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Source material: Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, M.Ed.
First description here: http://www.imfcanada.org/simplicity-parenting
"Payne describes the four pillars of excess as having too much stuff, too many choices, too much information and too much speed.
When children are overwhelmed they lose the precious down time they need to explore, reflect and release tension. Too many choices erodes happiness, robbing kids of the gift of boredom which encourages creativity and self-directed learning. And most importantly “too much” steals precious time....
So, how do we as parents protect our kids in this new “normal” society has created? Simple, we say no. We protect our kids and say no, so we can create space for them to be kids. No, Sam can’t make the birthday party on Saturday. No, Sophie can’t make soccer practice this week. And we recreate regular down time providing a sense of calm and solace in their otherwise chaotic worlds."
"Don’t be too misled by this idyllic description of family life. Pitched battles were also fought among siblings, including the great Gingerbread Elf Ice Rink War of 2015 (one child preferred a fondant ice rink, another wished to melt Jolly Ranchers, and after a compromise of melted Jolly Ranchers over fondant was reached, a third child peeled the first ice rink off and ate it). One child spent hours on homework, while another had the inevitable break-is-almost-over-and-I-didn’t-do-my-assignment realization late Saturday night...Denise Pope, one of the authors of “Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids,” advocates protecting “PDF”: playtime, downtime and family time.” In the book, she and the co-authors Maureen Brown and Sarah Miles cite the research that tells us that our individual anecdotal sense that our children have far less free time than we once did is spot on. Higher-income children spend more time at school and activities than they once did, and have fewer opportunities to be with friends in an unstructured setting. "