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Simple Happy Parenting: The Secret of Less for Calmer Parents and Happier Kids
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Simple Happy Parenting: The Secret of Less for Calmer Parents and Happier Kids

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4.06  ·  Rating details ·  322 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Free yourself from the pressures of ‘perfect parenthood’ and discover a simpler way for the whole family to thrive. 
 
Denaye Barahona’s revolutionary approach to parenting, challenges us to tackle the most cluttered corner of our lives: childhood. Discover the benefits of a few, carefully curated toys; easy, nourishing meals around the family table; and simple (yet positi
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Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by White Lion Publishing
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Genevieve Trono
Jun 03, 2019 marked it as to-read
I was very interested in reading Simple Happy Parenting by Denaye Barahona. After parenting for almost 9 years, we have experienced the feeling of complete exhaustion, overwhelm and burnout and have worked for many years to find the right balance in our family. It is certainly always an ongoing process as parenting is always changing and evolving as our children grow, but I loved Barahona's tips on how to simplify and prioritize what's important.

I love that at the start the book she recognized
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Katy
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
I'm not sure how I discovered the Simple Families blog and podcast anymore (probably while mindlessly scrolling Instagram), but the discovery in many ways transformed my parenting experience. This book reinforced so much of what I already felt about Denaye--she's #parentinggoals. I read this book slowly, savoring the advice and wisdom she shares. Somehow she always manages a tone of both compassion for the challenge of motherhood while also encouraging all of us to do better. Her work has meant ...more
Kelly Winters
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
I had received an arc of this book via netgalley, and I hadn't heard of the author's blog/podcast before reading her book. It turned out it was exactly what I needed right now in my journey of motherhood. My husband and I just moved to the country, and we really want to simplify our lives and change the way we are raising our children in this overstimulated world.

This book contains some great points about simplifying stuff in your house (including toys), your schedule, and parenting in order to
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Melissa Borsey
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and all of the useful, simple tips and tricks that can help all families, big and small. I especially liked the section on helping with clutter and meals. I thank Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Diane
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had the opportunity to interview Denaye for my podcast: The Minimalist Moms Podcast. She was just as lovely as she comes across in her book. The advice in Simple Happy Parenting is refreshing and is beneficial when implemented. I'm a big believer in the 'less-is-more approach' to parenting and this book doesn't disappoint. Also, it's just stunning to flip through - major props to the photographer Amy Drucker and illustrator Manon de Jong!
Emma M.
May 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I have listened to just about every episode of the Simple Families podcast, so I'm clearly a fan. If you have not listened to just about every episode, then I think this is a great introduction with wonderful advice. However, if you are like me then I don't know that you will find a whole lot of new information here.
Lindsey
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
Loved this book. It's not so much a parenting book in the traditional sense (those usually focus on discipline) but more of a family lifestyle book. The book touches on lots of areas of family life where simplifying can lead to less stress for everyone: your home, toys, meal times, schedule, your mindset and expectations. I'm really drawn to simplicity in all areas of my life and as this is often a countercultural view, it's nice to feel validated and supported and that's what I found in this bo ...more
Emily
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I really tried to like this book. I'm familiar with the author, her blog and courses. This book reads like an e-book that you would buy for $5. It contained no ground breaking information, was repetitive, and she includes sections from other mothers/bloggers. It feels totally unnecessary as a physical book. However, Ms. Barahona's encouraging and non judgmental tone was easy to read and it is a good summary of minimalism in a family setting for those not already familiar with the concept. But, i ...more
Laura
Jun 30, 2019 added it
In a crowded field of organization and self-help, Simple Happy Parenting stands out as being direct, authentic, and relatable. This is not the book to bully or shame families in some minimalist contest. It encourages families to take steps and model a slower, more intentional life. The ideas are all familiar, but Barahona shares strategies that can actually be implemented to control the clutter of toys or have your child eat the dinner you've prepared. As someone who wants to ascribe to a minima ...more
Katy
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. Very simple concepts for parenting that also apply to adults. This gave me inspiration and I caught glimpses of the type of parent I try and hope to be. I would definitely recommend this book and I would reread it.
Ginger Hudock
Jun 18, 2019 rated it liked it
This beautiful and is filled with photos of the author and her family. There is not much new in this book if you have read other simple living books. It could be good for young parents who need a little inspiration.
Kayla
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
I received a free copy of this book from Quarto Books through a Goodreads giveaway.

There are two main categories that parenting books fall under: those that rely heavily on research and those that are based more on personal experience of the author and anecdotes. This book is the second type. Barahona cites a handful of research articles but for the most part what she has to say is based on the experiences of her family. (Both types of books are valuable, by the way--for me, the research-based b
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Ilana
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
The happy news is that there is not one and only recipe for parenting. How happy parenting is, I rather don't insist, but I think often that the association between those words is more wishful thinking than realistic. Maybe 'happy' have to get out of the picture completely and replaced with different words like 'relaxed', 'stress-free', 'no expectations' etc.
What is good about this book is that makes you think and wish that it is possible to have a less complicated life as a parent, focused on
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Kelli
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Whether you’re already a fan of the Simple Families podcast or new, you’ll find something to take away from this that will help you simplify your family. At first I wanted to take away a star because the book IS so simple, but after reflecting, isn’t that the point? It isn’t a textbook with explicit details on every aspect of raising kids (though more information can be found on the podcast). What it is is an almost meditative ask that we simply pause, find what is most important, and chill out. ...more
Anca
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I follow Denaye Barahona's blog for more than a year. So I was looking forward to reading her book!
I find the book itself written in a minimalist way, which I enjoyed. It gives essential information and enough resources to go deeper if desired.
The biggest take-away I took from this book is the 90/10 rule for toys. The only minus I could find is the blogish writing style used sometimes, as in all.the.stuff or all.the.things.
Thank you to Net Galley and Quarto Publishing Group for providing me with
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Ashley
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Some reasons why I love this book: it's an easy, fast and straightforward read. Parents of very young kids don't have time to read long, complex parenting books. This is helpful, brief (in the best way) with concrete suggestions to get you both thinking and doing. It's also not a one size fits all program; she suggests and reminds that not everything will look the same or work well for different families. It's refreshing, encouraging and motivating!! Definitely something I consider a MIST READ f ...more
Denise Matens
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you think simplifying is impossible with young kids, I'd encourage you to read this book. The encouraging tone of the author is welcoming and friendly, not preachy. I appreciate the emphasis she places on the well-being of parents as caregivers, role models and first teachers. I agree with the goals of teaching respect, emphasizing experiences and relationships over material things, overstimulation, and frenzy.
Jennie
Apr 11, 2020 rated it liked it
There were several excellent ideas in this book for simplifying your home and approach to parenting. But since I’ve read her blog and listened to several of her podcast episodes, it didn’t really contain much new information. It was also quite repetitive. (However, repetition is the key to learning, so maybe it was good to pound it into my brain a bit better?) Overall, a helpful resource, especially if you haven’t already read her blog!
Alisue
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read many books about having less in your life, but this one light a fire under me. While reading it we got rid of 4 bags of extra clothes to foster families in our church, and we have more for the foster family closet they are building. Next is to go through the craft closet, and the toys. We are moving in 6 weeks, and the less I have to pack the better.
Kirsten
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Minimalism plus intentional parenting is always a win for me!! I’ve listened to the authors podcast for years so lots of familiar concepts of intentional parenting and how to keep life with kids as simple as possible! Nothing too deep, but lots of little practical nuggets of wisdom and advice. Also of note, the physical book itself is BEAUTIFUL!!! Would be an amazing gift to give someone!
Margaret Hotovec
Jul 29, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is beautiful and well organized. I appreciate how accessible it is. That being said, there is nothing ground breaking in here and is more like a summary of a bunch of minimalist (and Montessori) theories. To someone who is already very familiar with these things, giving her blog a quick peruse would have probably been equally as informative and effective.
Amanda
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
This is the perfect book for any parent wanting encouragement to make positive changes. For followers of Denaye, the material isn't necessarily new, but this book is a nice collection of Denaye's story and best pieces of wisdom.
Rachelle
I'm always partial to parenting books that reference MN folks :) . I liked what the author had to say about simple parenting, open-ended toys, cutting down on plastic use, and being present with your kids.
Rachel Jacobs
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really well organized and it is simple and easy to follow along. Denaye is not preachy about have a more minimalist approach to her family life she just shows that it works and that children, and adults, thrive when there are less distractions around calling for your attention.
Lino
May 12, 2020 rated it liked it
A well-meaning, honest, pleasant little book. There isn't enough "meat" for my tastes, but I enjoyed reading nonetheless. I had already read most of those ideas here and there, but still the books works as some sort of pep talk.
Kat
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
Much of the detail of the book felt aimed at families with younger children, rather than the ages mine are currently. Some ideas I’ll take forward and some reinforcement of things I am already doing.
Jevgenij
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Good ideas, well structured, but missing some depth and details in implementation of the ideas.
Ashia Pollen
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Simple. Beautiful. Practical. Title says it all!
Mary
Jan 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Fine advice you’ve probably read before but dipped in a bit of self congratulation and privilege.
Chloe Hooper
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Good concept, but very of and for a specific (American) demographic.
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Denaye Barahona is the founder of Simple Families, a blog, podcast and online learning community dedicated to helping families live well with young children.

First and foremost, however, Denaye is a mother and wife. She and her husband started their family and adventure as parents in 2013 when they welcomed their son, and their daughter completed them in 2016. Denaye resides with her family in New
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“Watching children experience hurt and failure is excruciating for parents. We will go to great lengths to protect ourselves from that pain. Therefore we carry bags of snacks to prevent hunger. We equip our furniture with padding to prevent bumps and bruises. We sign our kids up for extra soccer camps to “get a leg up.” We buy them favored toys and gadgets to see more smiles and prevent envy. We do, do, do. More, more, more.” 0 likes
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