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.