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Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less [Kindle Edition]

Asha Dornfest , Christine Koh
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Book Description

We’re in the midst of a parenting climate that feeds on “more”: more expert advice, more gear, more fear about competition and safety, and more choices to make about education, nutrition, even entertainment. The result? Overwhelmed, confused parents and overscheduled, over-parented kids. In Minimalist Parenting, Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest offer a fresh approach to navigating all of this conflicting background “noise.” They show how to tune into your family’s unique values and priorities and confidently identify the activities, stuff, information, and people that truly merit space in your life. The book begins by showing the value of a minimalist approach, backed by the authors’ personal experience practicing it. It then leads parents through practical strategies for managing time, de-cluttering the home space, simplifying mealtimes, and streamlining recreation. Filled with parents’ personal stories, readers will come away with a unique plan for a simpler life!

An enhanced eBook version with video and audio, optimized for color tablets, is also available.

Editorial Reviews Review

“In Minimalist Parenting, Christine Koh and AshaDornfest offer readers a much-welcome alternative to the usual parenting advice. With its focus on simplicity, self-knowledge, kindness, and confidence, this book gives parents the tools to help themselves—and, more importantly, trust themselves—as they navigate the often overwhelming terrain of managing family life.” (Andrea J. Buchanan, New York Times bestselling author of The Daring Book for Girls) 


“For any parents who feel overwhelmed with clutter in their homes, their schedules, or their brains (that is, just about every parent!), Minimalist Parenting is an invaluable guide to making family life more serene—and more fun.” (Gretchen Rubin, author of Happier at Home and the best-sellerThe Happiness Project)


“Who says that parenting has to be about buying, watching, fretting, obsessing and scheduling? Well, no one—in those words. But for many folks, that's what it is. Here's a way to say goodbye to the treadmill and howdy to happiness, extra space and free time.” (Lenore Skenazy, author of Free-Range Kids)


“In Minimalist ParentingKoh and Dornfest offer keen insights about how to live a less stressful parenting life. This is a practical, comprehensive guidebook that also feels like a good, supportive, and upbeat friend. Harried parents may not have time to read it, which is exactly why they should.” (Katherine Ozment, contributing editor at Boston magazine)


“A sensible, calming tonic for parents trying to escape the maelstrom of impossible social expectations and unbearable childrearing anxiety.” (Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother)


“What a great idea—for top parenting bloggers Christine Koh and AshaDornfest to create a book, sharing their lessons learned and curating other advice from wise bloggers about how to simplify our lives as parents so we can enjoy everyday moments more. I was particularly inspired by the many unique suggestions about decluttering!” (Ellen Galinsky, president of Families and Work Instituteand author of Mind in the Making)


“In parenting, less is turning out to be more.  But how much less?  And which less, exactly?  Minimalist Parenting helps you figure it out in ways that fit your schedule, your style, and—most importantly—your values.” (Katherine Center, author of The Bright Side of Disaster and Everyone Is Beautiful)


“Asha Dornfest and Christine Koh buck the trend toward ‘expert’ parenting by encouraging parents to trust in their own competence. Minimalist Parenting goes further, providing practical tips for managing time, stuff, and perspective.” (Chris Anderson, former editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine and founder of GeekDad)


“When we exercise our creativity—and make something from nothing—we define ourselves. In this vivid and generous guide, Christine Koh and AshaDornfest offer a practical and inspiring approach to creating the space for you and your family to thrive. You will be a happier person for having read this book." (Emma Lively, co-author with Julia Cameron, of The Prosperous Heart and The Artist's Way for Parents)


“From the moment I read their phrase 'wrestling with abundance' I knew that Christine and Asha were on to something. Minimalist Parenting is just the boost you need. The tidbits of wisdom from some of my favorite bloggers on how they've handled the inevitable curveballs of parenting was inspiring reading for this newish mom.” (Jory Des Jardins, co-founder of BlogHer and Mother of Two)


“If you learn how to be a minimalist parent, you’ll have a maximalist's amount of time to love your family and life. I trust AshaDornfest and Christine Koh with this stuff. This book is a go-to resource!” (Chris Brogan, CEO of Human Business Works and author of The Impact Equation)


“The goal of Minimalist Parenting is stunningly simple—to keep the stuff that increases joy and reduce what doesn't. There aren't enough books like this in the parenting space! Reading it boosted my confidence.” (Heather Flett& Whitney Moss, publishers of Rookie Moms and 510 Families and authors of Stuff Every Mom Should Know and The Rookie Mom’s Handbook)


“Wow. I wish this book had been around when I was still struggling with school, sports, music, meals, and the occasional meltdown!  That said, there are lots of tips and much wisdom that is helpful to anyone trying to ‘minimize’ what it takes to get happily through the day. I will keep my copy ready at hand!” (Ginny Wolfe, senior director of strategic relationships, The ONE Campaign)


“This book is filled with honest, practical and useful advice that will help any parent keep their sanity. Thankfully not just another parenting book, but a strategic guide to keeping your family happy and on track.” (C.C. Chapman, author of Amazing Things Will Happen and founder of Digital Dads)


"Minimalist Parenting is easily the new must-read parenting book of the year. And hopefully every year." -- Cool Mom Picks

Product Details

  • File Size: 596 KB
  • Print Length: 275 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1937134342
  • Publisher: Bibliomotion, Inc.; First edition (March 19, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,949 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre at best June 7, 2013
This is a superficial sweep through a wide range of parenting issues. The authors offer lots of bite-sized solutions to problems ranging from selecting baby gear to over-scheduling and meal-planning. If you truly need help with these issues, you need more than their fifty word sound-bites. In most cases the advice was common-sense, which doesn't mean it isn't valuable, but I think there are a great many more beneficial parenting books out there. "The Power of Play" by David Elkind does a much more thorough job of addressing overscheduling and the importance of free play, for example, and "Simplicity Parenting" by Kim John Payne is a far more useful guide to simplifying family life, offering concrete steps to take (and the research behind them) to give your children and yourself a more stress-free, fulfilling life.

It was also quite apparent that co-author Christine Koh is still coming to terms with many issues from her own childhood. That's fine, but I found the constant "I never got X while a child" to be irritating and distracting rather than adding to the work in any way. I think the authors mean well and are likely better bloggers than authors. Some bloggers are excellent book authors as well; in my opinion these two did not manage pull it off.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Values Based Time and Money Management for Parents March 17, 2013
How many things are on your perpetual "to do" list for when you have time. Let's face it, in this day and age, none of us have time for the stuff that has to get done, let alone the things we would like to do. So Christine and Asha (and after the amazing daily e-mails from MinCamp I feel like we are on a first name basis even though I have never met them and had never heard of them two weeks ago) advocate living in the here and now. Identify your core values and plan your activities around them. The rest is the stuff you just don't have time for. They also advocate self-reflection on how you schedule things (identifying your "golden hours" and scheduling your most creative and challenging work then). Their guidance for getting rid of that physical stuff that is clogging up your home is priceless (but not a reason to not buy this book!). From meal planning to financial management to vacations, it is all in there. And along the way they show you how to involve your children and teach them in the process. It is like Franklin Covey meets a Life Coach, a Four-Star General, and Mary Poppins all in one (in the best possible way). If you don't think you have time for another book on parenting, time management, or decluttering, you NEED this book. Read it, join their MinCamp, and take action. You will thank yourself and your family will thank you.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for new dads March 21, 2013
I'm a management consultant and the father of a 2-year old, and both parts of me love minimalist parenting.

First of all, these authors know their stuff. Both Dornfest and Koh are parents, of course, but they've also had the benefit of crowdsourcing what works for tens of thousands of parents, via the blogs they run. I found they knew the issues I and my wife deal with, including how we deal with each other as parents.

Second, they believe you know your stuff. The fundamental insight of minimalist parenting is that you know how to parent and that you have everything you need to do it really well, right now. What Dornfest and Koh do is help you clear the clutter towards finding that and amplifying its influence over what's going on at home. I bet I'm not the only dad who wonders whether his "laid back" style is alright, esp when his wife or someone else is getting up to speed on the latest school reviews, technology, toys, medical info, etc etc etc. Read this, feel right, maybe share it with your wife.

Finally, they help you get to where you want to be at home. With the the kids, with each other, with yourself. I don't know a parent whose family life isn't a bit chaotic (Dornfest and Koh remind you that their's are too). But you can edit down so that the things that matter get a lot more time, and there's a lot of space to relax into them. You might remember as a kid you did that a lot. Koh and Dornfest do what a good management consultant does (but with a lot more love than most). They help you identify the priorities, shuck the excess and get the results -- in this case, a more joyous and relaxed time with kids who will be kids only briefly.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I adored this book. I have 3 kids - 6, 4, and 2. I tend to parent in a fairly laid back way but still have found myself overwhelmed by much of how life just naturally works in our society. I'm the farthest from a Type A personality, but that doesn't always make me more relaxed - sometimes it just puts me even farther behind. This book helped me organize my personal wants/needs from what society seems to be constantly telling us to do. That's why even the parts discussing things I didn't or wouldn't do as a parent were presented as options, not prescriptions.

It is set up somewhat more like a workbook than I usually read, but I did the various activities/schedules/inventories and was very pleased by the clarity it brought to the most hectic parts of my life.

The authors have managed to put together a book that is non-judgmental, helpful, AND about parenting. I didn't think it was possible! But even if you've said to yourself "I don't need ANOTHER book about parenting," you might need this one - particularly if you're overwhelmed sometimes by life with kids.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Quick Read but repititive
This book gives you a quick start on minimalist parenting and living. I've read better books, namely Simplicity Parenting, but this one would give you a quick start on minimizing... Read more
Published 2 months ago by VirginiaYankee
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Reminder
I've tabbed a couple pages in this book. There is nothing ground breaking here, but too often parents get caught up in all the craziness and forget to relax and that all our extra... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Wesley Tucker
2.0 out of 5 stars Life Saver!
If you want cutting edge advice on minimalist parenting from two work at home moms with too much money and time on their hands is this the book for you. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Christopher R. Williams
3.0 out of 5 stars Good first look at simplifying life...
This was a good starter book for someone who needed a quick easy read about simplifying your life with kids. It is full of personal stories and kept my interest. Read more
Published 4 months ago by B. Banakos
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have for Busy Modern Parents
As a working mother of two I don't think I've ever appreciated a parenting philosophy more than the one expressed in 'Minimalist Parenting. Read more
Published 4 months ago by dprichard
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring, trendy and not worth your time
I found this book so boring I couldn't even read more than 4-5 pages, and I checked out the beginning, middle and end. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Rachel Wizenfeld
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful and inspirational
A lot of good reminders and idea about how to keep things simple. I liked the blogger examples a lot. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Kau
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read!
It's refreshing to read that you're not the only one in the world dealing with clutter - both around the house & in your head. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Hadit817
2.0 out of 5 stars Eh
There are a few interesting nuggets here and there in this book but overall it came off as too commercial/conventional for me.
Published 9 months ago by Margarita Rhodes
5.0 out of 5 stars Yeehaw! No More Goodie Bags!
I read this book and thought, "finally someone's saying it, because I'm thinking it."

It's nice to have a thought leader (better yet, two! Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jamaica Jenkins
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