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Customer Review

71 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so right, February 9, 2010
This review is from: Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids (Hardcover)
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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