Simple Happy Parenting by Denaye Barahona, Ph.D. | Book Review

Simple Happy Parenting by Denaye Barahona

simple happy parenting

Book Summary:

“Create space for calmer, more creative kids and restore order and happiness at the heart of family life.

In Simple Happy Parenting, Denaye Barahona, Ph.D., provides a revolutionary approach to parenting, full of practical tips to help you step back from the system overload so common in modern family life and, instead, create more time to enjoy living and learning together. From easier meal planning to mindful shopping, worry batching to waste reduction, Simple Happy Parenting is an honest and practical roadmap for all families striving for balance.

Start with the Simple Manifesto:

  1. Buy less.
  2. Fear less.
  3. Referee less.
  4. Hurry less.
  5. Entertain less.

Then begin your journey to simple by embracing a new, lighter way of life in your home. Step-by-step projects and realistic goals guide your way. Discover how a curated toy cabinet fosters imaginative play; a smaller, carefully selected wardrobe reduces stress; and structured, nourishing meals create relaxed family dinners.

Next, expand the simplicity to your mindset. Learn how letting go of fear provides children with valuable opportunities to grow and develop; positive discipline strategies strengthen family relationships, and inviting more unscheduled time in your calendar gives your family space to thrive.

Not only will these straightforward solutions allow your children the room to progress and flourish, this mindful approach to family life will provide you with more energy, calm, and joy.”

Publication Date:

June 4th, 2019



My Rating:


My Review:

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 that there is no perfect way to juggle it all, and it made the rest of the book feel more approachable because I knew she was coming from a place of relatability. Pulling out of the race of parenting and doing what is important for your own family is such simple yet important advice.

If you set your goals and expectations of parenting by the world around you, you will never find contentment or peace in your own parenting journey. We are all allowed to follow different paths, but being true to ourselves and our own desires as a family allows us to pull out of the parenting competition and prioritize what is important to our own families. “Instead of chasing the impossible, choose to live simply and love immensely.”

But how do you do this, one might wonder… It sounds easy but if you have parenting for any length of time, you know it just isn’t. Barahona shares her Simple Manifesto:

1. Fear Less
2. Hurry Less
3. Entertain Less
4. Referee Less
5. Buy Less

After sharing this manifesto, she walks you through how to accomplish these goals. I especially enjoyed the sections on entertaining less(and letting your kids be bored) and refereeing less. Both of these concepts and shifts help everyone in our family lives happier and more successful lives but often seem really hard to remember when we are in the thick of daily life. Her practical advice was relatable and things that we could easily implement into our family foundation.

The photos and illustrations were a nice addition to this text. I don’t think the photos were totally necessary, but it did help make this book feel more personal and helped connect me as a reader with this author.

If you are looking for tips on how to simplify your life as a family, I definitely recommend this book.

Thank you to NetGalley and White Lion Publishing for an advanced copy of this book.


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