“I worry that we’ll increasingly understand the “purpose” of childhood by seeing, increasingly, what people are like when they’ve been rushed through theirs. And I don’t think that will be a pretty picture.” – From Simplicity Parenting
I totally agree. It is hard and challenging work to keep our children at a normal pace of development in this day and age. But it is important, and necessary work. The work you are doing will help your child grow up to be a well-adjusted, resilient adult. The goal of parenting is to lead toward a healthy, whole human being.
To this point, Kim John Payne recommends simplification. He talks about doing a home visit with families and poises the question, “Imagine just such an average day for your family, and what it might look like to an observer. What are the difficulties that might arise? What periods of the day are consistently stressful?”
“We didn’t think it would be like this” is a phrase Kim John Payne heard over and over from parents. Sometimes what we remember most is from our teenaged years, and we expect challenges during those years. What we often are surprised by is the challenges of raising small children, and children that are in the grades. Kim John Payne asks people, “What do you need to move forward, in a way that reclaims your hopes and dreams for your family?”
The four levels of simplification outlined here include environment, rhythm, schedules and filtering out the adult world. Kim John Payne recommends starting with the environment because that seems doable for many people. He relates the story of “Marie”, a little five-year-old whose room was significantly pared down to include a small mix of dolls, building toys, cherished toys, etc plus some fabric and ropes and clothespins, a child sized table with art supplies and some dress up clothes in a basket.
Very simple changes can lead toward other changes in a family’s emotional life.
Please share your experiences with paring down, and how that affected your family life. I would love to hear from you!
Blessings and peace,