Book 7/50: Simplicity Parenting | The Life of K: Book 7/50: Simplicity Parenting

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Book 7/50: Simplicity Parenting

I mentioned last week that Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, M.ED. and Lisa M. Ross was life changing and it really has been. The author argues that by simplifying your child's life you will find they are calmer, happier, and more secure. He talks about simplifying toys, books, clothes, activities, meals, and screen time.

After just a week of implementing some changes, simplifying on a small scale, we've noticed a difference in our kids. We've moved some toys out of sight and decreased the amount of tv the kids watch. They've been playing more, reading more, and sleeping better. My hopes is that once I've simplified even more - books being on my list to tackle next - that we see more effects.

"As you simplify, you allow children to put their attention, and themselves, into what they are doing. When they're not overwhelmed with so many toys, kids can more fully engage with the ones that they have." p. 68

The author also touches on technology and how it's easy to "spy on" our kids by reading their email and text messages and following them around using technology. It lets parents be overinvolved where just being involved is likely good enough. I'm thankful that we're still years away from letting our kids loose on the internet and neither will have their own cell phone for quite a while. It gives us time to figure out how to deal with the technology.

On simplifying schedules, the author talks about how parenting is now seen as a competition and childhood as a training ground for adulthood. It used to be that childhood was childhood: a time to explore and learn and develop at our own pace. This is largely driven by our culture and the time we live in. No longer can a child grow up without knowing what a computer is or how to navigate the internet. By simplifying our schedules we are allowing ourselves to slow down, to let children be children, and say no to the competition.

"Parenting, education, and even childhood are now viewed as competition. Parents feel tremendous pressure, both cultural and self-induced, to enrich, enhance, and escalate their children's early years. Under the guise of protecting and providing, we control and cater to our children. If childhood is a "window of opportunity" for growth, we assume that means it is a "limited-time opportunity." In a competitive vein, where more and faster are always better, our methods and our goal become clear: to "get more in" before the imaginary window closes." p. 183

This book really spoke to me. It showed me that less is more and that it's okay to not have our children in a million activities. It's okay to not have every toy out there or more books than we could ever read. It's okay to eat the same things over and over. It's okay to say no.

I think every parent should read this book. Thanks Delta for recommending it.

Up next: Looking for Alaska

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1 comment:

  1. Love your review and the ideas - I'm going to put this one on hold at the library! We were super lucky to get so many hand-me-downs (toys, clothes etc) but it's overwhelming with all the stuff. Simplifying sounds so good!