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: “As parents, we’re the architect of our family’s daily lives.  We build a structure for those we love by what we choose to do together, and how we do it…..You can see what a family holds dear from the pattern of their everyday lives.”  I love this and I think this is true from the smallest children even to teenagers.  In Waldorf parenting and education, we see the child turning into an adult at age 21, so I do think there are many years to think about structure and what helps nourish a child and a family, no matter what the age.

Love, protection, provision are three main goals most families have for their children.  These things often motivate us in ways we are not even aware of.  We want our homes to be places of protection, security and peace, authenticity, a place of unhurried time where a child can develop his or her own voice.

What undermines this is a rushed pace, too much “stuff”, too many choices, too much information.  Our own anxiety feeds speeding through childhood and life.  If we worry that we do not provide every enrichment choice or our children will suffer, we set out with fear in our hearts to cram everything in because otherwise it will not be “enough”.

This book is wonderful for parents of children of all ages.  We all are evolving, changing, learning and growing throughout our lifetimes.  Let us stretch ourselves in these ways for the benefits of our families.  If or inevitably we lose our grace, our steady pace, our optimism during the times when we or our children are growing and changing, let us be able to come back to a state of rest and move from that graceful space.  Let us simplify to be what we and our family needs.

Many blessings, and look for posts on “Simplicity Parenting” on Wednesdays throughout the summer.


16 thoughts on “Let’s Read: “Simplicity Parenting”

  1. This is a great time for me to join in re-reading this book, so I’ll come along with you, Carrie, as I’m able. Thank you for hosting! You are often a much-needed breath of calm and inspiration for me in my journey. I appreciate you.

  2. Simplicity Parenting is one of my favourite books. It really opened my eyes to simplifying life for our little ones. An excellent book.

  3. I love this book and I have had the pleasure of attending several lectures by KJP on simplicity parenting, the soul of discipline, and youth sports. When I first read this book, my kids rooms were filled with untouched toys, hundreds of books, and too much tv. Reading this book and finding waldorf education has saved my sanity!

  4. This has been one of my favorite parenting books. I have actually been meaning to delve into it again, so I’m excited about this!

  5. This is one of my favourite parenting books, Carrie! Looking forward to reading your thoughts and adding my own to the discussion.

  6. I love this book. I’ve read it several times and even my husband, who doesn’t go for parenting books, read it and loved it. I would love to hear how people are implementing the ideas in their homes. This will be a great follow along. Thanks!

  7. Hi Carrie. I read this book and took the course. There are many good points in both, but I felt in the course as I did reading the book that the KJP reduces some serious problems in families to “stuff” and activities. Your writing on inner work, yelling, etc., go much deeper into these issues than the book does.

    • Eli – I appreciate your thoughts here. I agree with you, and hope to comment along on some of the deeper and more intimate aspects of inner parenting and development as we go along. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words for me today. You are appreciated!

  8. I have read and reread Simplicity Parenting so many times. Always revisiting when I find we have stepped away from the ideal. I shall look forward to the discussion.

  9. Wonderful synchronicity! I have just got the ebook edition yesterday, and today I get this post on my RSS feed 🙂 look forward to the discussion and your thoughts, Carrie.

  10. I read this book while filling in for the secretary at our waldorf school. It changed my life. From that moment forward I look at everything in a whole new light. One of the best books you’ll ever read.

  11. Thank you for all your wisdom. Taking the time to write your thoughts, plans, etc for us to read & benefit from is just amazing. I read this book last fall for the first time &i too was changed. I started with the stuff as many do but I’ve struggled with getting a good rhythm going. We’ve excluded media except for family movie night on Friday’s & I’ve decided to homeschool this year coming up my oldest (6) but my hubby isn’t totally comfortable yet. He’s from a very southern family where kids are seen but not heard & although he is not a believer of this type of child rearing he (& I) fall back on what we know when we’re frustrated. I’m really looking forward to reading everyones responses & especially your meaningful words!

  12. Pingback: “Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles”: When The Struggles Are More Than Normal | The Parenting Passageway

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