Monthly e-News|
March 2015 


Color Feet 

Simplicity Parenting in Action


Are you ready to join other families in reaching out, to protect childhood for children everywhere?    


Each month we will link campaigns from groups who are taking action on issues affecting children.

This month, our friends at Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood ask that we join our voices to speak to Mattel about an eavesdropping Barbie:

Take Action Here



Become a Simplicity Parenting Coach  



Simplicity Parenting Coach
Distance Learning Training

Stay tuned for information on upcoming trainings!

For more information, click here.

CEU's for Care Professionals  


Are you needing last-minute CEU's ?


Simplicity Parenting for Care Professionals:  


6 NASW approved CEU's


Stay tuned for upcoming information about our next Care Professional Training.  You may also email Traci if you are interested:


"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



THANK YOU for sharing this flier with Care Professionals you know!




Audio Listening

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



Our Price: $35.00

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Celebrate Screen Free Week:
May 4-10

Simplicity Parenting is proud to officially endorse Screen- Free Week ( May 4 - 10), the annual celebration when children, families, schools, and communities around the world unplug from digital entertainment and spend their free time playing, reading, daydreaming, creating, exploring, and connecting with family and friends.

In this issue, we will delve into the complex issues brought into family life by screens.  We think you'll come away inspired to take a step further in creating a healthy relationship with technology, one that honors your family's core values and protects your connection.

We encourage you to envision that small change you wish to make around screens in your home.  Screen Free Week can provide an excellent opportunity to step back, re-assess, and start fresh with some new habits.

For everything you'll need - including event listings and free resources - visit

Richard Freed interview - WIRED
An interview with Richard Freed, Ph.D., Author of Wired Child: Debunking Popular Technology Myths -
by Traci McGrath, Simplicity Parenting

Today, I'm speaking with child and adolescent psychologist Richard Freed, who recently published the book Wired Child: Debunking Popular Technology Myths.



SP:  Please tell us about Wired Child.


RF:  Wired Child explains the disconnect between what's promised about children's technology use and what many parents experience for themselves. We are told that technology will bring the family closer, yet we watch as kids ignore their parents in favor of mobile devices.  Assurances that technology is the key to our kids' 21st-century success are contradicted by their overuse of video games, social networks, and texting that drag down their success in school.


In Wired Child, I show that our children's and teens' tech use is defined by powerful myths - many of which are fostered by the makers of kids' tech products. These myths have encouraged the "wiring up" of a generation of youth at the expense of real-world activities vital to kids' emotional health and success. I show how families benefit when we move beyond tech-industry hype to use the science of behavior and brain function to guide the raising of our kids.



SP:  Is there a technology myth that you feel is particularly harmful to children?


RF:  At the heart of all the technology myths I highlight in Wired Child is the digital native-digital immigrant belief.  This common notion suggests that kids are experts with technology simply by virtue of being born surrounded by gadgets, while parents are relatively clueless in this digital age.  However, while parents may not be able to access all of a phone's features or score points in a video game with the ease of a child, parents, because of their more advanced brain development and life experience, are better able to understand something far more important: how kids' use, or more frequently the overuse, of technology can affect their emotional health and academic success.


Author, Richard Freed.

So, as a parent, have the confidence to make decisions about how your child or teen uses technology.  Such parenting, in which parents provide their kids' high levels of guidance in a loving context, is reflective of authoritative parenting, the parenting style that most contributes to our kids' happiness and success.


SP:  Some suggest that parents guiding kids' tech use is reflective of helicopter parenting.  Do you think so?


Helicopter parenting is doing for children and teens what they could do themselves, e.g., completing our kids' homework for them, or bailing kids out of trouble they got themselves into.


One of the most troubling findings of my research is the increasing involvement of psychologists and neuroscientists in the creation of video games. These experts create digital products intended to suck users away from other aspects of their lives.  For children, that would include time spent with family, playing outside, or putting effort into homework.  Our kids don't stand a chance.  They need our help.


Interestingly, I find that it's often parents of tech-obsessed kids who have to rely most upon helicopter parenting.  Their children - caught up with gaming, social networking, and texting - are more likely to skip homework or turn it in unfinished.  The result is that these parents have to constantly hound their kids to get their work done or intervene with the school on their behalf because of incomplete assignments.


SP:  Many parents are describing that their children develop an addiction to tablet computers or video games? Is there evidence that technology can be addictive?


RF:  The US health community is moving towards recognizing the addictive potential of certain technologies, something that is fully recognized in China, South Korea, and Japan.  I see many preteens and teens who are addicted to technology, mostly video games but also social networks.  Parents bring their kids to see me because they can't understand why they have given up on school and family in order to live in cyberspace.  These are kids who often react to their parents' attempts to limit their beloved devices with aggression or thoughts of suicide.


SP:  How can parents protect their kids from tech addiction?


RF:  I believe the key is prevention, as treating tech-addicted children and teens is remarkably difficult for both parents and kids.  As a culture, we need to be more thoughtful about the age of children when we introduce them to technology, as there is evidence that the younger kids are introduced to video gaming, the more likely they will develop obsessive habits later.  I also suggest that parents understand the realities of providing their kids mobile devices such as smartphones, as this tends to dramatically increase kids' entertainment screen use, and it makes it more difficult for parents to guide their kids' use of technology.


Click here to read more


Anti Screen?  No....
Pro Human Relationship

By Kim John Payne. 


How a parent handles the influence of screens (television, computers, phones and

other devices) used to be a part of a
general discussion about filtering the adult world from
our kids' lives. In recent years, however, it has become a major stand-alone concern, as alarm has spiked
among parents and educators about how children of all ages cope with the tsunami of information and
distraction digital devices offer.  It's a sensitive issue for
some, who feel that technology has significantly
improved education and entertainment, as well as for
those who believe screen exposure is the
new normal and do not want to question the status quo. 

It is clear to me, as a parenting advisor, that we have to approach this issue with consciousness and courage, and accept the fact that - as in many other areas of our kids' lives (like when they are fighting or arguing over a favorite toy) - there will be times when we have to step in firmly and take careful control of our children's screen consumption.  



Deep Family Connection.

To be clear, I am not anti-screen, but I am passionately pro human relationships and family connections.  I am just as committed to the reality that childhood develops in phases and each stage needs the right environment in order to flourish.  Frankly, I would be relieved if the evidence supported screen use for kids as being okay.

It would make Katharine's and my life as parents a whole lot easier to just go with the popular tide and get our kids smart phones and tablets and open the door to social networking.

However, both the balance of research and my plain old gut instinct tells me that something is seriously wrong with the way in which perhaps the most powerful tool humankind has ever known is being placed literally in the hands of children. The evidence is

mounting that this twenty year unregulated mass social experiment is not going so well, especially for kids and families.


Click here to read more


The Soul of Discipline: Ten Ways to Avoid Screen Distracted Parenting
By Kim John Payne


There is still hope in this otherwise unhealthy interpersonal dynamic.  Since we are the ones who kick-started this cycle by withdrawing too much of our attention from our children, we have the power to change it.  The tricky part?  We have to be conscious and courageous enough to stand up to the new normal: the highly distracted parent.

No big announcement needed.  Nor should we douse ourselves in mea culpa.  We just need to do it, to place our connection with our family well above our connection to screens.

Here are some strategies that parents have found very helpful.

  1. Anticipate: If you are expecting an important message, tell your child ahead of time.  Let her know you don't like breaking away and that this is an exception.

  2. Plan B:
    If you suspect you may need to take a call when you are with your child, set him up with a simple activity while you are engaged. Try to make the call brief by agreeing on a better time to chat or email back. Tell your child that if he doesn't interrupt your call, it will go even more quickly.

 Click here to read more 


Coming Soon!  Free Summit

The Simplicity Parenting Team is preparing a FREE online Soul of Parenting Summit. We are recording interviews with experts in four key areas of parenting.  This material will be highly valuable for any parents and professionals working with families.

We hope you'll join us and invite a friend.  Watch this space for details and sign up information.

Whole Child Sports:
Are Youth Sports a Societal Panacea?
Luis Fernando Llosa, co-author of Beyond Winning: Smart Parenting in a Toxic Sports Environment.  Originally published in The Huffington Post.

Many concerned parents have turned to youth sports as a panacea for inactivity, obesity, babysitting or scheduling woes or just to get kids away from screens and digital devices.  Young moms and dads scramble to sign their toddlers up for swim lessons and soccer practice, for T-ball and tennis lessons.  They hope that their children will learn to interact with other kids in organized play, that sports will teach them motivation and leadership or, at the very least, get them off the couch and out the door.  We all hope that, in the heat of competition, our kids will learn what it takes to strive, drive toward a goal and succeed. Our intentions are good, but the end result can be surprisingly toxic.


Why do youth sports today -- which on the surface appear to provide a perfect environment for children to learn life's lessons and develop the critical social and physical skills they will need in later life -- often actually hamper our children's physical, social and emotional development?


To begin with, kids today are over-coached by controlling, command-oriented youth coaches.  As Jenny Levy, head coach of the University of North Carolina's 2013 National Champion women's lacrosse team, puts it, "Kids are kind of like overbred dogs, mimicking the drills we run in practice.  They aren't wired to think creatively. They do what they know.  What's safe."


She's right. All across America coaches I speak with at the youth, high school, college and professional level -- to say nothing of teachers, professors and job recruiters -- echo this sentiment.  Kids today cannot think outside-the-box.


According to Levy, starting at a young age, there's always been an adult telling our kids what to do, where to stand, when to move. "They may be talented, or physically fit, but if I want them to be creative," she says, "I have to retrain them."


Click here to read more


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,


  March's Simplicity Photo

     This month's photo was submitted by Julie Afflerbaugh, of Boulder, Colorado, who shares,

"I am a mother of two and a photographer. I am very inspired by Simplicity Parenting, and recently created a series of photographs that try to capture the innocence and creativity of boys at 4 years old."

You may enjoy seeing more of Julie's work at

Do you have a photograph you'd like to submit for our Simplicity Photo of the Month?  Please email your images with your name, location, and a brief description to


Our Team

Kim John Payne, Director 
Davina Muse, Training Coordinator
Traci McGrath - 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