Evening with Kim John Payne, author of Simplicity Parenting

Posted By on February 27, 2011

Here are some nuggets of information I brought home from Kim John Payne’s Feb 25, 2011 lecture in Portland Oregon that inspired me (in my own words and with my own slant, of course):

My favorite quote: “Arnica for the soul”.

My favorite re-frame: The Disorder, Quirky, and Genius spectrum.

My favorite idea: The gift of boredom. Boredom is the precursor to creativity and imagination. Let our kids be “bored” rather than try to entertain them by tap dancing or putting on a media distraction. When held in a safe space, and provided with a creative outlet (drawing materials, crafts, blocks, dress up clothing, outside play in nature) their boredom allows them to create, and simply imagine.  They are not in this world just to be a consumer, but rather, they are creators.

My favorite directions: Simplify Stuff, Simplify Schedules, Simplify Activity, and Simplify Information.

Simplify Stuff: get rid of the noisy, fully formed toys, keep the ones that require imagination – not batteries – to operate.

Simplify Schedules: Create schedules and routines that give children comfort, predictability and assurance that they are safe and loved. Excessive classes, appointments and events to attend are extraneous. What children need is quality time with family like creating and a sharing a meal, reading together, doing a project together or joying nature together.

Simplify Activities: Balance a calm day today with an active day tomorrow. Track it on your calendar if you wish. If you have two active days follow it with two calm days. Some days can just be neutral.

Simplify Information: Keep a child’s world childlike. Before speaking to a child about a subject ask these three questions: Is it kind? Is it true? And is it necessary? If you can’t say yes to all three, don’t say it at all.

Our children will grow up before you know it, they will have plenty of time to face the “real world”. But when they do, they will have more resources to face it with love and compassion.

Here is a youtube video of a Kim John Payne interview: Beautiful World

About The Author

I am a Chinese-American mother of three boys, parenting with the traditions worth keeping from the East and West. I continue to learn new ways of raising a family and myself.


Reviving the Brightness Within