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Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less Paperback – March 19, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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)

Review

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

"Covering everything from clutter to playtime to meals, Koh and Dornfest help readers recognize exactly where their time goes. For parents who feel the pressure to partake of every activity and perform to perfection, there are solid ideas here for chilling out." – Library Journal, August 2013
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bibliomotion; First edition (March 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937134342
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937134341
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This book offers some great advice for parents (moms and dads alike!)
Kimberly D. Coleman
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.
J. E. Berman
This book packs a lot of great tips into short, easy-to-read chapters.
A. Morris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By L. Blessing on June 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
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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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By D. Malone on March 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. E. Berman on March 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By L. Chibe on March 15, 2013
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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