Monthly e-News|
October 2013


Color Feet 

Become a Simplicity Parenting Group Leader   




Distance Learning


Spring Distance Learning 

February 15 - May 3 2014 9 Tele-classes  1.75 hours Saturdays  


Teleclass schedule 

 For more information, click here.

CEU's for Care Professionals  


Are you needing last-minute CEU's ?


Simplicity Parenting for Care Professionals 2013


6 NASW approved CEU's



Monday October 21
2 p.m. - 4 p.m. EST


Tuesday October 22

2 p.m. - 4 p.m. EST


Wednesday October 23
2 p.m. - 4 p.m. EST


"On a professional level, I am thrilled to have this knowledge and plan to implement in my discussions with couples who have children ..."

LMFT NY 2012



"Excellent training. Davina was an amazing facilitator, enjoyable to listen to, easy to understand.. This will be used for sure in my practice!"

LMHC MA 2012


View our Care Professionals Informational Flier 

-THANK YOU for sharing this with any Care Professionals you know.





WEBINARS    with Kim

Webinar Watch and Listen


The Soul of Discipline in the
First Nine Years
The Soul of Discipline with
Tweens and Teens



Audio Listening

If you're not a big reader, consider purchasing our MP3 Complete Audio Series - 5 chapters of the book are discussed by Kim Payne in this captivating collection. Listen on your computer or download to your ipod.  Visit our store  for more information.



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From Kim's Desk 

I was sitting in an airport lounge last week taking the time to review a presentation I was soon to give on family life and screen media. For a while now I have been noticing how quiet airport lounge gates have become as more and more people engage with their phones and lap tops rather than each other.  The main human noise was coming from two groups of young children who were either running around enjoying the freedom their very screen-occupied parents seemed to be giving them, or they were hauling and pulling on their parents' clothes trying to get their attention. Sometimes they would successfully wrestle the screen away and play on it themselves. 

Just out of morbid curiosity, I did a quick count of how many people were engaged with a screen. Here is the unscientific but real data... Out of the 156 adults and young adults and teens waiting 92 were engaged with phones/iPod, 34 with lap tops/tablets, 4 with either of the two television screen, 3 with the airport information screen, 5 adults were sleeping.  Only 8 adults were talking with each other, but all but one were doing so in between checking phones.  Six young children were playing some of the time but three of them were circling back to parents and would often take over the screen. 
So this just left me with my note book (of the paper variety), five sleeping adults, the feral children and one rather disheveled man conducting an animated conversation with himself, as the only non screen-gazing people in the lounge.    

The presentation I was preparing sitting at the airport was not "anti screen".   Like so many others in our Simplicity Parenting community, I use a computer for my work.  The theme was about how to navigate and balance family life with the reality that screens are here to stay. How can we bracket our adult screen time so that our children don't feel they are competing with a digital device for our attention, often being on the losing side. Is it possible that being willing to wrestle with the conundrum and plan more conscious time when we do and don't use screens will make us better, more "present" in our parenting?  

Einstein famously worried that when technology surpassed human interaction that we would become a generation of idiots.  I would prefer to think that even the possibility that digital technology could result in eroding our connection and deep love for our children, could maybe, just maybe be the wake up call we need to not accept the "new normal" of screens occupying every aspect of our lives and that we hold our family life all the more dearly.


 It Can Wait
Davina Muse, Simplicity Parenting Training Coordinator

Recently governor Cuomo of New York, sent " a

clear message" to New York drivers:    


"Your text can wait..... until the next Texting Zone".... there will be signs bringing the  "It Can Wait" message posted along the state highways. This is a state-wide attempt to reduce the number of text-related auto accidents by setting up Texting Zones and Text Stops along  main routes in New York.



As a family therapist, I often see different kinds of accidents, or accidents waiting to happen:

I see young children who are getting the message from their parents:  "You are less important than this little device in my hand, or that screen, which get first dibs on me even in the brief time we have together."  This message may be more powerful in its effect on the child's self-esteem than any number of "I love you"s.

I see families with alienated risk-taking teens who are tied to their peer groups by electronica and digital experiences, which seem to stand in the way of connecting with adults who might be able to help them. 


Right relationship with electronica

These are discouraging scenarios, especially when we consider that these electronic devices are now increasingly deeply embedded in everyday life, both at work and at play. How can we learn to be in right relationship with this technology?


This may look very different from family to family, according to the parents' beliefs, values and ideals.  In right relationship we are neither refusing or avoiding relationship, nor are we victims: we are in charge, in a partnership.


How can we as parents be a bit like Governor Cuomo, who accepts the presence of texting in the lives of New Yorkers, at the same time wanting to create safety first?   Can we create "zones" for media-free family time, for hanging out, relationship, connecting, PRESENCE?


Parents are doing it!


Here are some stories about parents who have put themselves a little bit more in charge of electronica, by making spaces in their lives without them.


Mom who sleeps so badly that she is irritable in the day, stops going on her computer after 7 pm, and reports sleeping better. 


Many families have  regular Movie nights, when they enjoy a movie or TV program together and talk about it afterwards, perhaps inviting another family to join them.  

This helps children understand that media use does not have to be haphazard, addictive, or a crutch for social withdrawal, or medication for inner discomfort or pain.


Other families have Game Night....


A lone Dad of teen boys offers table tennis, guitar and pasta on Friday nights to his sons and their pals. Cell phones are checked at the door.


Several Moms have written "Office hours" as part of their signature on their emails indicating when they are available.  Here is a sample: 

" Note: Office Hours - 

In order to spend time with my young family, I will respond to emails, texts and phone calls between the hours of xxxx and xxxx each day. "  


Mom who works at home and has a young child has made a pact with herself not to check emails  and texts "whenever", but to do it at regular times, and save responding till nap time or after bed-time. This Mom says that she became less anxious and irritable around her child as a result.



How are you designing your family's relationship with electronica?


What sort of relationship would you like your children to have with technology as they grow older?


We would love to hear your stories - successes and "failures" - because we know this is an ongoing process we all face, as the influence of technology increases in all of our lives.  

Please send in your  thoughts and suggestions for our collection, to share with other parents !







 Wonder - What we truly seek on Halloween 
David Sewell McCann of Sparkle Stories
The end of October and the beginning of November are unique in the year.   Think of the world festivals during that span of three days: Halloween, All Souls Day, All Saints Day, Diwalli, Samhain, Day of the Dead.  How do you imagine them?  Many of us see them at night.  We see them in the darkness with lights above in the form of stars or fireworks  - or lights below in the form of flickering candles.

The common images from these holidays celebrate both darkness and light, but with a mood very different from that of Advent, Chanukah and Christmas.  Rather than a feeling of joyous anticipation, we feel wide-eyed and watchful - as if we are about to be surprised.


Though the festivals of late October and early November are all very different, there is a thread that winds its way through them all.  This thread is also present during the changes of the season: the descending nature of autumn in the northern hemisphere and the rising nature of spring in the southern.  This thread is wonder.


We are in a state of wonder as we light the candles in remembrance of the dead, witness fire 'crackers' overhead, dress up in wild costumes and parade through the streets.  Wonder is all around us as the leaves change color and fall, as well as when the fruit trees break out in flower.


Most of the festivals during this time of year have held onto that wonder and kept it in focus. But there is one that feels a little confused.  And that is Halloween.


Now, the wonder has not vanished from contemporary Halloween celebrations.  In fact, I think it has never been stronger.  The commercialization and intensification of the festival, however, has added a layer of stress that has transformed the wonder into something else.  Wonder plus stress can become scared.  Wonder plus sugar can become frenzied.   This, I believe, is why children actually want to dress in gory costumes of monsters, the undead and the maimed.  They are still looking for wonder - their aim, I believe, is true.  But what they are getting is not unlike the sugary treats.   They are getting high-octane wonder in the form of surprise and fear.  Instead of the complex sweetness of an apple, they are getting the distilled and intensified sweetness of Skittles.  Instead of the wonder of a flickering candle, they are getting the intensified wonder of a sudden scare.


Click here to read more  


How Can We Avoid...
The Day Einstein Feared Most


Meet Beaches to Backpacks contributor, Jennifer Goodman 

Last month, we shared a lovely article from Jennifer Goodman, 

We mistakenly left her name out of the publication and would like to thank her now for this very thoughtful piece shared with our community.    

Jennifer is a certified and practicing Waldorf Collaborative Counselor, Simplicity Parenting Coach, and Social Inclusion Coach, with a pending M.Ed. in Counseling.   She works with children, families, and schools in the Boston Area.  


Jennifer practices whole child counseling, trusting that children have the innate wisdom to grow into their own unique blueprint of themselves, with support and orientation from the adults in their lives.  Through her Simplicity Parenting practice, she helps get families back to basics, aligning their busy lives with their parenting values and making room for deep connection.  She works by integrating therapeutic counseling with guided meditations and dynamic exercises so parents can consciously explore new ways of being there for their children.


For consultations and workshop schedules, please contact her at: or 781-454-6122


Whole Child Sports


A Book Giveaway for our Simplicity Parenting Community


Beyond Winning: Smart Parenting in a Toxic Sports Environment is newly released 

and we are pleased to hear about the dialogue it is generating among coaches and parents who are working for a brighter future for our children in youth sports.


Authors Kim John Payne, Luis Fernando Llosa, and Scott Lancaster have combined their expertise and heart for creating a youth sports culture that de-emphasizes short term goals like winning and shifts the focus to long-term goals - for the kind of children and world we are creating through our influence.   



To put it simply - the a new book thrives on reviews!  Would you consider posting a review, based on the sneak-peak Q&A sections we have published on our blog and e-zine?


We would like to offer a three free copies of the book by mail for the most thoughtful/helpful book review that is posted.  

If you missed those sneak-peaks inside the book, here are two that reflect the spirit of this work:


Q&A:  What can I do about the erosion of family time? 

Q&A:  What can I do about sports violence on television? 
Q&A:  What can I do when expectations compromise relationships? 

Q&A:  What if my kid is too passive?   


If you post a review, please message Traci at so that you can be entered in our drawing.  We will choose a reviewer to receive a copy of the book for the most thoughtful review posted by November 15th. 



Stories from the Heart of Parenting


Here at the Simplicity Project, we are always deeply touched by the stories you share with us. We've all had our struggles, inspirations, and triumphs.  And every experience is unique.  But there is a universal thread the runs throughout our personal narratives.  What you've been through can touch, inspire and help others who are going through similar experiences in their relationships with children, family and friends.


We invite you to share your touching story with us.  Whether it's about a disciplinary issue you confronted, a life-changing effort you made to Simplify, or any other heartful story that others can learn or benefit from.


Stories may come from mamas, papas, grandparents, educators, or caregivers and nannies.  All of you have something valuable to share with others walking this path. 


We may select it to be published.  If we do you will receive five free copies of the book or e-book your story appears in. You will also be credited in our contributors section.

We are still accepting stories.  For more information and story guidelines,





October's Simplicity Picture


Photo submitted by Annette and Paul Ruhotas of Morgan Sydney, Australia

Annette shares, "Our daughter Georgia loves being outdoors. Here she's picking tomatoes straight off the plant in our garden and eating them."


Do you have a photo you'd like to submit for our ezine or blog?  Please email it with a short description to Traci at 


On the 'Power of Less' Blog
Did you miss reading our blog in September?
Click here to read posts from September. 

 Join the discussion on our facebook page.

Our Team

Kim John Payne, Director 
Davina Muse, Training Coordinator
Traci McGrath - Social Networking Coordinator and Associate Editor 
Katharine Payne - Administrative Coordinator
Kirsten Archibald - Training Outreach 
Luis Fernando Llosa - Managing Editor. Simplicity Project Publishing
Todd Sarner - Online Course Producer
Michelle Marcyk - Event Planning
Ramzi Nakhleh - Technology Coordinator