We have arrived at Chapter Three, entitled, “Environment”. The chapter begins with painting a picture of the child’s room which ends with this sentence: “The room’s pastel color scheme and basic furniture – bed and bureau where the changing table once was – are no longer visible, buried under a thick overgrowth of multicolored, ever-growing, and expanding stuff.”
Kim John Payne talks about how in many of his workshops, parents want to begin simplification by simplifying the environment. This is a tangible, doable step toward simplification.
American culture leaned toward selling toys to children beginning around Continue reading
We are jumping ahead to Chapter Two, “Soul Fever”. Kim John Payne opens up this chapter with the fact that parents know their children so well and all of the different sides our children can have, “the too little sleep side”, “the overcome with silliness side” etc. He admits toward the bottom of the page that our love for our children never falters, but the instinctual knowledge of our children can wax and wane.
In many cases, I have talked to parents who have felt so disconnected from their children. This can especially occur as children grow older and are out of the house for almost more hours a day than they are home. I have also talked to parents who are very fearful of their children being away from them and are fearful their connection will no longer be strong as their children’s world expands. It is a delicate balance, and I think worth checking to see where you are right now, today, with connecting to your children.
Simplification can help Continue reading
“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, Continue reading
Chapter One opens with a story about a sweet little eight year old who was entering third grade. His parents were both professionals in education and government, and they lived in the city. The little boy was a picky eater, an intelligent speaker with adults but had trouble connecting to his peers, avoided any risk taking, and was a bit anxious. James was often in the midst of a stream of adult information about political and adult intellectual topics. The parents decided the best way to help James was to work on rhythm, and decrease the amount he overheard regarding world news, politics and topics like global warming. When this was done, the sleep of the little boy improved and his outdoor play expanded. His anxiety decreased.
The authors ask, “Was all of this directly attributable to the changes James’s family made? Was it lack of TV? Less talk of global warming? Can we point to any one thing that made the real difference? My answer to that would be no, and yes. I don’t think there was any one thing, any magic bullet that obliterated James’s nervousness and controlling behaviors. But the steps taken to protect James’s childhood definitely had an effect.”
Simplifying the world of a child often leads to growth and positive change. This can often be so difficult in Continue reading
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