is the seat of social intelligence. It manages the skills of being truly human! {Read more at}



Brain-Wise Parenting: The Importance of Relationship & Rhythm

Wondering how to best build your baby’s brain? There’s an app for that! Pop quiz: do you know what RHYTHM has to do with your child’s lifelong wellbeing?? What kinds of rhythm does your child have during the days & weeks?

I’m pleased to have been invited for a 5-day guest blog spot at, which began yesterday and runs all week. Dr. Greene is a pediatrician whose focus is children’s health in a progressive way. So I’m chiming in with 5 new articles this week all centered around ways to foster children’s optimal lifelong wellbeing. And it’s a lot of NEW material that I haven’t previously blogged about! Check it out here.  



Slowing the Pace of Life in Summer

Slowing the Pace of Life in Summer | Marcy Axness, PhDWe humans are rhythmic creatures. At least that’s how we’re meant to be. It’s why Rhythm is one of the seven Parenting for Peace principles. It is a gift for our children and ourselves to embrace life’s ebbing and flowing. Summertime offers us a luscious opportunity for slowing the pace of life.

“As biologists have learned in the past decade,” writes author Jennifer Ackerman, “time permeates the flesh of all living things — and for one powerful reason: We evolved on a rotating planet.”[1] She observes the many ways in which we carry inside us a model of the cosmos. Our entire being is steeped in various rhythms: respiration, circulation, digestion, elimination just to name a few.

So no wonder we find rhythmicity so nourishing. The young child most especially thrives on rhythmic routine, consistency and predictability. It weaves a sense of security into the fiber of his very cells as they are busy building brain and organ tissue. Ideally, rhythm permeates the child’s daily, weekly and even seasonal life. Meals and bedtimes are consistent and regular. Activities at home as well as outings take on the predictability of ritual, which the child can count on and keep a sort of internal beat to: “This is when we eat, this is when we nap, this is when we have play time… Tuesdays we go to the park, Wednesdays we go to the Farmer’s Market, Sunday we visit Grandma… and summer is beach time! {Read the rest of this post at}


[1] Ackerman, Jennifer. Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2007, pg. 8.

Petrov Escarião under its Creative Commons license

Recuperating — be back soon!

No, I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. Long dry blog spell is due to my recent 3-week teaching trip to Brazil, from which I just returned. It was wonderful… people SO receptive to the Parenting for Peace message… not to mention the gorgeous country and wonderful folks.

Audience in Juiz de Fora

…at a health promotion conference for nursing students, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora

Marcy Axness, Laura Uplinger

With colleague / interpreter Laura Uplinger…











Now I’m in the “re-entry” mode that happens for me after travel. Not just jet lag…but life lag. Listening to the bodymind’s call for a pause — in the interest of living and working with sustainability.

I’ll soon get back into a blogging rhythm, and in the meantime, I invite you to use the tag cloud on my homepage to search for topics of your interest… and if you’d like to see some posts / photos from the Brazil trip, they are on my Facebook profile (as opposed to FB Parenting for Peace page). If you’re patient and scroll way down you’ll even see my taste of carnaval!


Rhythm and Routine for the Slower Days of Summer

When my son and daughter were in school, every June when summer vacation came I used to let out an audible sigh of relief. For one thing, I’m not a natural early bird, but for all of the years of our kids’ infancy and toddlerhood I was of course required to act like one! Once both children were in school, we were all happy to retire the alarm clock when summer arrived — or at least reset it for a more leisurely time.

But I remember the Waldorf teachers often urging us as we set off for summer, “Keep the form.” Meaning, keep some rhythm and structure to the days, even though school is no longer the primary organizing principle. (Some ideas on that in a moment.)  *** Read the rest of this post at ***

Beauty as a Verb

In difficult times you should always carry something beautiful in your mind. •Blaise Pascal•

It sometimes seems to me that we’ve lost a sense of the importance of beauty in daily life. There is a coarseness and crassness to so much of the personal and cultural discourse we’re exposed to, that we’ve grown callouses over our “beauty receptors”—out of sheer survival! And, we’re all so busy, so techno-distracted, so efficient. Just don’t have the time to pick a few flowers for vase on the table… to smooth out the clutter by the front door… to hang just the right pictures on the wall. This relates to P4P Principle #3, Rhythm. (more…)