Thursday, April 27, 2017

Book Study :: Simplicity Parenting

I have always considered myself to be simplistic at heart, especially when it came to parenting.  I knew what I wanted from my children, and I knew how I wanted my household to run.  I knew what was important and what wasn't.  Easy Peasy...123.

But, as we all know life doesn't always follow an exact plan.  More often than not real life consumes our 'perfect vision' and spits out a faded, worn out version.

Life happens.  Children arrive on the scene, and the pace of our lives pick up.  We have a million things to do in a short amount of time.  All of the things we say 'would never happen in our households,' become the norm.   Our children act up and we aren't sure why.  We forget which uniform we need for which practice on which night.  Ugh.  Exhausting.

The structure and simplicity of a calmer life can easily be derailed by our over-commitment, too-high expectations, and (at least on my part) a complete lack of consistency.

There are too many times that I want ____ to happen, but because :

a. of being over scheduled
b. of being over committed
c. of being too lazy
d. I didn't plan ahead  
e. I lacked consistency
f.  I said yes, when I should have said no
g.  I did all of the above

it just didn't happen.

I don't mean to sound like an alarmist, or an over-exaggerator.  But, we have all been there.  As I am looking toward this Summer, and also planning our upcoming school year, I want it to be the best one yet.  My oldest son will be a senior, and I have 6 other children with busy schedules.  I am taking a good look at what is best for our family in this stage of the game.

I want our home to be a place where the kids are calm, happy, and have consistent boundaries.  A place where a peaceful rhythm permeates our days, and over stimulation and unnecessary idleness are thrown out the window.  It might be a bit 'pie in the sky' but, do any of you crave this as much as I do?

I recently read the book Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne.   It was a wonderful book and perfectly addressed the things that I had been mulling over in my mind... but didn't know what to do with.  Here is a qoute from the back of the book.

"Today's busier, faster society is waging an undeclared war on childhood.  With too much stuff, too many choices, and too little time, children can become anxious, have trouble with friends and school, or even be diagnosed with behavioral problems.... Payne helps parents reclaim for their children the space and freedom that all kids need for their attention to deepen and their individuality to flourish.  Simplicity Parenting offers inspiration, ideas, and a blueprint for change."

This book isn't about some religious bent, or a crazy set of rules and hard to follow unrealistic expectations.  It provides clear ways to simplify your environment, schedule and daily rhythm.

"As parents we're the architects of our families daily lives.  We build a structure for those who we love by what we choose to do together, and how we do it.  We determine the rhythms of our days; set a pace.  There are certainly limits to our control...Ask any parent of a teenager.  And it often feels that our lives are controlling us, caught as we are in a a mad rush from one responsibility to another.  Yet the unique way that we perform this dance of daily activities says a lot about who we are as a family."

So, what do you think?  Does it sound like a book you would like to study with me?  I will begin going through the book chapter by chapter.   Starting Monday, May 22 we will discuss the intro and chapter 1.   So go to Amazon, your local library, or favorite bookseller to grab the book.  If you buy it you can mark it all up and turn it into a manual of sorts that you will reach for again and again.

Leave a comment and let me know your in!


1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this idea and you can count me in. But I can't participate until the first or second week of June. I just have no extra free time with finishing up our homeschool year and getting ready to move from MI.