Simplicity Parenting Book Summary - Simplicity Parenting Book explained in key points
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Simplicity Parenting summary

Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross

Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids

4.2 (162 ratings)
13 mins

Brief summary

Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross is a parenting guide that advocates for simplifying children's lives. It offers practical strategies for reducing clutter, screen time and scheduling, enabling children to thrive in a less stressed and more meaningful environment.

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    Simplicity Parenting
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    The hectic modern world can have a detrimental effect on the well-being of children.

    Most people live ridiculously overloaded lives. We’re constantly staring at our phones or computers and, if we do look up or step outside, it’s only to be bombarded by advertisements on billboards and buses and buildings. Life in today’s modern age is extremely hectic.

    As adults, we can cope with this constant inundation, but for children, it’s a whole different story. They struggle to handle the stress caused by this cascade of stimuli – so much so that it can alter the way they behave. This condition is what the author refers to as cumulative stress reaction, or CSR.

    In his work as a teacher and private consultant, the author often saw children in states of acute stress, anxiety and nervousness – all of which are symptomatic of CSR. They become hypervigilant and overly controlling, and they exhibit little resilience or empathy.

    Of course, a child’s life shouldn’t be completely stress-free, which is just as well since you can’t prevent them from experiencing stress and trauma; they’ll probably fall out of a tree or get into a fight with one of their friends at some point. But these experiences build their resilience, improve their understanding of the world and also teach them how to behave.

    However, when children are constantly stressed, their resilience doesn’t improve; rather, it declines, resulting in the above-mentioned symptoms of CSR.

    Take the example of James, whose parents reached out to the author for help. They were worried about James’s anxiety, which was getting worse and worse.

    James’s parents were educated people; they enjoyed engaging in intellectual debate and staying abreast of current events – CNN was on in their household 24/7. But being constantly involved in this adult world was having a detrimental effect on their son. Eventually, he started to show symptoms of CSR – he became controlling and highly nervous. In fact, he didn’t learn how to ride a bike until he was eight years old because he was too scared about the possibility of falling off.

    To maintain your child’s well-being, it’s important to simplify his life as much as possible. You’ll learn how to go about doing this in the following blinks.

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    What is Simplicity Parenting about?

    Simplicity Parenting (2009) teaches parents how to reduce the levels of stress experienced by their children. Parents can accomplish this by controlling their children’s environment, limiting their access to the adult world and providing them with a steady, rhythmic schedule. Taking these simple steps will improve family life for all involved.  

    Best quote from Simplicity Parenting

    ...society is poking quite a few holes in the protective filter that should surround childhood to buffer it from adult life and concerns.

    —Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross
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    Who should read Simplicity Parenting?

    • Parents and parents-to-be
    • Child psychologists
    • Therapists

    About the Author

    Kim John Payne is an expert in child-rearing with 27 years of experience in school, adult and family counseling. His other books include The Games Children Play (1996) and Being At Your Best When Your Kids Are At Their Worst (2017).

    Lisa M. Ross is a writer and former literary agent. She has worked in the publishing business for 20 years but currently works as a writer and ghostwriter.

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