As you may have gathered from reading my first post, I practise alternative parenting, that is alternative to mainstream parenting techniques advocated by the likes of Gina Ford and Jo Frost. From the moment Boris (not his real name!) was born I felt compelled to be gentle towards him, respond immediately to his needs and generally act in a loving way, I scoured the Internet for parenting techniques that matched with the way I felt and came across Attachment Parenting. I bought a few books and knew straight away that this was how I wanted to parent, reading the books gave me the confidence to follow my instincts rather than following the well meaning, though often misdirected advice of some family and friends.
I have continued to follow the parenting principles that I learnt at the beginning, adapting them to my feelings and my son's responses.
More recently I have been feeling overwhelmed with elements of chaos that have crept into our lives. A messy, disorganised house, a weekly routine that goes from manic busyness one day to chronic boredom the next and chaotic mealtimes. I felt like I needed some respite and a fresh insight into parenting (I need this every now and again to refresh my thinking and to remind me what I want from life and where I want our family to go). For sometime I had had "Simplicity Parenting" by Kim John Payne on my Amazon wish list, I think I saw it somewhere or someone recommended it to me but I had never taken the plunge and actually bought it, until recently. So I took the plunge and downloaded it onto my Kindle.
I love it. It is making me feel ok about wanting order and structure to our lives where before I felt like I was being a stuck-in-the-mud and oh so unspontaneous. It is saying that it is ok to want less toys in the house, it is ok to get rid of books your child has that you don't like (even if they were a gift) it is ok to want the same meals week after week for the sake of routine and order. It teaches how things like routine, order and structure help a child feel grounded, and I feel might just help my sanity a little!
Some of my favourite quotes from the book so far are:
"I've found that the simplest path to real and lasting change is through the imagination. "Nothing happens unless first a dream..." When you create a mental image of your hopes, you can chart a course. You create a picture that you can step into. Like a lasso thrown around a star your imagination navigates the surest path to your goal"
"Nature is a warm sensory bath that can counterbalance the cold overwhelm of too much activity, information, or "stuff".
"When your child seems to deserve affection least, that's when they need it most"
"As children reach school age, they can begin some simple crafts. Whittling and knitting for example develop graphomotor skills just as children are beginning to write. Beadwork and sewing, woodwork and candlemaking, papier-mache and ceramics. Especially when schools are dedicating less time to art, parents can make sure that art, play and crafts are richly valued at home"
"By limiting choices in the early years you give children the time and freedom to develop their inner voice."
"Too many smells. All of these competing, chemical perfumes get the amygdala firing, and cortisol and adrenaline pumping."
I could go on, I highlighted so many sentences and paragraphs throughout the book so far. It is well worth a read to give you a contrast to the popular way of parenting by pushing children to do more and more, and working harder and harder to get more money to buy children more and mores stuff that they don't need. The book is a relaxing, easy read, you can relate to the author who speaks on a level that an ordinary person can understand.
Have you read this book? What did you think? What parenting books are you reading? What do you recommend? I wan to know what to read next!!