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Simplicity Parenting -by Kim John Payne
May 27, 2011 at 7:42 PM

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids [Paperback]

Kim John Payne (Author), Lisa M. Ross

I am reading this book, which comes recommended by a few like-minded friends of mine.  It is co-written by a renowned Waldorf teacher and school consultant/psychologist who has come to specialize in treating ADD/ADHD and other often over/mis-diagnosed conditions that he shows to be mostly a result of an ever present outbreak of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in it's truest form, but in the children across the US.  He has years of experience and first hand proof that this is a very real and dominant problem in our culture, because we have over run our children with stimuli and media to the point of traumatizing them into bad behavior and levels of stress that stear their chemistry into disorder on diagnostic levels. 
He has become known in his practice as "Dr. Trashbag" because he has been (successfully) treating ADD/ADHD and just plain families who want to be happier by clearing out thier home of half the "junk", stuff, toys, etc...that clutter up their lives and leaving their children in imbalance.  

MY opinion:
I am REALLY loving this book!  He says (and has studies to back up) the same things I have been saying for YEARS just based on my experience and my feelings about ADD specifically.  It's not ABOUT ADD as a book...but he certainly has a HUGE place in that research and treatment IMO...and can not be ignored.  I am really taking to heart his suggestions and "plan" and have been using his guidelines to simplify our lives, little by little...and you don't have to be  a "Waldorf family" to benefit or see the Truth in his ideas. 

TOTALLY worth the read and it can ONLY HELP a family who is finding imbalence in their child in any way. 


  • boomamma
    June 21, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Kim John Payne is coming from a specifically Waldorf Educational background, which shines through very clearly, but the book is totally accessible IMO to anyone who is NOT familiar with Waldorf methods and traditions. 

    One of the things he touches on and that you would see in a Waldorf or Stiener school is that the class room is anything BUT overwhelming.  Everything down to the color of the walls is meticulously chosen and with intention.  There is a focus on natural fibers and elements always being the backdrop in the room, and you will see plants in pots around the room, bringing nature indoors whenever possible.  There may be work the children have done on the walls, but there is no "decoration" made from paper cartoony imagery.   There may be a mobile that the teacher made of birds handing from a branch or fairies or angels...something ethereal.  

    The key though would be simplicity and everything has a place.  

    Quoting MidnightRambler:

    I have one more comment to make (I hope it's relevant since I haven't read this book). I visited DD's future kindergarten class and was impressed with the building and the teachers, but the actual classroom seemed cluttered and overwhelming to me. There were posters up with winter scenes on them and it was May. There were nursery rhymes and the alphabet and everything you would expect, but there was SO MUCH of it. I found it overstimulating myself and I was only there for a few minutes!

    Anyway, I read some reviews on amazon and bought this book (it isn't at my library yet).

  • MidnightRambler
    June 22, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    Thanks very much for the information, Annette! I had heard of Waldorf before but I wasn't sure what it was. I am looking forward to receiving this book now!

  • LorelNicolette
    August 12, 2011 at 9:25 PM

    I'm currently reading this book, and love it!  Very interesting theories and helpful ideas!

  • Imamom4sure
    August 12, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    lorel, do you have any gem quotes from the book? or its not really quotes but passages?

  • LorelNicolette
    August 12, 2011 at 9:54 PM

    I'm only 13% into the book (funny how technology makes things more accurate).  I haven't bookmarked that much yet, though this is what I have so far...

    Page 1:  "It is never too late to bring inspiration and attention to the flow of family life.  Parents of young children will find many seeds here to plant toward a family live that continues to protect and nurture as children grow.  But every stage in a family's evolution can benefit from a little more space and grace, a little less speed and clutter."

    Page 5:  "We are building our daily lives, and our families, on the four pillars of too much:  too much stuff, too many choices, too much information, and too much speed.  With this level of busyness, distractions, time pressure and clutter (mental and physical), children are robbed of the time and ease they need to explore their worlds and their emerging selves.  And since the pressures of "too much" are so universal, we are "adjusting" at a commensurately fast pace.  The weirdness of "too much" begins to seem normal.  If the water we are swimming in continues to heat up, and we simply adjust as it heats, how will we know to hop out before we boil?"

    Page 26:  "As parents we must not become "harmony addicted."  It's tempting to hope that every day might be a sort of "rainbow experience" for our children.  Wouldn't that be nice?  If only we could suspend them in a sort of happiness bubble.  But they need conflict.  As Helen Keller noted, "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet."  Children need to find ways to cope with difficult situations; they need to learn that they can." 

    Page 26:  "By overprotecting them we may make their lives safer (that is, fever free) in the short run, but in the long run we would be leaving them vulnerable, less able to cope with the world around them"

    I'm currently reading the section that deals with quirkiness of kids and how stress can push any child to the undesirable side of their spectrum.  The author compares the development of character and emotional resiliency to the immune system.  Very interesting!!  It really resonates with what I have witnessed with my own children. 

    Quoting Imamom4sure:

    lorel, do you have any gem quotes from the book? or its not really quotes but passages?

  • MidnightRambler
    August 12, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    I have read this book now and I loved it! I will elaborate at a future time since I'm off to bed soon.

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