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

Kim John Payne
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
Price: 15.34 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids 4.7 out of 5 stars (25)
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Book Description

15 Mar 2010
Today’s busier, faster, supersized society is waging an undeclared war . . . on childhood. As the pace of life accelerates to hyperspeed–with too much stuff, too many choices, and too little time–children feel the pressure. They can become anxious, have trouble with friends and school, or even be diagnosed with behavioral problems. Now, in defense of the extraordinary power of less, internationally renowned family consultant Kim John Payne helps parents reclaim for their children the space and freedom that all kids need, allowing their children’s attention to focus and their individuality to flourish.

Based on Payne’s twenty year’s experience successfully counseling busy families, Simplicity Parenting teaches parents how to worry and hover less–and how to enjoy more. For those who want to slow their children’s lives down but don’t know where to start, Payne offers both inspiration and a blueprint for change.

• Streamline your home environment. The average child has more than 150 toys. Here are tips for reducing the amount of toys, books, and clutter–as well as the lights, sounds, and general sensory overload that crowd the space young imaginations need in order to grow.

• Establish rhythms and rituals. Predictability (routines) and transparency (knowing the day’s plan) are soothing pressure valves for children. Here are ways to ease daily tensions, create battle-free mealtimes and bedtimes, and tell if your child is overwhelmed.

• Schedule a break in the schedule. Too many activities may limit children’s ability to motivate and direct themselves. Learn how to establish intervals of calm in your child’s daily torrent of constant doing–and familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of organized sports and other “enrichment” activities.

• Scale back on media and parental involvement. Back out of hyperparenting by managing your children’s “screen time” to limit the endless and sometimes scary deluge of information and stimulation.

Parental hovering is really about anxiety; by doing less and trusting more, parents can create a sanctuary that nurtures children’s identity, well-being, and resiliency as they grow–slowly–into themselves. A manifesto for protecting the grace of childhood, Simplicity Parenting is an eloquent guide to bringing new rhythms to bear on the lifelong art of parenting.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (15 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345507975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345507976
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,008,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for all parents 7 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback
I cannot put this book down - it is one of the most useful and helpful parenting books I have read. My only regret is that I did not read this book when my children were younger - would have saved a lot of money on tons of books and toys which provided 5 minutes of entertainment at best. The book makes wonderful suggestions for building a lifestyle to allow your children to flourish in the critical period of childhood. I think this should be required reading for all parents
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My new "must-read" for all my friends 31 May 2011
By Dr. K. E. Patrick TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Payne and Ross have done something in this book that all books about simplifying or minimalizing our lives should do: they don't just dissect ways to de-clutter our homes in a guilt-producing, over-taxing sermon, but instead, gently point out the whole gamut of ways that our lives our over-cluttered.

Our time, our routines, our meals, our clothes and books and toys -- all the over-committed, over-burdened ways we have stretched our lives are having a negative impact on our peace, and even worse, on our children's peace.

They liken it to Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, created not by a single shocking incident, but by a slow, insidious drip of heightened stressors.

That old story about the frog being heated up in a pan of water ...

Coming from a Steiner background, Payne really makes a lot of sensible observations about how children play when their toys are fewer, their books are carefully chosen, their clothing is limited; how much easier life can be made with a menu plan; how much calmer when there are blank spaces on the daily calendar.

It was a meaty book without being smug or preachy or padded, and probably is my favourite book so far this year. Highly recommended.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it's exactly what it says on the cover 23 Jan 2011
By Mary
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. If you are a busy parent and you want to slow down and really enjoy your children, it is a good book to read. It talks about decluttering childrens rooms and the less toys the better. Too much TV and computer games are not good, so if you are not prepared to cut back on tv and computer games, it's not for you or maybe it is, as it will explain how this can really improve your family life.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's working! 10 July 2011
By Jacqui
Format:Paperback
I came across this book by chance when another Amazon customer mentioned it in a review of a different title. I love it! I really like the writing style: it's informative, encouraging, sensible but not at all 'preachy'. I haven't yet tried out all of the things it suggests, but did do a MAJOR clear out of the kids' playroom nearly a month ago, just leaving a few games and well-loved toys (I stored the stuff elsewhere and have given them the option of swapping things in and out, but they haven't wanted to do that yet). The change has been remarkable. They are much calmer, playing together (and with me) much more frequently, they can see what they have to play with and choose to play games rather than blob in front of the telly, they're keen to keep the room tidier... Basically, all of us feel much calmer. I wish I'd read it when I was pregnant and never got into the pattern of buying too much stuff, feeling that they always need to have things to do / be entertained etc.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is life changing 14 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have never written a review before but this book has inspired me to encourage others to read it. It's written in such a refreshingly unjudgementle and fluid way. It really has inspired me to change our families ways and not just for the sake of the children - but for the mums and dads to. I never even realised how much stuff we had accumulated. I feel freer. Please read.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply enjoyable 24 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What I liked the most about this book is how it raises awareness among parents of how complex our lives have become and how that is affecting our children. Too many screens, to much time spent on the Internet, the TV, texting people, expecting phone calls, e-mails, having to keep up with the latest news and the latest consumption demands, all of this is just turning everyone into extremely anxious stressed heads. The beauty of this book is making us aware of this very modern phenomenon and giving parents sound advice and tips on how to create moments of peace and relaxation for both themselves and their children. It highlights the importance of creating a calming environment within the family so all the busyness and bustle of the outside world doesn't get into the souls and minds of our little ones. This book is about protecting and cherishing childhood rather than bombarding it with all the demands of the modern world. I fully recommend it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST for all parents 21 Oct 2011
By boolou
Format:Paperback
You know how they say babies don't come with a manual? Well, from now on, this book should be given out to all parents in the Delivery suite. Quite simply - it's brilliant. Forget hundreds of toys, the need to constantly amuse your kids and keep them entertained, forget the idea of shuffling them through their busy after-school schedules and forget even the idea of 'educational' toys and books - most of all, forget telly. If you can give your kids time, space, calm, a few basic things they can play with that engage their imagination (e.g. paper and pencils), a good home routine (which creates stability), inclusion in everyday tasks (e.g. setting the table) and a few family board games then you've cracked it. This book gets you back to basics. Kim John Payne writes brilliantly and illustrates his point with real-life stories from his 20 year practise in the field, and as a parent, the love for his kids is apparent. Look no further than this book if you want to raise ... well, exactly what it says on the cover!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this to all my friends
This book took the stress out of being a parent for me. Our son is happy and content and I have greater clarity on my priorities from reading this.
Published 1 month ago by helen
5.0 out of 5 stars EVERY FAMILY SHOULD READ THIS BOOK, VERY SIMPLE, PRACTICAL AND...
It's a great tool to simplify life in the family and improve the time we spend with our children (which in some cases is not much). Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ve Susani
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking and probably life changing
I've just finished this book and just had to leave a review. I had not even heard of the concept of Simplicity before reading a brief reference to this book, but it all makes such... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. A. L. Stubbs
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good parenting advice
Brilliant book. Very much enjoyed and in fact has changed my opinions on "clutter" completely! It's not often that a book can truly change your mind about how to raise your family!
Published 6 months ago by cazzy
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding parenting book
This is a outstanding book and by far the best parenting book I have ever read. It is based, as the authors point out, on the Steiner principles which anyone can google. Read more
Published 6 months ago by L. Toefy
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much waffle
I found a few of the points interesting and relevant, but there was a lot of waffle in between. I also found it very much based on the author's views and I can't say that I agree... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Erinn
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I don't often review purchases, but this book was so outstanding that I felt really compelled to spread the word. Read more
Published 7 months ago by ABS
4.0 out of 5 stars A great reminder of what is really important.
This has been much recommended to me as an aide to decluttering and simplifying my life and implementing these principles in my parenting. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Dr Susan Buchanan
5.0 out of 5 stars I think this book might change my life.
I got this book on recommendation from some online friends who, like me, are trying to declutter their homes. Read more
Published 9 months ago by EllieTheBeeEater
5.0 out of 5 stars Every parent should have this book.
I know the contents of this book can be regarded as common sense but for me I needed reminding that silence is ok, that I don't need to cram my children's every waking hour with... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Blossom
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