Sunday, November 18, 2012

Simplicity Parenting

One of the books recommended in my hippie parenting class is Simplicity Parenting Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne and Lisa Ross.  While it's geared more to parents of older kids than toddlers, it had great lessons about keeping it simple and not overwhelming children. 
It is true that I am known as a toy Grinch and don't want a house cluttered with toys.  We went to a birthday party for one of Babyface's friends and I was shocked to see that the family had more toys than our daycare.  More isn't better. According to this book, more can be too much.  Which validated my choice to have a dozen or so age-appropriate toys out for Babyface to play with and swap them out from time to time with others.  He's perfectly happy and so am I.  Also, the book and I are in firm agreement about having passive rather than active toys. 
The most important message I got from the book was really simple: just pay attention to your child and believe what he is telling you.  Instead of trudging forward no matter what, parents are encouraged to watch for signs and then adjust accordingly.  Sometimes Babyface will make tired face or even lie down on the floor when it's not his usual sleep time, and instead of saying, "He can't be tired now," I think, "Oh, he must be tired" even when I don't understand why. My hippie parenting class always includes observation and I've been amazed and what I can learn just by watching Babyface. 
I also liked that this book had suggestions of different things to try, some easy, some more complicated, and the tone was of gentle inspiration and encouragement. I've been mulling over some things that I can do to make our home routines simple.


Minda said...

I love this post, Amina! Wise advice, keeping it simple is the way to go. I don't want to end up buried in toys either. I'll have to look for the book you mentioned.

Amina Hafiz Sarraf said...

It can be hard to say no to lots of stuff. Even with a limited number of toys, they still end up everywhere.

Just to clear something else up about passive and active toys, passive toys do nothing and let the baby decide how to play, whereas active toys do all the playing while the baby watches or interacts very minimally. Some of Babyface's favorite toys are a wooden spoon, wiffle balls, empty oatmeal container, and metal condiment cups.