Last night I finished reading Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. Paynes explains in his book that we are raising our children in a society of “too much”. Too much stuff, too many scheduled activities, and too much access to adult information are causing children too much stress and are pushing them towards behavioral extremes. This book cautions against hyper parenting and argues that children need to explore and experience the world at their own pace and in simple ways. He argues that as parents we need to honour childhood and protect it. He explains that we can do this by simplifying or using the “power of less” in children’s environments, daily rhythms, schedules and access to the adult world.
I saw a lot of the common sense behind Payne’s suggestions. Monkey is only 2 years old but I found that I could already apply many of his suggestions. His suggestions are very practical. For instance, he provides a helpful 10 point checklist of toys without “staying power” in the home because he believes that reducing the amount of toys in a child’s environment allows them to be more creative and less overwhelmed. To counter his checklist he offers suggestions for toys and books that you should keep. Payne even takes the unpopular stance that children under the age of 7 or 8 should have no access to TV or computer. There are so many different topics covered in this book I imagine all parents will glean something positive from it. I definitely recommend this book for parents, even of little ones, and I would place it on my top ten list of parenting books 🙂