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Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less

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3.11  ·  Rating details ·  652 ratings  ·  125 reviews
We’re in the midst of a parenting climate that feeds on “more”: more expert advice, more gear, more fear about competition and safety, and more choices to make about education, nutrition, even entertainment. The result? Overwhelmed, confused parents and overscheduled, over-parented kids. In Minimalist Parenting, Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest offer a fresh approach to nav ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 19th 2013 by Bibliomotion
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3.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  652 ratings  ·  125 reviews


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Ciara
probably more like 2.5 stars.

ironically, this book really stressed me out. there was so much, "okay, you are a parent & your life is just so hectic between laundry & work & getting your kids to soccer & helping with homework & making time to connect with your partner...". obviously some of these things are not relevant to me because my baby is just a baby & therefore not yet playing soccer or doing homework. but i was like, "whoa, is this what's on the horizon for me? i t
...more
Anna
Mar 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
When I sat down to start reading this book I told my husband, "I'm not sure why I'm going to read this. I already do the bare minimum. Instead of making me feel good about being a slacker it'll make me feel like there's a bunch of stuff I have to do." (He agreed!) Thankfully I didn't end up feeling guilty and overwhelmed, but I didn't really gain anything from the "Minimalist Parenting philosophy" either.

I don't want to be rude, but this book really should be called No-brainer Parenting and Comm
...more
Asha Dornfest
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This is my book! Christine Koh and I are so proud of the work we've done, but more, we want Minimalist Parenting to be a source of comfort, confidence and inspiration for every parent who's feeling the overwhelming pull of "too much."
Emi
Jun 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
The authors put a lot of time into this book and quote a lot of websites and blogs. I like the layout and the title. But it has nothing to do with minimalism. It's all about raising kids and time management. Minimalism is not all about time management. Glad this was a library book
Chad
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
Somewhat common sense and focused in the overachieving parent body, I didn't feel like this offered a lot of insight beyond a basic "tips and tricks" level. What about the underlying cause of this type of parenting and where it leads kids? Why are we more inclined to be more efficient rather than taking a new path of less-is-more parenting? Troublesome.
Mandy
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
** I do NOT recommend.**

The title is misleading. This book has nothing to do with a Minimalist lifestyle. Save your time, skip this one.

Disclaimer- I did not (could not!) read this crap. It sounds like a huge run on blog infused with a ton of "look at me, look at me." Not to mention, the topics covered are total no-brainers for any parent. I felt like the writers needed to publish a book and tried to capitalize on a lifestyle they know nothing about.

I read a couple chapters, skimmed the rest,
...more
Jen
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: family-childcare
It felt like reading an extremely long blog post. There are a few good tips but most of it was fairly obvious filler material. There were so many times when I thought they must have written this using their shared dropbox to do list while standing in line at the grocery store. And if their photo bubbles were removed from all the pages, the book would be about 50 pages long. It is a good intro to minimalism but if you already consider yourself a minimalist, you've probably come across these ideas ...more
Eva
Aug 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Eh, mostly stuff you would think of on your own, like "teach your kids skills so they can be more self-sufficient" or "your kids don't have to be signed up for a bajillion extracurriculars."
Rachel
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
I felt like most of the recommendations were either common sense or follow your instincts.

One part that particularly resonated was a solution to the "I might need it someday" mentality. The author's example was when she purged some baby items from her first child. She decided not to save the items for "one day when she might need them" so she could donate them to a parent / child who Needed them Now.
Liss Carmody
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Meh. I don't know why I read books like this. I guess I pick them up hoping I'll glean insight or hacks or tips that I hadn't thought of, or philosophical justification for things I already believe. This is, of course, a losing battle. Like most self-help books, I come away from this feeling like either the book was too basic or nonspecific to be able to offer any real guidance, or I'm already some kind of guru of minimalism (which is unlikely!). But having authors suggest organizational systems ...more
Lavinia
Apr 02, 2013 rated it liked it
OK, so this is the first parenting book I've read so far. And it's no surprise, knowing myself, that I chose one that gives tips on doing less in order to enjoy life more.

I am told already I have a laid-back parenting style (I, for once, don't believe I have a style when my baby's only 4 months old!) but these people didn't see me freaking out over my baby's unstoppable crying when she had colics or had a rash of some sort. The privilege is reserved to my husband. So, do I need to relax myself?
...more
Nicole
Apr 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
Decent book. Not mind-blowing, but not a waste of time. There were lots of good ideas for simplyfying parenting - app recommendations were particularly helpful - but I found this book less applicable than most. I live in Denmark, where the tendency to overschedule young 'uns isn't nearly as pronounced as it is in the US. The same goes for the high stakes "OMG my child must be valedictorian/captain of a sports team/volunteer abroad/etc, or they'll never get into an Ivy League" culture. In additio ...more
Tamlynem
Oct 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Part of me is like what qualifies these people to write this? But I guess there's some value in aggregating what seems like good comments from your blog and adding them as anecdotes to your book. A lot of this stuff is common sense or something you would read in a Good Housekeeping article (is that magazine still around?), but hey, sometimes you might need a reminder of those things. It's worth a flip through, even if you already know you're supposed to make lists and not buy stuff you don't nee ...more
Amygk
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book didn't do it for me. Maybe if I didn't already have boundaries I could learn from it? Maybe if my kids were older and involved in more activities I could relate more? Either way the book is a good message - do less and enjoy it more!, but the writing just didn't click for me. The book seemed a longer form of numerous magazine or blog articles I have read and it didn't resonate with me.
Adysnewbox
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
Can't properly comment on this book, as I didn't finish it. It didn't take me long to realize this was not a book for me; my style of parenting is already somewhat similar to the style the authors are trying to encourage. I suspect this book is written more for working/professional moms, or the Type A Moms that keep their kid involved in 5+ different extracurricular activities. Hopefully this book will work better for them than it did for me.
Jaclyn Day
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
I’m not going to say there wasn’t the occasional valuable tidbit in this book, but it’s basically a book-length #FIRSTWORLDPARENTINGPROBLEMS. The advice is trite (“take time for yourself” OKAY DUH YEP) and so privilege-y that I didn’t make it all the way through. Parenting books are mostly the worst, so I’ve been lucky to read a streak of really good ones up until now.
Galaxy
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
While this book is fantastic and providing great ideas for applying some minimalist aspects into the life of parenting, it is so focused on the family unit that consists of TWO parents. As a single mother I found myself left out of every scenario offered. I can gleam certain things from areas, but the assumption everyone has a partner left me a little sour.
Rebecca Debarros
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book is good for expecting parents. It has a meaningful and helpful central message, but if you've already children and are practical, it's not worth your time.
Kimberlee
Jan 11, 2014 rated it liked it
I love the idea of minimalist parenting and try to practice it in my life. I feel like I didn't take away much from this book however, it lacked substance and felt like a lot of fluff.
Jennifer
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure why this book received so many hard knocks. If you can power through the introduction of how over-accomplished these moms are, and use that as inspiration instead of intimidation, there are a lot of gems and resources in here. I absolutely appreciate the perspective that everyone can handle a different amount and the key is to figure out what's important enough to prioritize and let the rest GO. I have five kids and my oldest is thirteen, so I've figured out a lot of this stuff on m ...more
Tricia
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
In Part 1 of this two part series, I painted a picture of the pressures put on both moms and dads. I’ve felt it myself in varying degrees throughout the thirteen years I’ve been a mom.

Often there’s the nagging feeling that I’m not doing enough, or maybe I’m just not doing “the right” things, whatever the experts or well meaning friends may think is right at the time.

"Minimalist parenting operates on the knowledge that right now, you have everything you need to live the family life you want. You
...more
Katherine
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
A lot of the core messages of this book resonate with me, but only a few tips and tricks that felt new or surprising. I listened to it as an audio book which was fair.
Melissa Massello
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From Required Reading: Self-Reliance, Sewing, Sharing & Swapping on ShoestringMag.com :

I'm beyond proud of our own Minimalist Mama Christine Koh and her fabulous collaborator, Asha Dornfest of ParentHacks.com — one of my absolute favorite parenting blogs — for their upcoming tome, which is sure to be a best-seller and game-changer in the way parents parent. We were honored to contribute to the book, and are chomping at the bit for it to come out in March.

From Minimalist Parenting Book Laun
...more
Emilia P
May 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Mmmm yeah. I'm not sure I felt like I knew all the stuff in this book already because I have been working on putting it into practice and learning it gradually as my kids grow (this is like a huge plus of having 2 kids and having them get older and doing the same stuff over and over everyday...I actually have something approaching a routine down and it is ...nice!) or because it was just already obvious but...yeah... also, as others have said, I didn't really feel like this approached minimalism ...more
Adam
Feb 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I don't know, maybe 3.5 stars towards the end.

I don't like when titles mislead me. I feel like it's false advertising. Instead, I've thought of a number of more descriptive titles for this book:
Effective Adulting With Kids
Parenting as an Adult, Adulting as a Parent
Adulting Hacks for the Little Person Caregiver

There wasn't really any PARENTING advice is this book. It was all more how to effectively run a family when everyone has lots of things to do. It wasn't until the end that I thought the au
...more
Lisa Schmeiser
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Type A parents of the world, rejoice! You've got a manual that gives you permission to stop cramming your calendar and to-do list full of things that keep the "Oh God, I'm a wire monkey mother!" demons at bay.

This book is a breezy, helpful manual on setting your personal priorities in the framework of parenting, excavating and extinguishing the bugbears that lead us to do dumb things, parenting edition, then walking the walk of minimalist parenting.

I personally found the organizational tips to b
...more
Sarah
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was surprised how much I liked this book. On the one hand it seems like Occam's Razor (Keep It Simple Stupid) would be sufficient to describe minimalist parenting, making a whole book superfluous. But I really enjoyed it, even if it was mostly to confirm my suspicions that I wasn't depriving my child by not over-scheduling his life. Really the best part is that they stress throughout the book to take the time to reflect on your life and what parenting style works for you. Even if a lot of thei ...more
Nikki
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book came at the perfect time for me. Chris & I had already started talking about (and even acting on) some of the ideas in this book but it felt really good to read that Minimalist Parenting is something that works in real life for the long run. I also really like receiving the daily emails that are offered on the Minimalist Parenting website...small doses of good advice and tips/tricks to less stuff, stress, etc.

Highly recommend for anyone who is tired of the rat race and/or is tryin
...more
Michelle Brosi
May 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Glad I read this on an ebook and didn't buy it or borrow a hard copy from the library. It was okay. "Don't do so much. Plan ahead. Buy less. Live more." Most of these philosophies are already in minimalist lifestyles, but for some reason our culture traps us in parenthood in thinking we aren't doing enough. This really was a good reset for me about my own approach to motherhood and living. Know your own personality, and know your kid's personality. Be flexible to change. I liked the chapter dist ...more
Mary
Feb 17, 2017 rated it liked it
My sister is thinking about a blog promoting her frugal--but happy--lifestyle, so I looked into this book. My goodness, there are so many expectations that this book tells you to sidestep that I didn't know people had to deal with. Are people really keeping every piece of their kids' art and making three-course meals all the time? A little like a type-A response to a type-A world in the rich, involved world. I feel like a lot of this book could be summed in 6 words: calm the ef down, do less.

But
...more
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Christine Koh is a music and brain scientist turned writer, editor, designer, and consultant. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and two daughters.
“Their best chance for a happy adulthood lies in discovering and nurturing their strengths, cultivating flexibility in the face of obstacles, and developing the tools to forge lasting relationships. Following” 0 likes
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