Simplicity Parenting

September 30th, 2009

I hesitate to just throw around the words “life changing” when I describe experiences because, let’s face it, most events don’t actually change your life. But I encountered a book this week that might just fit the bill.

Simplicity Parenting — a truly gorgeous new tome which, as the name implies, is an ode to raising your kids simply. I had three hours to kill on Monday before a meeting when it didn’t make sense to drive home only to drive back so I decided to spend some quality time with Borders. I picked the book up on a whim and proceeded to read (make that, devour) the entire thing in a single sitting.

The author makes a really compelling case for the negative impact all our “stuff” can have on our kids. And for the positive impact that things like rhythm and schedules can have on the whole family. I’m no good at book reviews. Suffice to say, it’s awesome and you should read it.

Some portions of the book were more “life-affirming” than “life-changing” because we’ve already adopted some of the things he suggests. For example, we’ve chosen not to have television be a part of Miss Mouse’s life. Not forever. But for right now.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is of the opinion that the claims of all those baby-focused TV shows and DVDs are a basically a bunch of boo-hockey and recommends that kids under the age of two watch no television at all. And that seems like a good plan to me.

Don’t get me wrong — I love watching movies. And I love Disney and Pixar passionately and can’t wait to introduce Miss Mouse to the wonders of Monsters Inc. and the Lion King. I just can’t think of any reason for her to watch them now.

We were over at Josh’s aunt’s house this weekend and the Steelers game was on. I didn’t want to make a big thing out of the TV ban so I let Miss Mouse play in the room. It was her first prolonged exposure to television and she actually handled herself beautifully. She was generally more interested in the Fisher Price Noah’s Ark toys than the big bright screen, but when it did catch her attention, it reconfirmed my conviction to keep that relationship at bay for the time being. Her eyes got that glassy look and she stared, hypnotized for a few seconds until I gently pointed her in another direction. Who needs a zombie baby?

2 responses to “Simplicity Parenting”

  1. lisa says:

    Hi Kate,

    Thanks for your blog! I wrote SIMPLICITY PARENTING w/ Kim John Payne, and the book has not really been reviewed much (in fact…I was searching for reviews when I came across your post). I'm glad to hear that you liked it, and so appreciate your giving it some "ink."
    Best, Lisa M. Ross

  2. Jo says:

    I'll stop lurking now to say "heck yeah!" on the TV ban. I watched my boyfriend's nephew go from ignoring the TV at age one to glassy-eyed addict by age one and a half. Scary!

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