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154 of 156 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has made me a calmer, happier, yet more effective and aware parent
As a clinical psychologist, and mother to an 18-month old, I cannot say enough wonderful things about this book. Since becoming pregnant, I have felt this certain 'pressure' to do do do for my child. Intuitively, I felt that it was too much, both for me and my child.This book helped me see how it was too much. My favorite part of course, as with everyone else, is the...
Published on February 22, 2011 by TC

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81 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay Ideas -- Painful, Painful Presentation
The book is a testament to how easy it is to over complicate very simple things. It takes chapters for Payne to express a simple philosophy. This book would make an excellent essay. As a book, it's bloated, repetitive and plain infuriating to read.

That said, there are some good common sense ideas.

-Limit the number of toys your children have. They...
Published 19 months ago by Purple Grapes


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154 of 156 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has made me a calmer, happier, yet more effective and aware parent, February 22, 2011
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This review is from: Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids (Paperback)
As a clinical psychologist, and mother to an 18-month old, I cannot say enough wonderful things about this book. Since becoming pregnant, I have felt this certain 'pressure' to do do do for my child. Intuitively, I felt that it was too much, both for me and my child.This book helped me see how it was too much. My favorite part of course, as with everyone else, is the chapter on toys. I got rid of (put away) all toys that did not sustain my daughter's attention or were just plain annoying! I am trying to minimize the amount of toys, keep an open space, and buy only toys that stimulate her imagination. What I am finding is that I am a lot more interested in her world because of this (what adult can really stand Elmo for too long). I have backed off from feeling that I need to play with her, and as a result, am more calm and aware of her. We also started integrating a day of the week (sundays) where my husband and I do not use the internet or tv. We found ourselves feeling calmer and feeling more bonded as a family. There are probably a million more things that I could say about this book, but the bottom line: do not hyperparent (or your child will end up in my office with anxiety or related concern), keep things calm, get rid of ugly or loud plastic toys, and get out into nature! Read this book:-)
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68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and Inspiring, October 1, 2009
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This is a terrific, thoughtful book that all parents should read. It is so easy to fall into the trap of "more stuff" when you are a parent. There are just so many toys, books, gears and gadgets that before you know it, your house is overflowing with stuff. This book is a wonderful response to that problem. It's a great blend of theory and practicality as they combine discussions of "soul fever" with clear strategies for decluttering your home and your life.

I thought that the section on "environment," which deals with the overabundance of toys, was a useful refresher. It motivated me to take a good hard look at my daughter's mounds of stuffed animals and start paring it down.

The sections on "rhythm" and "schedule" were also great. I was particularly struck by her examples of the noticeable impact it made on kids' behavior when more routine and predictability was introduced into their lives.

And finally, the section on shielding your kids from some of the realities of the "adults world" absolutely blew me away. I grew up very much in the thick of parental discussions and it never occured to me that this might not be the environment I should aspire to create for my child.

All in all a great read. Highly recommended.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so right, February 9, 2010
This book is so valuable. I wish I had had it when I first became a parent. I savored each chapter slowly, like a delicious chocolate. Every paragraph was so true, and made me think deeply. How great is that? I mean, honestly, you moms out there, when was the last time a book allowed you to slow down and stop multitasking? Sometimes my life has seemed so scattered, running after the kids all the time, but when I read this I felt like here was some wisdom I could calm down with.

When I started to declutter I actually included the kids in the process, counter to the author's advice. But they loved it! "Can we throw out this, too, Mom?" "This is broken, let's get rid of it, Mom." They were nearly as ruthless as I was. And after we had finished my 5yr old said, "Ooo, I like this room now!" I like it, too. I no longer step on tiny plastic stamps all the time (ouch! ...all thrown out now!), and my daughter can find her favorite hair accessories without a frantic and ultimately fruitless search each morning.

The only thing I even slightly disagreed with was the author's disapproval of parents talking constantly to their children, like newscasters narrating events. I agree that it is easy to overdo this. I also agree that silent pauses are needed frequently, and that kids need a chance to get a word in edgewise. But I disagree when he implies that it is *always* bad. Actually, narrating the actions you and your child are engaging in can be a powerful tool to teach language skills to children whose communication skills are delayed or disordered. It's important to talk about events that the child is actively attending to, and to model vocabulary that the child can then use later. Staying silent is not always the best parental course of action, especially if the child is not communicating typically.

My favorite parts were:
--keep food simple. That's such a nice way to summarize traditional, healthy diets. No neon colors, no flashy characters on the labels, just simple real food.
--don't let after school activities take over your life. They shouldn't!
--intersperse exciting times with down time, so rest can occur and the special times seem more special. It's so obvious, but it's nice to be reminded.
--it's okay to throw out/recycle junk, and to give away that which others might want. We do not have to keep everything, forever.

Buy this book. You won't regret it. I usually just get books from the library but this was one I had to keep for future reference and I don't begrudge the cost at all. It's so worth the money.
It would make an especially good baby present, also. Parenting can be so much easier if we keep it simple from the beginning.
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81 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay Ideas -- Painful, Painful Presentation, November 27, 2012
By 
Purple Grapes (Metropolitan DC Area) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids (Paperback)
The book is a testament to how easy it is to over complicate very simple things. It takes chapters for Payne to express a simple philosophy. This book would make an excellent essay. As a book, it's bloated, repetitive and plain infuriating to read.

That said, there are some good common sense ideas.

-Limit the number of toys your children have. They will enjoy what they have more.
-Have routines whenever possible, in terms of how the day is organized, what's for dinner on what night, etc.
-Keep things simple. That goes for food and toys (a plain doll is better than a Dora doll, for example).
-Get rid of clutter.

The idea is to save your time and energy for the good stuff: imagination, play, relaxation and family time.
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61 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars practical and intelligent, October 5, 2011
This review is from: Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids (Paperback)
Some of the "simplicity" literature, including some of the parenting lit on "creative" parenting is over the top for me. I am never going to knit or can my own vegetables. This book is different. It gives justification based on psychological theory and research. And its recommendations are practical and concrete, but not overwhelming. It's more about doing *less* (fewer toys, fewer activities) and paying more attention to our children. It is NOT about growing vegetables, cooking your own baby food, or making wooden toys. Nor is it about consequences or how to talk to your children. It is about giving one's children time, space and support to live and grow. Love it!
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eloquent, Profound . . . and Practical, September 15, 2009
If you consider yourself a thoughtful parent, pick up this book and see if you measure up to your own standards. You might be surprised to find that you still have a lot to learn--and un-learn. This is a book about de-toxifying your child's emotional atmosphere; about letting childhood unfold as it's supposed to. The case studies alone are some of the most eloquent distillations of childhood I've encountered in any twenty-first-century parenting book, the writing is precise and deft; the ideas, profound and revolutionary. The images--for example, of using giant trash bags to clear noisy "interactive" toys out of your child's bedroom posthaste--are practical and yet have a meaning that extends far beyond the literal. The message is simple--slow down, give yourself and your child time to think, get rid of meaningless static in the home--and the execution of the ideas is as pitch-perfect as the solutions are practical.

In the last two decades, we've "enriched" our kids at every turn. We may now have a generation that's robotically up to speed on important issues like global warming, but what is the price kids pay for this onslaught of information? Is there a connection between information overload and the dramatic increase of 3- and 4-letter disorders and syndromes plaguing our kids? This is just one of the questions that Kim John Payne and Lisa Ross address in Simplicity Parenting. The answers they offer are as straightforward and user-friendly as any thinking parent could wish for.
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76 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great, August 1, 2012
Although I did gather a few wonderful practical tips on how to simplify life with my twins, such as how to pare down their toy collections, how to create small rituals in their day for them to look forward to, and how to make meal planning simpler, there were two things about this book that I absolutely did not like. One, the author just writes and writes and writes, going on for paragraphs to illustrate a point that could have been said in one or two sentences. I am not a hurried reader - I love to take my time and enjoy my books - but MY GOODNESS, this book bored me to tears. I found myself skimming over pages just to get to the author's point... and I very rarely do that when I read. Second, I honestly didn't really learn anything new that I didn't already know from blogs, online articles, other books, etc. Honestly, I feel a bit robbed that I paid money for this book. I really wish I had checked it out from the library first. I suggest you do the same!
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend for all parents, January 22, 2011
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This review is from: Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids (Paperback)
This book had a huge impact on me. I had already read several books about the Waldorf philosophy and have always tried to live a simple life. I have one, 2.5 year old, son. Before he was born my husband and I spent a lot of time talking about how we wanted to raise him, and one of our major dreams was somehow protecting him from the consumerism we see all around us. I hope to raise a child that doesn't feel his value and identity are at all connected with what he owns. Yet, despite believing in all of that, I found myself buying into the idea of educational toys. I worried that we didn't own enough stuff for our son. I worried that by not having electronic toys that I was denying my son something. I started collecting a ton of these toys for my son and couldn't figure out why he wanted nothing to do with any of them. He seemed bored with all toys and I was really frustrated. Then I found this book. I remembered all the dreams my husband and I had for our son and how none of them involved having every toy the store carried. I have since sold 2/3 of my sons toys and he plays completely differently. We take nature walks several times a week and spend more time at home rather than running to an event everyday. Every electronic toy is out of my house. I feel like I have my home back and that we've finally created the environment I'd always hoped for. I see my sons imagination growing every day and am so thankful I read this book when I did. I definitely needed to hear that it's good for kids to not have all that stuff and it's so true. My husband is also much happier, he didn't agree with all the buying I was doing. I wish every parent would read this book! I also recommend the book 'Taking Back Childhood' by Nancy Carlsson-Paige.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A positive and affirmative book, January 29, 2010
By 
Theresa Kiesling (Lexington, MA USA) - See all my reviews
So much of parenting is by the seat of your pants, its good to have some affirmation from writers who share your values and concerns. The book is well written and organized in a manner that allows you to hone in on specific areas of concern. I didn't have any great epiphanies and suspect that most readers will already be the kind who believe less is more. However, I did find some ways to tweak what I do and some very clear explanations of why simplicity works. The discussion on parenting balance is an example of this. While my approach seems to be working at home, their description of what balance means for both father and mother was excellent. I used it to start a discussion with my spouse. It was much more clear and cogent than anything I could have articulated. There could have been more summary points to make the lessons a bit more memorable (a la Things I learned in Kindergaren)- Don't mire kids in adult concerns, Leave time for play every day, clutter is bad, eg. They did this approach for filtering our own speech (true.kind.necessary) and I have already started to use it. If you have an inkling that your family may have too hectic an existence and want to explore how to take it all down a notch, this book is a good way to explore the thought. I would get if from the library however because once you understand the concepts, there is probably not much need to keep it around for reference.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Right Stuff, September 21, 2009
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Having just finished posting a parenting article on STUFF <[...]>, I was heartened to read Kim John Payne's approach in this, his latest book: Simplicity Parenting. See Chapter 3 for a "10-Point Checklist" of types of toys to discard. Payne suggests getting rid of half of them--and then another half-- and maybe even another half! Payne's experience--as an educator, counselor and leading edge thinker--shows up on every page, as does his trademark humor and genuine compassion--not only for children, but for us parents too! It helps the medicine go down.
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