Simple Happy Parenting By Denaye Barahona, Ph.D.
Review by Stephani Gibson, Librarian at FADL
I am a mom of two very energetic elementary-aged children. A few weeks ago, not for the first time, I was feeling particularly overwhelmed by this parenting gig and also feeling like I just wasn’t a very good parent. My kids were arguing with me and with each other a lot, and I was very impatient and yelling too much. So while we were at the library, I grabbed a book called Simple Happy Parenting.
If you are a parent and your house is always perfectly clean and clutter free, you never raise your voice to your children, and you live in a happy world of unicorns and rainbows, then carry on, for you do not need to read this review or the book. But if you are like me, your house has SO. MANY. TOYS. And probably lots of other things creating clutter everywhere. I have a hard time staying on top of all of the stuff, and all of the responsibilities involved with being a wife, mom, and employee.
The first section of this book is about the idea of “simple parenting.” It involves the “simple manifesto” which includes:
Next, the book discusses designing a simple family home. This was really the section that interested me the most, because it reminded me of the fact that my house has way too much clutter, and clutter stresses me out whether I’m always aware of it, and that in turn makes me more overwhelmed and impatient with my kids. There are tips for choosing furniture and housewares with children in mind, creating a capsule wardrobe for your kids, minimizing toys, and simplifying meal times. The author has recommendations for how to talk to your kids about minimizing the toys before you do it, and which types of toys to keep (hint: it’s not the flashy high-tech ones). I can say I followed this method with my daughter before we cleaned out her room, and for her, it worked well. I’ve also minimized the toys in our playroom, and other than a couple toys, my kids haven’t had a problem with what I chose to remove. According to Barahona’s research, “Children who have fewer toys are less stressed and more creative” and “Kids play better and behave better when they have fewer toys.” This section of the book also talks about her laundry routine, and I can say that her routine is working well for me.
The last section of the book provides more detail on how to use the “simple manifesto” in parenting. While I can’t say I’ll be able to successfully implement all of the tips, I think some of them will stick with me, and I’ve seen some success already. This book is a quick and easy read, and I would recommend it if you are trying to brush up your parenting skills. Place a hold on the print copy here: https://bit.ly/3iwK1sZ or check out the ebook on Hoopla here: https://www.hoopladigital.com/title/12376534
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