An article in relation to key parenting areas that can be simplified and how parents are putting to much pressure on children and how society has changed in recent years. From parents wanting to leap frog children into adulthood as quick as they can instead of letting kids be kids
- In our high-speed and “win at all costs” society, it seems that the goal of modern-day parenting is to make our children bypass childhood and leapfrog directly into adulthood.
- We allow our kids to be bombarded with so much content from media and offer them too many choices while at the same time giving them little time to process everything.
- In his groundbreaking book, Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids, Payne challenges parents to look at their kids’ childhood as an “unfolding experience” rather than an “enrichment opportunity.”
- He says that if we look at it as an enrichment opportunity, then we will end up treating parenthood as if it was a competitive sport
- parents should instead slow down and simplify their children’s lives. We need to give our kids a “protective filter” that will preserve the pace and playful essence of childhood
Payne identifies four key parenting areas that can be simplified:
- Home environment:
- We need to “de-clutter” our kid’s environment.
- Children have too many toys, books, gadgets, clothes, etc
- Having less will actually enable them to focus and enjoy things more
- De-cluttering opens up space for creativity
- Having fewer toys, for instance, increases the chances for imagination because the “one toy becomes many things as opposed to many toys becoming only one thing each.”
- Kid’s schedule:
- Remember that parenting is not a contest.
- Carefully consider the pros and cons of organized sports and other “enrichment” activities.
- Too many activities may not only overwhelm children, it may also limit their ability to motivate and direct themselves.
- Give them breaks and time to play on their own.
- Rhythms and rituals:
- We need to put more predictability and stability in our children’s lives.
- Time for regular family gatherings where the whole family can relax and freely talk to one other without distractions, such as evening mealtimes, should be protected.
- · Filter out the adult world:
- We should minimize the exposure of our children to adult concerns and inappropriate adult conversations. What we talk about affects the mood that we create in our homes
- Payne suggests that before we speak in front of our children, we need to pause and ask ourselves three simple questions: “Is it true, kind, and necessary?”
- Filtering out the adult world also means scaling back on media (especially electronic media) in order to limit the endless and often inappropriate deluge of information and stimulation that our kids are subjected to.