Sep 15, 2014

Reading: Simplicity Parenting

So it's safe to say that none of us have all the answers to raising a healthy and happy child.  I sometimes feel like I am especially unequipped to do this.  While my parents did the best they could, I feel like they failed me in some ways, and it has had an effect on the way I parent.  I imagine nearly everyone out there could nit pick their own childhood and find where their parents failed them.  I know I'm not alone in this.  When I think about the ways I wish my parents had done something differently, I inevitably come to the conclusion that my life now is my choice.  Yes, I grew in a house that yelled a lot and yes I yell when frustrated but that is not what I have to be.  I have the ability and option to choose something different than some sort of inherited set of coping mechanisms.  I think about this often as I try to structure my day, learn more about my stress triggers, and relearn coping techniques.  Part of how I try to better myself as a mother and parent is to read.  As most of you know, reading is basically how I tackle anything in life.


For a while I've seen mention of Simplicity Parenting mentioned in the blog circles I frequent.  It's been in my Amazon cart for quite literally 2  years.  This past week I finally hit the purchase button.  I have to say I am thrilled I did.  I am halfway through the book and it is marked up more than any other book I own.  The consistent theme through the entire book is establishing a rhythm.  A rhythm is quite different than a schedule and it's implementation can be quite life changing.  It so happens that I had been reading quite a bit about rhythm before purchasing the book and had already begun to establish a few things within our daily life.  What a difference!  The book has taken that desire to the next level for me.  Dr. Payne is a big advocate of a simpler, slower childhood than many kids have these days.  He talks about limiting toys, getting lots of outside time, limited TV/device time as a way to help the child grow slowly but completely.

Here are a few of my favorite thoughts from the book thus far:
"Children need time to become themselves---through play and social interaction.  If you overwhelm a child with stuff---with choices and pseudochoices---before they are ready, they will only know one emotional gesture: "More!""

"I love this very American expression, "being grounded", because in this context, it fits.  When an adolescent is overwhelmed, in a soul fever (his term for a struggling child), the electrical current around them is so strong that they actually do need "grounding." They need to be brought back to earth, brought back to their more relaxed, resilient selves."

"By seeing only tendencies, syndromes, and labels, we risk not seeing our children's intrinsic intent, their deep biographical gesture in the world."


I am excited to read more in this book.  I know the things I find lacking in my own parenting style are easily changed (as if change was easy!).  I do believe that Simplicity Parenting will be a large help in connecting the vision I have for our days  with what we actually have going on.

I will post a full review when I finish the book.



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