Let’s Read: “Simplicity Parenting”

 

The last time I posted a “Sunday Books” series was in November of 2013. We were headed through Elizabeth Pantley’s “No-Cry Discipline Solution”, and honestly, the posts were not generating much thought and I wasn’t really feeling inclined to delve deeper.  I gave myself permission to breathe and walk away from it since I didn’t feel it was working in that moment.

I have wanted to write on the chapters of “Simplicity Parenting: Using The Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Children” by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross.  I am not trained as a Simplicity Parenting Group Leader as I found the cost to be prohibitive, but I hope to add some ideas and experiences of my own as we go through these pages.  I know many of you out there are Group Leaders and I do hope you will chime in, and I also know many of you have worked through these pages in small groups on your own and also have experiences to share.  I shall enjoy hearing from you!

I love the opening line of this book in the Introduction: Continue reading

Sunday Books: The No-Cry Discipline Solution

We are continuing our look chapter-by-chapter through Elizabeth Pantley’s wonderful book about gentle discipline entitled, “The No-Cry Discipline Solution:  Gentle Ways to Encourage Good Behavior Without Whining, Tantrums and Tears.”

On page 49, Elizabeth writes, “Children are joy.  We love them with every cell of our being, and we can’t imagine what our world would be like without them.  Yet, everyday life with our children can be challenging, frustrating, and exhausting……You may want to focus your decisions on creating joy, achieving your goals, and seeing the big picture of your child’s future, but you can’t even begin to see that big picture because there are so many little pictures in the way.  Who would have ever thought that simple tasks, such as putting on shoes, brushing teeth, or giving a bath would require so much preparation, negotiation, and emotion? And who would have thought that raising one tiny child could bring so many frustrating everyday challenges?”

She goes on to write that many behaviors are immediately improved when we, as parents,improve the way we interact and communicate with our children.  I don’t know how many of you remember this post, but it was one that resonated with many parents on this topic:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/05/23/changing-our-parenting-language/

Our communication methods have to be as varied as our children – children grow and Continue reading

Sunday Books: “The No-Cry Discipline Solution”

We are moving through this book (and by the way, feel free to leave suggestions for our next book study.  I am thinking along the lines of a book Waldorf families would be interested in!)  This section of Elizabeth Pantley’s “The No-Cry Discipline Solution” is called,  “Discipline and Emotional Control.”

We expect our children to have much more self-control than we as parents model for them.  We act horrified when our children kick, scream, bite or talk back, but yet we often handle things ourselves with annoyance, impatience, irritation, and anger.

This is not to induce guilt. We are human, and we are often operating under more stress than the generations before us with pronounced economic stress and the stress of raising children in isolated, immediate family units as opposed to having extended family and long-standing community that could step in and help in parenting.  However, when we examine ourselves, then we realize not only what we are modeling but also that a child is still developing in the area of emotional control.

Author Elizabeth Pantley reminds us on page 39 that such things as backtalk, biting a playmate, clinging, crying, hitting a parent, impatience and more are likely caused by a child’s undeveloped emotional control.   She advises us to step back in the moment, and remember that our child is  growing and learning.  The child is developing!

In the next section, called “The Four Parts to Discipline”, Elizabeth Pantley outlines the four parts to effective discipline.  These are Continue reading

Sunday Books: The No-Cry Discipline Solution

We are continuing our exploration of Elizabeth Pantley’s “The No-Cry Discipline Solution:  Gentle Ways to Encourage Good Behavior Without Whining, Tantrum or Tears.”  Pick up a copy at the library or your local bookseller and follow along!

I know many gentle parents who wouldn’t love this first sentence of the section “Building A Strong Foundation”:  “This book is about how to live everyday life with your children in  a controlled yet loving and joyous manner.”

Control, and anything that smacks of authority can be really difficult for parents to accept these days.  I think if it helps you, I consider the author’s use of the word “controlling” more akin to discovering the values that make your family unique and reflecting those values in the limits you set as parents to make your home a harmonious one.  We had a series of fruitful back discussion on authority some time ago, and I link here for you to review:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/12/02/re-claiming-authority-part-one/  and here:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/12/05/re-claiming-authority-part-two/

One of the main concepts from this chapter to take away is “The Big Picture is More Important Than Any One Action”.  If we have over 100,000 hours to connect and love our children before they are off living their own lives, then all of these hours are not going to be blissful and peaceful, but there should be a sense of joy and love and delight for our children.  Continue reading

Sunday Books: “The No-Cry Discipline Solution”

We are on page 17 in the 2007 edition of this book, with a section entitled, “Planning Ahead, Looking Ahead:  Your Child As A Teenager”.

Author Elizabeth Pantley recounts that she has three teenagers in the home and a kindergartner, and how working on both ends of the parenting spectrum is such a wonderful thing.  I have to say in my own limited experience of having a twelve year old, an eight year old and a three year old that I feel the same way.  Having older children makes you a much better parent to the tiny children under the age of seven! Continue reading

Sunday Books: “The No-Cry Discipline Solution”

We are starting with our new book today by author Elizabeth Pantley: “The No-Cry Discipline Solution”.

In the opening chapter the author states that “discipline is not about punishment, and it doesn’t have to result in tears.  As defined by Webster’s, discipline means “training that develops self-control and character.”  She goes on to talk about how discipline is about teaching, and that our children’s part in all of this is to learn.  A child cannot learn, and misses the teachable moment in discipline, if they are crying and falling apart. They have to be receptive in order to be teachable.

A help in undertaking this parenting journey includes examining your own Continue reading

Christian Books To Read And Love

I write a Christian book review post about once a year.  The last post I did highlighting Christian books was here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2011/08/10/three-books-of-importchristian-book-reviews/.  I would like to share a few books I have recently read and loved with you today!  Here we go!

Listening for the Heartbeat of God:  A Celtic Spirituality by J. Phillip Newell, the Warden of Spirituality for the Anglican diocese of Portsmouth.  One of the foundations of Christian life is the ability to achieve stillness and to listen.  This book is divided into sections on Listening for the Goodness (looking at the maligned Pelagius), Listening within Creation (Eriugena), Listening for God In All Things (the Carmina Gadelica), Listening with the Imagination (using the writings of George MacDonald),  Listening and Acting (George MacLeod), and Two Ways of Listening (The Apostles John and Peter).

Where God Happens:  Discovering Christ In One Another by Rowan Williams,  the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury.  Excellent look at the Desert Fathers and spiritual searching.

Abiding:  The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2013 which talks about abiding in body, abiding in mind, abiding through care, and abiding in relationships.  This books weaves together how we abide in God’s will through many stories – stories of St. Benedictine, stories of South Africa and Congo, Michael Ende’s Momo,   and St. Macrina.

Encountering The Mystery by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.  I love this book, and have re-read it over and over.  Whilst specific to Orthodox Christianity, it also touches on issue that all Christians should be thinking about.  My copy has a lot of underlined parts in it and notes in the margin.  Highly, highly recommended. Continue reading