Thursday, May 23, 2013

{Book Review} Simplicity Parenting

It feels rare these days to say that I've finished a book, cover to cover. At least a book that doesn't rhyme or have pictures on every page.

Just last week I finished reading the book Simplicity Parenting by by Kim John Payne. The subtitle really sums up the premiss of the book well, "using the extraordinary power of less to raise calmer, happier, and more secure kids." It is chalk full of wonderful insight on how simplifying life, our material possessions and schedules, as well as creating routine and filtering out the "voice" of the outside world (i.e. via TV, computers etc.) will aid us as parents in raising our children.
He writes from 20+ years as both a school and family counselor and has a strong back ground in the Waldorf education movement. His first hand examples of changed families are compelling and he offers up much practical advice that can be implemented immediately.

Now, before I go ahead and recommend this book I must first say that Kim John Payne is NOT writing from a Christian world view. His book is heavy with a secular, humanist world view and, as a Christian, I had to be careful to read with a scrutinizing eye and a Biblical lens.  At times his views and opinions need to be disregarded but on a whole I feel that there is much to take away and apply.

As I read I felt that this is not so much a book about developing our parenting philosophy but rather a book about creating an environment in which our parenting philosophy can be more easily and intentionally implemented. Or, as he puts it, "As clutter and overwhelm find their way out the door and a less frenetic pace takes hold, your parenting will become less inflamed, too...The family center that is built with consistency...helps parents become more centered in their discipline. It builds a trust that makes a child a willing "disciple"..." (emphasis mine) It's funny how this reference to disciple is in now way meant in the Biblical context but it is exactly what I had been thinking as I read. I want to disciple my children in the Lord and this book has shown me (and Nick) some great practical steps to take to create a calm and uncluttered environment to do just that.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:4-7

In Him,

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