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on 7 January 2015
This book opened my eyes to so many things. Every parent should read it.
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on 3 November 2015
A must read! Easy read! Get it and order it!! Can't recommend it enough.
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on 22 August 2017
A wonderful book that all parents should read in todays busy world.
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on 8 September 2017
Such a thought provoking book, really changed my parenting as i implemented the ideas over many months.... I still dip into this book a lot to remind me what kind of parent I want to be!
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on 9 September 2016
The book has great concepts, but it's way too long so I ended up skim-reading through it. Also, if you've read a Magda Gerber book, the teachings are the same.

Key points of the book:

- Don't involve young children in adults' conversations (politics, etc);
- Don't give children too much information;
- Declutter their rooms and throw away the toys that are too advanced to help develop imagination;
- Don't pack their days with activities, as children need to be bored and process what happens around them;
- Stick to a daily predictable routine;
- Don't give them junk food;
- No tv and computers for young kids;
- Be positive, kind and make them feel secure;
- Don't talk too much and don't be a clown for them;
- Don't ask children how they feel, you should understand it by silent clues;
- One parent shouldn't be more involved than the other;
- Be their anchor in the stormy sea of adolescence.
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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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on 5 May 2017
This book has literally changed my life and I've only implemented a tiny fraction of what I'd like to. It works so well with the KonMari method which I also highly recommend. I will admit I hated the first few pages of this book but I'm so glad I persevered! Once I got into it, I really started to get on board. Don't worry if not all of the advice works for you, even small changes make big differences. Plus, stay open minded. I never thought I'd agree to reduce my 5 year old daughter's books to just a handful but doing so ended up being such a positive thing for her.
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on 28 May 2017
I've been reading this book a few pages at a time with a baby on the other arm. Totally worth it. This book is worth buying for Chapter 1 alone. I'm only halfway through it and already it has changed the way I think about the effect of my environment on myself and my family.

The basic premise is that overstimulation creates an effect in children (and adults) similar to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Concomitantly, creativity, stability, and ultimately happiness can only appear when there is space for them. When we *make* space for them. This idea is supplemented with lots of practical advice for different areas of parenting.

Once I got the concept, I could see the mechanism at work in people I know, and in myself. I can only imagine how much more powerful the effect must be for children.

If the ideas in this book were implemented widely, the positive effect on society would likely be huge.
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on 4 May 2017
Just reading the book makes you feel calmer, great read even if you pick and choose which bits to follow as a family.
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on 13 July 2015
This book is a bit longwinded but it is excellent. For anyone who wonders why their house is sinking under toys and wants a life with their kids that is full of fun but in a calm and happy home then this book is for you. I never understand why people write such scathing reviews - if you don't like it - don't shoot the messenger! There were a lot of thought provoking studies and citations throughout - remembering this chap deals with problems not your every day not all situations need to be extreme BUT having applied (or already been halfway there on some of his) suggestions - I feel more confident in how I treat the kids and they are happier and the house is no longer going to SINK UNDER TOYS! The biggest surprise was the filtering out the adult world bit... I didn't entirely realise how much we talk in front of or over the kids when they are around, and so much parenting fashion these days requires so much verbalisation or opportunity to 'teach' - it's nice to know it doesn't help and you can; have less and do less and - shock horror - NOT have to get down on the floor and entertain the kids with all their toys all day or even at all and - not only is it ok - it's a good idea.
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