Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids

by Kim John Payne

Paperback, 2010




Ballantine Books (2010), Edition: unknown, 256 pages


Family & Relationships. Psychology. Nonfiction. HTML:Today‚??s busier, faster society is waging an undeclared war on childhood. With too much stuff, too many choices, and too little time, children can become anxious, have trouble with friends and school, or even be diagnosed with behavioral problems. Now internationally renowned family consultant Kim John Payne helps parents reclaim for their children the space and freedom that all kids need for their attention to deepen and their individuality to flourish. Simplicity Parenting offers inspiration, ideas, and a blueprint for change:   ‚?Ę Streamline your home environment. Reduce the amount of toys, books, and clutter‚??as well as the lights, sounds, and general sensory overload. ‚?Ę Establish rhythms and rituals. Discover ways to ease daily tensions, create battle-free mealtimes and bedtimes, and tell if your child is overwhelmed.  ‚?Ę Schedule a break in the schedule. Establish intervals of calm and connection in your child‚??s daily torrent of constant doing. ‚?Ę Scale back on media and parental involvement. Manage your children‚??s ‚??screen time‚?Ě to limit the endless deluge of information and stimulation.  A manifesto for protecting the grace of childhood, Simplicity Parenting is an eloquent guide to bringing new rhythms to bear on the lif… (more)


Original language


Physical description

256 p.; 5.2 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member Enviromommy
Basic idea: get rid of excess belongings, simplify schedule, get rid of TV. Nothing I didn't already know, but a good reminder/encouragement.
LibraryThing member momma2
I have been burning through books about parenting and child development lately and most of them have been of little or no help. So little help that I don't even record them as read because they were just a waste of my time. But this book was a breath of fresh air. Now of course the authors opinions
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are very much in line with mine but he has the experience of a counseling career to support keeping things simple. Anecdotal examples and real tips and tricks that back up the way I always intended things to be in my home. No screens, routines, a calmer schedule, less clutter. Things we have done lost some of our consistency with for various reasons. But I am inspired to go back to the basics and have the affirmation I needed that I am moving in the right direction!
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LibraryThing member swivelgal
I recommend this to all new and all frustrated parents. Yes, children run 'soul fevers' when they are overwhelmed. I totally agree but until I read this book, I didn't have words to express this concept.
LibraryThing member AspiringAmeliorant
Perhaps it simply caters to my laissez-faire style of parenting, but I appreciated Payne's approach to countering the impulses to do more and have more, and to do it faster. I am particularly interested in the development of rhythm in my family's life.
LibraryThing member FranklynCee
Not only was this book excessively smart, reasonable, thoughtful, and thought-provoking, it was well-written. Some of the fresh vocabulary and constructs it offered for thinking about the author's ideas were lovely, stunning. No other way to put it. These aren't even the best examples, but a couple
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I remember: "By seeing only syndromes, tendencies, and labels, we risk not seeing our children's intrinsic intent, their deep biographical gesture in the world." or "I sometimes think of simplification as a powerful anti-inflammatory for a family."
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LibraryThing member 6boysandme
Summary: I have read this book multiple times and I love it every time. I now pick it up when I think that the simplicity that I think so necessary for my family seems to have gotten lost somewhere! At the beginning of yet another busy school year I needed to remind myself and apply these
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principles in my home.
Quote: "Simplification signals a change, a realignment of our hopes and our everyday lives."
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LibraryThing member MorganGMac
Game-changer for our family. Too much stimulus (toys, tv, schedule) is not only stressful for kids, it's damaging to them. Inspired me to get rid of half our toys, and so glad I did. Would recommend to every modern parent.
LibraryThing member dms02
I would recommend this to every parent I know...or at least in my head I would. It seems to me as if this book could be right for everyone...but I am sure I would be wrong :)

I have too many things to write about how much I liked this book. I suppose you would be better off reading the ongoing
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discussion on this book here on goodreads.

I read this one slowly to let it all sink in. There are so many manageable steps presented in the book - with great real life examples.
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LibraryThing member Amelia_Smith
The author, a former Waldorf teacher, manages to convey the best elements of Waldorf as it applies to family life without getting into anything I disagree with. I skimmed some chapters, but feel that it was reasonably concise nonetheless. It's a good piece of encouragement for anyone wanting to
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simplify their family life by decluttering, inserting breathing room into over-packed schedules, and creating low-key grounding points in the family's routine. I especially liked the way the author explained how simple, non-fussy, and un-ritualistic these moments of re-connecting could be -- less about lighting biodynamic candles and more about simply being present for your kids in a reliable, mostly predictable way.
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LibraryThing member spiritedstardust
Lovely reminder to be a Slow Mother - I was trying to enrich my daughter's day by jam packing it full of crafts, activities, cooking, trips, dancing etc and I know see that by filling it full of high notes every day they all start to look the same - instead I will not stop trying to contantly keep
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her entertained and rather allow her to be bored and find her own 'ordinary' and just schedule one or two fun-filled out of the ordinary activities for each day so that they are actually memorable. If every moment is 'rainbows' soon rainbows become dull.
I found the minimalist way of life last year and I can attest that the fewer toys they have the more they play. And the ones she plays with the most are things like cups, fabric etc - things that can be turned into anything, along with some small dolls/figurines.
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LibraryThing member Andjhostet
An interesting book that really speaks to how (I think) I will want to parent when we have kids. Focusing on simplicity: less stuff, less toys, less planned activities, less busyness and stress. I truly believe that kids being allowed to be "bored" is very valuable, and leads to creativity and a
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healthier mental state, and this book really backed me up on that.

I'm not sure I agree with everything in the book such as: not talking to your kid as you would an adult, avoiding politics and global issues, and talking to them less in general (to encourage them to listen when you speak, and make your speaking more impactful), removing the TV entirely, etc. Not that I disagree with these things, I just haven't really made up my mind on them.

I also didn't really like how the entire book seemed to be written for parents who already have kids they can't manage, rather than parents who's kids are fine and just want to learn new concepts, or prospective parents trying to ready themselves, or just adults who are often adjacent to kids (uncles, teachers, etc).
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(64 ratings; 4.1)
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