Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Full disclosure, I didn’t pick up this book to challenge me. I wanted to read a parenting book that matched closely with the direction I wanted to take. I fully embrace simplifying my life, my environment, and my schedules.
I was challenged in some ways, especially in the Filtering the Adult World chapter. I felt like it swung to the end of the conservative spectrum. While I do believe that we should be mindful and intentional about what our children are consuming and being exposed to, I don’t think removing the television for the first seven years of their life would be a choice I would make.
The author even suggests at the beginning of the book that you may not agree with everything, or that everything may not be a good fit for your family, which I appreciate. It helped me embrace the book as mere suggestions instead of a set of directives. It freed me to pick and choose as it is appropriate for my family.
The main premise of the book was to provide space for a child to learn how to use their creativity and imagination. As constant consumers (especially with smartphones, I’m so guilty of this), we don’t spend a lot of time creating. Removing clutter and competition from the home and our lives can help nurture a child to create and imagine and grow.
I would recommend this book to parents of young children – perhaps 4 to 10, before adolescence but past the toddler stage. A lot of the examples in the book were from this age range when stress from excess or too much is more apparent. Since I have an infant at this point, I am using this book as a future resource, something to keep in mind as my son grows and develops. I appreciated the author explaining the perspective behind the theory and the examples. I especially will use the toy suggestions (and the toys that shouldn’t stick around suggestions) as my son grows up.