Simplicity Parenting - A book review by Gloria Overcash
May 13, 2012
Posted By: Shaunescy
Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids
By Kim John Payne, Lisa M. Ross
Random House Publishing Group (2010)
Paperback - 256 pages - ISBN 0345507983
Simplify, simplify, simplify. The words have become cliché, but what does that even look like in the context of family life? How can something as complex as modern family life even come close to simplicity?
Author Kim John Payne shows readers that less is more by outlining the ways in which we as parents can provide a deeper and more meaningful existence for our children even in the midst of consumer culture.
By reducing clutter and sensory stimulation, establishing rhythms and rituals, making time for quiet in overbooked calendars, and cutting back on screen-time, parents can increase the quality of family life and introduce harmony where there once was chaos.
Based on the idea that stress causes behavioral problems, simplification in the right areas can alleviate the need for discipline by creating a more relaxed environment for the child. Identifying stress in a child’s life and reducing it helps them find the balance they need to succeed.
Kim John Payne offers ideas, advice, and inspiration in four areas of life: home environment, rhythm & ritual, schedule, and filtering out the adult world. Simplifying the home environment might include drastically reducing the amount of toys and books a child owns- keeping only the real treasures and discarding or storing the rest. Rhythm provides consistency and security, a way for a child to know what to look forward to- for example introducing a weekly menu plan that the child helps to create. Simplifying schedules might mean scaling back on extracurricular activities to make room for quiet time, free play, and even boredom! Filtering out the adult world might mean avoiding adult conversation about politics in front of children, choosing not to watch the news on television when little eyes and ears are near, and reducing children's screen time altogether.
Well written, well researched, and well framed, “Simplicity Parenting” gives parents an opportunity to courageously scale back where needed with confidence, knowing that a slower pace and less cluttered lifestyle leads to happier, healthier homes and relationships.
The desire for holistic living and an attachment parenting lifestyle beyond infancy coupled with the challenges of raising two energetic boys prompted Gloria to start a Gentle Parenting Discussion Group/Book Club at Birth Place, where she also teaches Prenatal Yoga, Mommy & Me Yoga, and Dancing For Birth (TM). Far from being the perfect mom, she strives to do the best she can while learning along the way. Her personal practice of Kundalini Yoga keeps her sane while she navigates the unfamiliar territory of parenting in a way that differs greatly from her own childhood.