Unlike many of the books in my 50 in 2014 project, this is a classic Yellis read: non-fiction with an attitude of zen. Simplicity Parenting was worth reading. Instead of adding more layers of rules and guilt and responsibility, the authors give you things to forget about doing. In a culture that wonders if leaving your kids with a sitter when they are 15 months old will cause them as 55 year olds to be slightly sad, surely our parenting needs some editing, and this book is a good place to start.
I dislike parenting books. Using guilt and potential regret, they layer rules on top of a difficult endeavor. Parenting books are the children's toys of parenting: all promise and no real rewards. And I've largely managed to steer clear of both.
This one is different. The author's premise is that all this guilt and rules have resulted in cluttered childhoods. His solution? Less. Less stuff. Less talk. Less activity. The world is busy enough, why be a source of more for your child? I'm sold.
Example: instead of lengthy negotiations, we build routines and give orders. Our kids know what is expected because we do the same simple things all the time and we tell them what to expect. It's simple and generous.