Book Club : Simplicity Parenting Chapter Six
Today I will be summarizing and discussing the sixth chapter of Kim John Payne’s book, Simplicity Parenting. In a world where childhood seems to be flooded with too much, too fast and too soon Payne helps parents clear the way to a simpler, more connected and whole-hearted family life. After reading this book parents will feel empowered and ready to declutter spaces, establish stronger home rhythms, cut down on screen-time and most of all to slow down and prioritize meaningful moments with their children. Most remarkably, the book is truly applicable for all families regardless of their diverse faiths, backgrounds and values. It is completely free from dogma and instead, offers practical and adaptable advice to all.
Chapter Six: Filtering Out the Adult World
- Worry shouldn’t define parenting and simplifying a child’s daily life can actually help to restore balance for the parent as well
- Not sharing our worries with our children gives them the freedom from our fears, drives, ambition and the faster pace of our lives
- “Choosing not to have a television, at least while your kids are young, does not say ‘Television is an unqualified evil’ or ‘We want to go back to life in the 1940s.’ It says, simply, on balance, ‘No thanks.’
- This chapter suggests strongly that getting rid of your television and other screens is one of the most powerful and impactful changes you can make as a family. By doing this you gift children more free time and space for play and natural development but you are also controlling and limiting strong marketing messages directed at your children.
- Studies have shown that even educational “programs” DELAY language development
- In regards to internet use: Children cannot reach their full creative potential if they are accustomed to search for answers in google instead of in the world around them
- Technology has facilitated parental over-involvement in our children’s lives – phoning constantly, messaging, GPS software to monitor our children’s GPA.
- Another place where we can filter out the adult world is in our conversations with and around our children. Often too much intense information too soon does not actually prepare children, but instead paralyses them with fear and anxiety.
- “Our intention maybe to acknowledge something, but very often we describe, praise, instruct and embellish it” p. 186.
True, Kind, Necessary
- Minimizing our words with children especially from the ages of 1-7 is a big part of Waldorf Education. Before speaking in front of or to your children it is very powerful to get into the habit of checking in with yourself and asking, is what I am about to say: “True. Kind or Necessary.” p. 193
Backing Off- Less Emotional Monitoring
- Don’t talk too much about a child under 9’s emotions with them- when they’re young let the would of doing be their domain
- These feelings are unconscious and and pushing too much description on their emotions can push them into adolecence too soon
- “Emotional intelligence” includes “self-awareness that allows one to recognize and mange one’s moods, and to motvate oneself toward a goal.” p. 199
- Allow children more privacy with their own feelings
Bedtime Meditation for parents
- Kim suggests this simple but profound exercise:
“Before falling into sleep, remember the ordinary moments of the day, the moments with your children meant something to you. This moment is like a spiritual corrective lens. In your vision of your kids, it helps restore the prominence of “who they are” over “what they need to do” or “what they need to work on.”p. 202
This is the chapter I need to read over and over again. Although we do not even own a TV and our children under 7 are screen-free and children over 7 virtually screen-free, it is actually my own over-sharing, over-talking and over-involvement that I need to be constantly mindful of. Although I have the best of intentions I tend to use too many words and when I am worried or upset my children can sense the shift in my energy. I tend to be a “worrier” (not necessarily about the children and I have noticed that if I do not mange my own stress levels and spend enough time in self-care, meditation and exercise my own worries can soak through to the children.
This was the final chapter summary for Simplicity Parenting. I hope you enjoyed the read-along- thank you for joining me!
What are your final thoughts about the book?
One thing that struck me was the importance of having a loving figure home A LOT and in charge of simplifying schedules, protecting their children from outside influence etc. What was not overly stated was how this requires from our society a lot more monetary VALUE placed on stay-at-home parents. I know Payne likes to work with individual families to come up with a simplification regime specific to them and that he has helped many families who have both parents at work, BUT I still feel in order for this movement and these ideas to take hold on a bigger level (which I do believe is important), we need to see a huge shift in perception about the value of raising young children.
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I agree entirely. We need that shift and recognition for it even to be an option for many families. Keep up the lovely work. I visit often but comment rarely.