The title of this first chapter is Why Simplify?
It is a very good question. Lots of thought need to go into this because let’s face it as the chapter says when all around you it says accumulate, do more, get more, run, run, run…..you think then why should I go the opposite direction? Why do I feel this need?
The chapter starts with the story of a boy that was having trouble sleeping, interacting with peers, playing and so forth. The family life was pretty much unfiltered, with news on 24/7 and discussions about the latest world issues going on at the dinner table. When the parents decided to start filtering out the content their son was exposed to they saw a difference pretty quickly: sleep improved, anxiety went down and started doing projects and even food pickiness decreased.
In page 5 it says ” When you simplify a child’s world, you prepare the way for positive change and growth. This is especially important now because our world is characterized by to much stuff….” I truly believe this is so. When we do not burden our children with too much content from the adult life, when we decrease their amount of choices they need to make, we are letting them be children. We are letting them dream, invent, get dirty, play and giving them the time to process and grow at a more regular pace – the slower pace which we find so difficult to embrace!
Kim John Payne than moves into an alarming comparison. It tells the story of how he had gone to Asia to help children there and they were suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder); which is generally associated with war torn countries, poverty and such. When he later moved to London, he started realising that most children that came to see him, who had not had these situations thrown at them were still showing PTSD symptoms. The little stresses society throws at us, were accumulating in a way that children are becoming anxious, less resilient, lack of empathy or impulse control and so on. When I look at the broader picture myself, of what parents tell me and the challenges we find to be working on, it does show that in part this definitely does impact our children. Also, some children are more anxious prone, more sensitive and so these need more vigilance from us.
As the author himself says, it is not a matter of taking away all stress, as it does and it must be there, but there is a difference from recalling when our child needed stitches to a child getting all the information and stress we adults go through from such a tender age.
The rest of the chapter, we are posed some deep questions to get us started in this process of simplification and why. We are given an overview of a consultation, so you can personally understand what this would mean for you and your family. Give you some bearings and a head start.
At the very end, you get some ‘exercises’ you can do to remind you what you wish to accomplish.
What are your own thoughts? let’s discuss!
This book is available through the lending library!