Let’s Read: Simplicity Parenting


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

Let’s Read: “Simplicity Parenting”


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

Let’s Read: “Simplicity Parenting”


“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

Let’s Read: “Simplicity Parenting”


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

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

Favorite Christian Reads



I publish a post about my favorite Christian books about once a year, and in this Eastertide, I wanted to update what I have been currently reading and enjoying.

As part of the Anglican communion, we look toward the Church Fathers and many Celtic Saints as a source of illumination.  The book “Aidan, Bebe, Cuthbert:  Three Inspirational Saints” by Vicar David Adam (who was ordained in Durham Cathedral, the burial place of the Venerable Bede and St. Cuthbert and who became Vicar of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne (where St. Aidan and St. Cuthbert lived), is a wonderful interweaving of the lives of these three Saints.  Wonderful read for those interested in these saints!


My twelve and a half year old daughter has read all the books by local (to us) author Jenny Cote.  This is the latest one she has read: http://www.amazon.com/Wind-Road-Epic-Order-Seven/dp/0899577938/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398907506&sr=8-1&keywords=the+wind+the+road+and+the+way.  This Christian series is a nice read for this age group.


I keep waiting for an Anglican parenting book to come out, but there are not any except an Anglican Family Prayer Book.  So, I recently bought a copy of “Orthodox Christian Parenting – Cultivating God’s Creation” by Zoe Press.  I highly recommend it to Christian readers who are coming from a basis of Holy Tradition and the Fathers of the Church as a lens for raising children.   Here is a link to this from Amazon; I am not certain if it is available cheaper somewhere else, but I did get my copy through Amazon:   http://www.amazon.com/Orthodox-Christian-Parenting-Cultivating-Creation/dp/0985191503/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398907794&sr=8-1&keywords=orthodox+christian+parenting 


Right now, I am reading “What Is Anglicanism?” by Urban T. Holmes.  This is a good, solid read for those wanting to understand the history and theological foundations of Anglicanism.  There are so many deep and resounding thoughts in this one, especially in the chapter regarding “radical incarnationalism”; an appropriate theme for Eastertide!


Please share what you are reading!

Blessings on your Eastertide,


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:  https://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