Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Power of Less: Simplifying our family's life

When your kids have too  many choices, too many things, and too much over-stimulation, what do you get? One tiered Mommy and 2 unhappy kids. 

For the Past few years I have tried to implement the idea of no TV and fewer, more naturally made toys, but it never seems to work. I always go back to just one show in the morning, then maybe two. Then suddenly the kids would be gifted with a box of plastic Barbies or other plastic crap items and all the good intentions I had  be thrown out the window.  For the past year now, I have to say, we have come far with our cutting back efforts. The kids have donated about 3/4 of their toys and we have focused our days (homeschooling) towards art and nature. But it still didn't seem like enough.
It wasn't until about 2 weeks ago that I read  this book called "Simplicity Parenting" that I felt that our life really came together at home in the peaceful rhythm that I was always searching for. With lots of breathing space.  After reading the book we made some drastic changes in our home.

Some major changes we have made in the past couple of weeks:
1. Canceled cable and removed the TV from the living room. 
2. Cut back dolls and stuffed animals to 5 per child.
3. Put children's books in our basement library where the kids can go if they want to trade one in for another. We left only 12 books on their shelf in their bedroom.   
4. We are creating lot of time in our day for the ordinary. Nothing to do, nowhere to be. 
5. We have removed  all toys that only have one purpose. We are now using more open ended toys. (such as: shells from the beach, pine cones, sticks, natural wood blocks, play scarves......)
6. We are consciously taking a more relaxed pace to all we do, leaving time and space for lots of detours. 

What we have noticed:
1. Our children are happier
2. They are not bored
3. Less wining and complaining and begging
4. My husband and I have felt more relaxed and less irritated
5. The biggest shock is that the kids have not missed any of their things or the TV at all. 
6. They are engaged and busy all day with their ideas and protects. One after the other. 
7. They work well together and are so kind to each other. 

We thought these changes would be a little hard to make for all of us, but they were not hard at all. We have more time for each other and we are happier when we are together. I only wish I we had done it sooner.

I highly recommend this book for everyone!


Simplicity Parenting

Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier 

and More Secure Kids

"If you are raising children in these anxious times, you need this book. It will inspire you, reassure you, and most important of all, it will remind you: that less is more, that simplicity trumps complication, that rhythm and routine bring peace to the soul. In this profound and practical guide, Kim Payne offers parents a do-able, step-by-step approach to simplifying everyday family life, from the toy box to the dinner table. In the process, he reveals to us the rewards to be found in slowing down, savoring our children's childhoods, and more fully enjoying our own adult lives."

No comments: