An Introduction to Simplicity Parenting
by Olynda Smith, Simplicity Parenting Family Life Coach
Simplicity Parenting can seem like it is mostly about things: which kinds of things are good for your kids, which things to get rid of, how to organize the things you do keep etc. While decreasing clutter is absolutely a key component of the simplicity parenting way, it is not the central idea. Not even close. The real beauty and power behind Simplicity Parenting is that it encourages and enables connection. The power of less is that it supports our children in their ability to connect to themselves, the earth, others and most importantly to us, their caregivers and parents.
Areas of Simplification
Simplicity Parenting goes well beyond just the organizing and filtering of the things in your home. It is a call to simplify on all fronts. It is a shift in priorities and it is a way of life.
It is often easier to start with the things, so shifting what is in your environment and how it is organized is a really great place to start! And, that is just the first step. Here are more of the steps involved:
To get the full benefit of simplifying we need to also create a predictable rhythm to our days. This helps our children know what to expect so they can relax into the rhythm of each day.
If our schedules are too jam packed we don’t have space to settle into a space of connection. Simplifying our schedules can be one of the most difficult aspects of this work for modern parents. Once we understand and see how beneficial it is to our children to have long stretches of unstructured time it will be easier to make the hard choices needed to pare down our schedules.
Another key area to simplify is in the content that young children are exposed to. Your child is always listening and learning - and even pre verbal children can be negatively affected by stressful adult content that is in “the background”. Making sure your children are exposed to age-appropriate content is an essential part of simplifying.
Creating a life that lines up with the ideals of Simplicity Parenting takes work. It takes swimming against the currents of mainstream culture in America. Why bother? Simply put, when we simplify we create the strong foundation for our child’s happiness, calmness and wellbeing. Simplifying makes room for the connection between caretaker and child to grow - and that connection helps decrease disciplinary problems and increase joy and meaning. For all these reasons this call to simplify is one that is woven deeply into both Montessori and Waldorf early childhood education.
The big “secret” is it is as much for us as it is for them
Like so many of the shifts we make “for our children”, we realize at some point that the shift deeply benefits us as well. Slowing our lives down into a predictable rhythm and decluttering our schedules and homes also helps us have space to connect and be at our best.
We do it together!
Simplifying can feel complex! We are here to support you in your journey. As a company made up primarily of parents with young children we are here walking here beside you!
By Olynda Smith AMS Certified Montessori teacher and Simplicity Parenting Family Life Coach