Simplicity Parenting – Book Review

I just finished reading Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, and it really inspires me to take simple living to the next step. The book was both fascinating and practical. 

The fascinating aspect was his many case studies detailing how badly kids react to the modern norm of filling family life with lots and lots of stuff and adding a booked calendar on top. As a psychologist, decades of experience showed how children with post-traumatic stress disorder paralleled the ill effects of overwhelmed kids. I’ve felt instinctively for some time that kids don’t need all this stuff, but I never realized/reflected on the damage that it could do.

The practical aspects came on many levels, and he really had sage advise for simplifying virtually all realms of family life. There were many areas where we already try to live those values, but we surely have room for improvement. We’ve tried to limit gifts from family members and not overwhelm birthdays with stuff , but it’s not always easy. 

I felt relieved that I found this book when my kids are still young and we haven’t gotten on the over-scheduled child treadmill.  Our Big Guy just finished his first season of t-ball, and even though he loves the game, I’m ready for him to take a break until next year. Hubby would prefer to sign him up for soccer in the fall, but the most I want to take on is a once a week swim class a few block walk from home.

Ironically, we we’ve been so busy camping that I haven’t had the time to really take action toward increased simplicity, but my major goal this autumn will be to cull toys and purge the basement (which never seems to get done!) Even though they probably have about half the toys of peers, I know our kids barely use a quarter of their toys on a regular basis, so I really want to set up a toy rotating system and simply get rid of lots.

This brief trailer of Payne’s insights really gives the essence of his philosophy on parenting, and hopefully will inspire you to read his book and take action in your family life:

Simplicity Parenting from Kim Payne on Vimeo.

Have you read Simplicity Parenting? 
What steps are the most important to simplification?

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