Do you ever feel like you’re going crazy trying to do all.the.things? You greet your friends with stories about how busy you’ve been. You alternate between telling your kids to “hurry up” because there’s somewhere to be and to “wait a minute” because you have something to do.
I get it.
As a mom, I’ve felt the endless demands for my attention pulling at me. At times threatening to pull me apart! I know it’s not just me because every day I talk with other parents who feel a constant stress of what they need to do and volunteer for, what they need to buy and sign their kids up for so they don’t miss out.
Sometimes it’s all too much.
And here’s the thing. This fast pace of daily life and the pressures of “too much” isn’t just overwhelming to us parents – our kids feel it, too!
Children are happiest when they have the time and space to play. It’s also the most powerful way they learn. Yet, so much of childhood is being filled up with excess toys, enrichment activities, and information and ideas that they’re not developmentally able to process.
But our kids don’t come to us and say, “Hey, mom I’m really stressed right now.” Instead, they tell us through their behavior – often their less-than-best behavior. Maybe they’re more irritable, argumentative, or anxious. They might have difficulty sleeping or more trouble around transitions and adapting to any changes in plans. In fact, their natural quirks may become labeled as a disorder.
The more overstuffed our lives become, the more difficult parenting becomes.
There’s a solution though. Thank goodness, right?!
We can simplify.
More specifically we can use a framework put forth by counselor, educator, and author Kim John Payne – Simplicity Parenting.
What I love about this approach is that it’s a lifestyle rather than a parenting “how-to.”
It focuses on simple changes we can make to protect our kids’ childhood and their natural development. In the process, it simplifies our parenting and reduces kids’ challenging behaviors.
Let me explain.
The concept focuses on four main pillars:
1. Simplifying Environments:
Reducing the amount of toys and clutter at home creates more space for creativity, imagination, and focus.
2. Increasing Rhythm:
Bringing more predictability into a family’s day, week, and year. When kids know what’s coming next they feel more secure and transitions are smoother.
3. Slowing Schedules:
Slowing down helps parents become more present and available and helps kids to motivate and direct themselves.
4. Filtering Out Information and Media Influence:
Limiting kids exposure to adult concerns, consumerism, and information overload protects families from unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Simplification isn’t just about taking things away. It’s about making room and creating space in your life for what’s most important to you. It’s about looking at and understanding what’s affecting your family’s life.
How awesome is it that finally, no one is telling you how to parent but rather showing you how to tune into who you want to be as a parent?