How I have used Simplicity Parenting with Montessori?

Do you feel overwhelmed? Do you feed that life has become suddenly so complicated now that you have children? 

Do you live in a big city when there is always some place to go, someone to meet, or more things to do?

Do you think that you have too much to do and not enough time?

Do you always hurry your children to go somewhere, to do something, to do achieve more?

Do you feel that you need to buy this and that?

Do you feel the pressure of our modern world?

I have been there!

Despite being a Montessori teacher and a child psychologist, I was over scheduled, overwhelmed, overtired, distracted and stressed!

This was my state of mind 6 years ago. We just had our second child and we had just moved to London. London is such a busy city. I was always on the go, always busy! London took me on a roller coaster and I couldn’t find the exit! My husband was working 9 to 5 in a demanding stressful job and was rarely home until late due to the commute (yes living London and working in London doesn’t shorter the time in the tube, quite the contrary). I still love London but in small doses.

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life: Samuel Johnson

Since then, I am on the path of recovery: doing less, saying no, simplifying and decluttering my space and my life.

One book helped me on that journey: Simplicity Parenting© by Kim John Payne.

As explained on the Simplicity parenting website: Simplicity Parenting© by Kim John Payne offers a simple, orderly, and effective pathway to simplify four realms at home, which reduces stress on children and their parents, and allows room for connection, creativity, and relaxation.

These four realms for simplifying are:

Environment: De-cluttering too much stuff at home. 

Rhythm: Increasing predictability by introducing rhythmic moments for connection and calm.

Scheduling: Soothing violent schedules brings moments for Being into all the Doing.

Unplugging: Reducing the influence of adult concerns, media and consumerism on children and families to increase resilience, social and emotional intelligence.

How did we simplify our parenting?

1.We started by unplugging straight away. We started to filter outside information and reducing the amount of screen time for our children. We don’t listen to the news at all and only that action will be life-changing for your family. I share here what we did and all the positive songs we listen to as a family.

2. We also decided to move outside London. It might be too radical for your family but it worked for us! I remember the first months in the countryside, walking in nearby forests and fields, my then 4 years was asking where we were going to stop at the coffee shop and where was the gift shop. She took a year to settle in that simple life.

3. Being in a new house, I started to declutter. It was a long process. I use the KonMari method but also I follow many minimalist tips and we are clearly going that way as a family.

4.Less and less belongings and starting with the toys was so helpfulThen we work on simplifying our schedule: I started to say to too many activities for myself then for my children. And we started to implement some small traditions in our life to add more rhythm.

I find that Simplicity Parenting goes hand and hand with the Montessori education. Montessori is all about offering a simple, natural and orderly environment to our children. Simplicity parenting helped me to extend that order to every area of our life: schedule, rhythm, belongings, exposure to medias, …

According to the author of the book, when you simplify your parenting, your children:

• Are calmer and happier
• Do better socially and emotionally
• Are more focused at school
• Find it easier to comply with family rules
• Become less picky eaters

Our daughter was the most impacted by our busy lifestyle. We have notice that she is calmer and happier in a more peaceful and natural environment. She also copes better when we are “organized” and when we have a clear routine.

And you as parent, you will:

• have a clearer picture of your values
• be more united with each other in your parenting
• Have more time and energy for connection, relaxation, and fun

I trained as Simplicity Parenting coach in 2015 and I have included the principles in the Montessori classes I teach. Many parents are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start to simplify their life. Many parents don’t know how to take care of themselves anymore and both philosophy, Montessori and Simplicity Parenting can help parents to find their way to be the best parent they can be.

About the Author Carine Robin

Carine Robin has a Master’s Degree in Psychology, specialising in child psychology. She worked for various social services in her home country of Belgium, before moving to Ireland in 2006. It was there that she started working in a nursery and discovered Montessori education. After having her first child, her passion for the philosophy grew and she qualified as a Montessori teacher and managed a preschool. Carine has been running a Montessori based parents and toddler group and coaching families for 9 years. She now also runs an online group for over 14000 parents, sharing her knowledge and passion with people from around the world. In 2018, Carine realised families needed more support and launched her popular online parenting courses and monthly subscription boxes, full of personally designed Montessori materials.