Site Logo

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids – Kim John Payne, Lisa M. Ross

23rd September 2021
Simplicity parenting book cover


Simplicity Parenting is about simplification in the parenting process. This book aims to help the readers strip away many unnecessary, distracting, and overwhelming elements that are scattering our children’s attention and burdening their spirits. I am interested to see how I could create a simple environment for my kid.


Kim John Payne has been a school counsellor, adult educator, consultant, researcher, educator and a private family counsellor for 27 years. He has also consulted for educational associations in South Africa, Hungary, Israel, Russia, Switzerland, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, Thailand and China. He has been helping children, adolescents and families explore issues such as social difficulties with siblings and classmates, attention and behavioral issues at home and school, emotional issues such as defiance, aggression, addiction and self-esteem and the vital role living a balanced and simple life brings. 

Lisa M. Ross has been an editor, literary agent and ghostwriter. She currently works exclusively as a writer.


Simplicity Parenting consists of an introduction, 6 chapters, and an epilogue (Simplicity Parenting to Go).

The chapters are 1) Why Simplify?, 2) Soul Fever, 3) Environment, 4) Rhythm, 5) Schedules, and 6) Filtering Out the Adult World.


Simplicity Parenting involves 4 levels of simplification: the environment, rhythm, schedule, and filtering out the adult world which corresponds to Chapter 3 to 6 in the book.

The focus of childhood is an emerging, developing sense of self. Nonetheless, the authors claim that the children are under too much stress today. This book coins the term “Cumulative stress reaction” (CSR) to describe the stress of too much too fast.

Why do we need simplification? That is because what we see and what we bring our attention and presence to, is at the heart of who the children are becoming. Parents can maintain fertile emotional ground around your child with the compassion of your noticing and caring. Most children, regardless of age, can reset their emotional clock given 2 or 3 quiet days.

Children need to find ways to cope with difficult situations; they need to learn that they can. Our ability to get along with others is the primary predictor of success and happiness in life. Kids learn through the practice of play not to be too attached to their vision of what to do or of what might happen. This will help them to develop the necessary social skills.

Children benefit from dependability and regularity throughout childhood, but especially in the first three years, when the greatest learning takes place unconsciously. Repetition is a vital part of relationship building for children. Speaking of repetition, when we want a kid to try a new food, we should let the child try it at least 8 times.

An example of simplification is keeping a minimum amount of favourite toys and books accessible to the kids and having a reserve that we could tap into to rotate the selection. The rule is to rotate, so keep one when we take one out from the reserve.

Worry and concern are integral parts of the parenting experience. Parenting is about being in the thick of it. Simplifying acknowledges that kid comes to understand the world through play and interaction, not through adult concerns and information. Once we rescue their childhood from stress, they will inevitably rescue us right back.

Simplification is a process, a lifestyle change that has several layers and takes time. To make simplification successful, changes should engender further motivation, instead of resentment.

In conclusion, this book is about simplifying childhood so children can develop their own identities. I feel this book is too wordy; I think the points could be described more succinctly. But this is just my personal preference. One of the parenting advice that I think is really important is: Start small, stay close, insist, and follow through.

Lastly, remember this point in the book: Anticipating gratification, rather than expecting or demanding it, strengthens a child’s will. Impulsivity, wanting everything now, leaves the will weak, flaccid. I think it is important not to give in to our children’s every want if we want them to grow into a mature person.


  1. Stress that is damaging is either too large, or too constant to move beyond.
  2. We may be the architects of our family’s daily lives, but it’s hard to draw blueprints of something that is constantly changing and growing.
  3. When a desire for the next thing is at the heart of an experience, we’re involved in an addiction, not a connection.
  4. Consistency also teaches us that some things do not change, though we may wish they would. Not everything bends to our personal preferences.
  5. Not everyone is going to be exceptional at everything they do.


2 out of 3 stars

Interested in Simplicity Parenting?

You may get the book from through the link below*.

Get the print book from Kinokuniya Malaysia here

*Disclosure: The above link is an affiliate link. Thus, I may earn a small commission when you purchase the book through the link.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *