Along with my new parenting idol, I have a new parenting motto: simplify. This has been inspired by the book, Simplicity Parenting, by Kim John Payne. I haven’t finished his book, but already he’s helped me clear some clutter out of our boys’ room as well as other rooms in our house. (Too many toy choices, too much clutter being confusing for kids.) And, he’s got me thinking about schedules and rhythms in our family. When are we quiet? When is our down time? We all need this to refuel and recharge and just be. It’s good stuff.
I don’t know if it’s because of what I’ve been reading, but I’ve also been simplifying my answers to my kids. “Can I have X?” “Can we do Y?” When appropriate, I’m starting to just say “No”…without adding in the why or the explanation or the background info. As kids, there are times when all of that is not required. Surprisingly, this shift in my answer (less confusion, less muddled) has gone over well with them. Whereas a “no because” answer might have drawn out our “debate” for several minutes in the past, they are now accepting the no answer and moving on.
To borrow from the old spiritual, indeed it is a gift to be simple and free.