Sunday, March 3, 2013

Simplicity Parenting

This is a part of the PAIL book club. Go check out everyone else's responses to the book!

Mini disclaimer: this is being typed with a Little Monster dozing on me,kinda. Sorry for letting auto correct win.

  • What is your “vision” for your family?
A safe space for my girls to decompress, to explore the world without judgement, and to have fun.  I want our life together to be relaxed and not all about running from one thing to the next. More quality in the girls' activities rather than quantity.

  • How do you think your life circumstances are uniquely suited/not suited to Payne’s message?
He offers suggestions on howto achieve what we've been working towards, so that rocks. I like the idea of keeping adult things from interfering with kids' lives unnecessarily but I'm not surre it's possible for us since the spouse listens to NPR while driving (& I always switchto music whenI drive so the glum news doesn't get me down). Since she was about 2.5, the kid has been asking about what stories she hears on the radio are true and what is made up since audio books get thrown in the news radio mix. If ksomething has happened that I think would worry her, I demand radio silence and so far it has worked. 

This book really works for us because it supports what we are already trying to do - keep it simple.

  • What do you all think would be the hardest things for you to change to simplify your life according to Payne’s suggestions?
Limiting activities. The spoues has mentioned the word hockey, and I really hope the kid didn't hear or understand it, because I value my sanity more than a sport. If she gets really excited about it, yes, I suppose we could gofor it but then there would be no other activities. No night at the gym, no swimming lessons, nada. We decided that as a 5 year old, the kid can go to 3 evening things a week including religious ed. So if she wants violin lessons, it means no more 2 days aweek swimming lessons. Her choice, probably, but with a limit.
  • Did anything in the book resonate particularly strongly with you?
The warning against too much stuff. We have way too much stuff and it is terribly problematic but it's also hard to do anything about because either there's no room to move things or the trash is perpetually so full that we can't continue throwing things away OR the moment someone starts, another person reclaims the junk and IT CANNOT BE THROWN AWAY EVAR! That last scenario is primarily the kid's doing and I don't know how to squash the pack rat habit but I really want to, and soon.

  • How do you feel about Payne’s proposed ban on “adult topics” with
    kids? In your family, what do you intend to discuss with or keep from
    your kids?
I try to keep scary things from the kid when there's no way to prepare for them. War and man-made disasters are on the top of my list (like mass shootings or starvation or civil war in particular). She knows what to do about a fire or a tornado because they happen rarely but she can learn how to cope. Some parts of life are too awful to cope with, so you don't unless you have to go through them. I think that when she gets older I'll stop protecting her from things so she can learn to cope. One of my friends grew up extremely sheltered (to the extent of special schools and "I was shocked that someone would knock a chair out from under another kid to be mean") and has had a terrible time moving into being an adult because she had no idea how awful the world could be. Nobody deserves that level of denial to overcome as an adult, so I plan to let the world in before the kid is a teenager.

  • What do you think about Payne’s theory of children having “Cumulative Stress Disorder?” Have you seen examples of it in real life?
I buy it absolutely. It reminds me of the experiences I had in a classroom teaching some kids with PTSD after being immigrants/emigrants and some of the very privileged kids with no apparent traumas in their past showed the same signs. It was weird, but the cumulative stress of dragging those kids around to 2 or 3 events every night, all 7 days a week makes sense as a source of all that trauma. Those kids never get time to unwind because they are consistently being wound up. I'd even believe that as an older kid, I put myself through this level of stress, and you'd see the effects in me getting sick for a few weeks or just being twitchy and controlling about other things in my life (like the identical lunches I ate an entire semester in high school, with the snack mix sorted in the same order and eaten in the same order OR ELSE).

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE the way you describe your vision for you family. It's very much how I feel as well. I'm glad you answered the questions. Most of them were mine, and I love asking questions and hearing the answers, but I'm really bad at answering questions myself instead of going on my own rambling tangents. Sigh.