Simplicity Parenting author coming to DC this weekend

Simplicity Parenting is one of the books I had out last week at the Holistic Moms Arlington/Alexandria daytime meeting on “Supporting Children’s Emotional Health,” and I was excited when a member told me the book’s author, Kim John Payne, was coming to speak on October 11 at a daylong event organized by Acorn Hill Waldorf Kindergarten and Nursery, which is celebrating its 50th year serving families in Takoma Park.

kim john payneThe flyer for the Saturday event reads: “Looking for ways to support children in being calmer and happier, more focused at school, finding it easier to comply with family rules and become less picky eaters?” The school elaborates: “In this lecture and workshop, Kim explains why less is more and presents four simplicity pathways you can take to help your child feel calmer, happier and more secure. This is the work and the workshop which provided the inspiration for Kim’s book by the same name (published in August 2009). It presents not only the four simple steps, but examples of how to bring “the power of less” into your home on a daily basis.”

The event runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 11, and is taking place not at the school (which has one of the most amazing natural play areas I’ve ever seen!) but rather at Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Place, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (GPS: use 8525 Fenton Street), three blocks from the Silver Spring Metro Transit Station. Click here for parking information. Payne will lecture 9-11 a.m. Lunch follows 11-12 and is provided in the $60 fee (or $55 per person if coming as a couple or pair); vegetarian options and some gluten-free options are available. Then, from 12 to 3 p.m. will be the workshop portion of the day. Register at

There are a lot of Simplicity Parenting pieces I have tried to incorporate into our family life, including scheduling in quiet time and do-nothing days and limiting media. So far this school year we’ve stuck to no weekday screen time. Well, not counting Nationals baseball highlights. I expected my daughter would attend a Waldorf preschool like her brother, but when she was offered a spot in the Montessori class at my son’s public magnet school, we saw how much simpler it would be for the family to have them in the same place with the same daily schedule. If I hadn’t had chronic health issues, we might have still done the two-school shuffle, but in the absence of perfect, consistent and streamlined will have to do!

My son (age 8) does some extracurriculars, but we keep the number of those to a minimum and only to things that seriously interest him. There are a lot of things other kids do that we just don’t even know about! And there are also a lot of holistic health things we do for him that other people don’t have to think about.

It’s often more my own diverse interests that have the family being pulled in many directions. And this fall, my husband’s pursuit of physical fitness in the form of two different Ultimate frisbee tournaments on top of Saturday youth soccer has us all stretched a little thin logistically, if active and happy in our bodies. If I can get a babysitter and/or get my husband to skip his game so that I can attend this weekend, I hope to get some tips on balance and also some motivation to tackle other aspects of the Simplicity approach, including streamlining the home environment. (I’ve been working on it! Honest!) and making some small tweaks to make our backyard space seem more inviting to free play.

two stumps that became a table and chair

I’m not sure how complicated I want to make our Saturday to be able to attend (ha!), but it would be lovely to attend this workshop actually with my husband. I know he’d like me to clear my clutter, but there are a lot of things in our home life I’d like us to get on board with together.

Disclosure: I have been offered a press pass to attend this event.

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