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Simplify Your Life With Kids : 100 Ways to make Family Life Easier and More Fun Hardcover – August 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Series: Elaine St. James Little Books
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; English Language edition (August 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0836235959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0836235951
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #533,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A former real estate investor, Elaine St. James is the author of the best-selling series on simplifying: Simplify Your Life, Inner Simplicity, Living the Simple Life, and Simplify Your Christmas. She has appeared on a variety of television shows, including Oprah, CNN's What's New, the Help at Home show, a Working Woman's special, and MSNBC and ABC News specials. She has participated in more then 250 TV and radio interviews, seminars, and presentations around the country discussing the simplicity trend. She lives a quiet, simple life in California.

From AudioFile

Modern families are ripe for simplification. Overbooked activity schedules, two working parents and the "do-it-all" mentality stress families with too many commitments and too little time. St. James, author of Living the Simple Life, Inner Simplicity and Simplify Your Life, turns her attention to ideas for families in this recorded program. With clear, direct discussion of scenarios that complicate family life, St. James offers ideas to cut through the clutter of busy lives. She starts with the specifics of baby paraphernalia, pets, TV viewing and then deals with broader issues of communication and schedules. With the focus on family relations and interaction, St. James's suggestions provide a sensible parenting guide. Her clarity and simple expression make this an accessible program from which listeners can take away lots of "good ideas." Many of her examples bring smiles of recognition, and her description of keeping the family car "battle-ready" is a treat. R.F.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

A very helpful book.
joyce kaufman
I guess this book falls into the category of "never take parenting advice from someone who never had children".
Kelly
The rest is also good, but can easily be condensed by skimming and reading paragraphs of interest.
Randy Given

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Kelly VINE VOICE on January 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
I guess this book falls into the category of "never take parenting advice from someone who never had children". I bought this book because I LOVED "Simplify your life" by this author. I found it very helpful. This book, however, was mostly confounding and fairly depressing. While St. James *did* seek out advice from her friends who had children, these friends apparently take a very 'hands off' approach to their kids.
The book opens with a scenario in which a mother has forgotten to pick up her child and the child is stranded somewhere late in the evening while she tries to figure out a way to get someone else to go pick him up now that she's home and needs to make dinner. This did not bode well for the rest of the book [for those of us who don't routinely completely forget about our children and leave them alone in public places late at night....]
Much of the advice in this book falls into the category of "simplify your life with children by paying someone else to deal with the little brats". There is much about how parents should put their children in day care all day [and don't EVER let your child think they have the ability to cause you to delay your departure because of their pathetic tears, etc, etc, etc] and then get a sitter to care for the children in the evenings so mom can have "Me" time and parents can have "Us" time. Apparently, if you schedule 2 hours of "quality time" on Sunday afternoon with your kids, that's really all they need.
There was also a big push to teach the kids "self sufficiency" - as in, your 5 year old really can get his own breakfast so he doesn't "bother" you.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 18, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Elaine St James does not have children of her own, but she has co-written this book with Vera Coles-mother of three. Despite Coles' parent perspective, much of the writing seems out-of-touch with the daily lives of most parents. But much more frightening, the authors have not done their child development homework, and many of their suggestions could be harmful to children.
St James begins with a description of your typical harried day, which includes having to "rescue your two-year-old from the baby-sitter." Any mother whose typical day includes "rescuing" her two-year-old from child care needs more than to simplify her life. She needs to drop everything and find some better child care! But St James, with no experience in trying to find adequate and affordable child care, doesn't appreciate the magnitude of this problem, and is simply trying to be funny. (Also, most child-care professionals resent being called "babysitters," a term she uses throughout the book, because it does not reflect the care and education caregivers work hard to provide.)
On page 7, St. James attempts to deal with the universal problem of separating from your child. As she does repeatedly, St. James approaches this problem with only the parents' needs in mind. Her focus is on streamlining the adult's morning routine, without any mention of the child's needs. She suggests that you (mommy) let daddy take the child during the first few weeks because the child is probably more used to saying good-bye to daddy. The stereotypes in this statement annoyed me, but worse than annoying was her suggestion that you enlist "another adult" to take the child. Separation from parents is one of the most difficult problems children face in child care.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
What a disappointment this book was. The contents has nothing to do with the title. There aren't more three or four practical tips on simplifying life with children. (Warning: the author has NO children!! When she admitted that, I should have stopped right there.) Instead of offering the advice promised, this book is one long lecture on the attitude you should take as a parent, how to react in certain situations (complete with suggested things to say (let's hope your kids have read and memorized THEIR parts in the sample dialogues, otherwise, you'll be in trouble) etc. Worse, this parental advice is so simplistic as to be totally useless and patronizing. For example, she suggests you teach your children to pick up after themselves, to learn to answer the phone with a "Hello", to clean their own rooms. I mean, who did she think her audience was? St. Bernards? Anyone with half an ounce of common sense would be doing these things already. Furthermore, if I were looking for a guide to parenting, I would certainly rather rely on someone who had qualifications in the field: a psychologist, a family therapist or something. I kept waiting for the unsultingly obvious lecturing to stop and the real hints and practical tips to start. Instead, I got more insipid advice. For example, after suggesting you give children "a choice", she provides about ten examples: "Would you like a sandwich or soup? Would you like to wear your pants or a skirt?" and on and on. Thanks lady, we're so dumb, we can't figure out what a choice is without ten examples... Save your money and spend it on a book with substance. This one is a joke. It will only annoy and make you even more frazzled and ill-tempered with your children!
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