Simplicity Parenting Book Club, Chapter Two.

It has been over a week and the converastion of and surrounding Chapter One continues here on the blog and also over at our facebook group. How lovely! I am in awe of you all and what you are bringing to this conversation. I look forward to your reflections on our current chapter.


Simplicity Parenting, Kim John Payne

Chapter Two: Soul Fever

Do you take notice when your child is experiencing what Payne has named a "soul fever"? In contrast to a physical fever, a soul fever is emotional or spiritual in nature. Your child is not feeling like themselves and is acting out in their own (sassy? sad? angry? controlling?) way. A soul fever speaks of being overwhelmed and disconnected and begs for quieting down, being nurtured, and turning inward.

Simplicity Parenting urges us to focus on and honor our instincts. Just as our intuition guides us to the proper care of a child with a physical fever, our inner knowing also leads us to the path of care for a child with a soul fever. We are reminded during these times to be truly present with our children – not overwhelmed and overstimulated ourselves. We need to be attentive, present, and free of distraction. That sounds ideal for parenting under any circumstances.

Payne lays out a process to remedy a soul fever as this: 1) Recognize it. 2) Quiet down the child's life. 3) Seek connection. 4) Allow it to run its course.


How to notice a soul fever? Your child's quirks become magnified. It is the exaggeration of their inner self, based on their unique personality. Some move towards isolation, others towards tantrum, anger, or controlling behavior. They become an out-of-balance caricature of themselves.

Quieting Things Down

Break your obligations. Stay home. Cancel your plans. Just as with a physical fever, Payne believes it is appropriate to essentially call in sick to your life's obligations to care for your child.

Bringing Them Close

I love what Payne laid out in this section. To me it is what we should be doing regularly as parents, but what many don't find or make the time to do. Connection. Quiet time. Listening. Payne also implores us to focus on our child's golden self, their "good" side. Should this not be what we do everyday? To imagine them as their highest self, their most kind, authentic, and radiant being? Of course. But I loved the reminder all the same, soul fever or not.

Payne talks about kids needing affection most when they "deserve it the least". Thought I believe that they always are in a place of deserving affection and connection, the point to me was that at the times when we're pushed to our breaking point by our kids behavior is when they are begging us for connection.

Running Its Course

It is not our job to fix what is not working. Our work is to create a nurturing and calm environment, connect with and unconditionally love our hurting child, and allow them to heal.


This chapter, to me, had two main cords: slowing down and connecting fully. The slowing down was the most applicable piece around here. Even my (simple, old-fashioned, handmade) life feels fast-forward sometimes. My mom was visiting this week and I realized last night as she and I relaxed on the couch that I had not sat on my couch since my birthday. Almost two weeks before. We are busy. Really busy. And all of that doing has a cost. For many weeks I have been feeling that doing less would be good for me, for Pete, and especially for our kids.

And as to connecting fully, much of what Payne discusses in this chapter rings true to my goal of a parenting path based on validation, connection, and kindness. We strive to practice non-violent parenting, meaning we don't punish our kids with time outs, jailed toys, or other loss of privileges for acting out. Our goal is to find the root of the behavior and work backwards from there to seek solution.

What about you? Do you have time to follow his advice when someone in your family is out of sorts? Or do you often find yourself addressing the behavior rather than the underlying cause? What stuck with you in Chapter two above all else? Share your thougths on soule fever.

47 thoughts on “Simplicity Parenting Book Club, Chapter Two.

  1. Stephanie says:

    I liked this chapter, and it rang true for me even though my LO is only 7 months old. I wouldn’t say she’s old enough to experience soul fevers, but of course we have “bad mood” (cranky, fussy, etc.) moments. I’ve noticed that these moments tend to coincide with times when I’m stressed about getting something done and I am not as focused on her as I should be. She lets me know right away if she needs me. And I usually drop whatever I’m trying to get done to give her some quiet time nursing or sitting together and playing. Admittedly, there are times when I freak out and say “I can never get ANYTHING done!” But never directed at my LO. (Usually at DH, who doesn’t really appreciate me releasing my frustration on him. I need to practice kindness and compassion with everyone in my life, not just my child. But I digress.)

    When she’s old enough for discipline, I want to practice gentle discipline and focus more on the need behind her behaviors than on the behaviors themselves. But I think it’s much easier to focus needs with babies than it is with older children. Babies’ needs, personalities, and behaviors are simpler. If they are upset, hold them, nurse them, play, sleep. Older children, I think, are more complex, have other needs, and “act out” in ways that are not as frustrating as the way babies “act out.” So we’ll see how I do in the future, but I hope I can keep my patience!

  2. Alison says:

    I loved the quote that said “when your child seems to deserve affection least, that’s when they deserve it most.” After reading it I immediately wrote it on our family chalkboard and seek it out when my nerves are frayed by the shennanigans and mischief.

    It follows another quote that I wrote down. Last summer my husband read aloud the Roald Dahl book “Danny, The Champion of the World” after dinner for the family. At the end of the book read this: “When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important: a stodgy parent is no fun at all. What a child wants and deserves is a parent who is SPARKY.”

    My husband and I find that when we remember to be “sparky” in our hustle and bustle with the kids, soul fever is averted.

  3. Barbara says:

    I feel like me son is going thru some kind of soul fever right now. He is 3, and ever since just before his third birthday on Apr.1st, he has been considerably more grumpy, pouty, tantrums come easily, and suddenly he is hitting and backtalking more. I told my husband the other day that he seems like a different child overnight. We have tried to raise him using “Positive Discipline” techniques, but it seems it has gotten a lot harder to work with him since his birthday. I am wondering if it had anything to do with all the attention/action/busyness of that time or if it is simply a developmental stage or a soul fever???? Since that time, we have slowed down for the most part, but still have visits with family and playdates. I guess I do notice an improvement, but it doesn’t get solve it all. It seems like when he doesn’t get his way or we can’t “play” with him, he goes into that mode and looks for trouble to gain attention. It’s not that we don’t give him attention or spend time with him, he just seems to need it all the time. Something we are not able to give all the time, for obvious reasons.

    Rachel – can you elaborate on how you would deal with a situation such as your child pushing you or not listening to you about some action that needs to take place. How do you handle mealtime, when your child doesn’t want to eat something because it’s not on his ideal food to eat?

    Thanks in advance for all your help and ideas….

  4. Cassandra says:

    Oh Barbara…you couldn’t have posted this at a better time! I just got back from a quite deflating trip to the DMV with my 2 little boys in tow (ages 2 and 3). They were horrible because they weren’t able to explore and had to stay by me. Tantrums that included what we call “the protester move” (going limp when you try to pick them up). I felt like the worst parent in the world. Overwhelmed and out of control of her own kids. I don’t threaten or yell so it took a lot of “reasoning” to get them out of there and back into my car.

    My three year old has the “wants to be a helper” personality that Payne talks about in chapter 2. So, his tantrums get pretty radical. I was trying to figure out the root cause of the distress and it boiled down to them not being able to explore the place. We had to stay in line…what is a mom (by herself) to do? It just makes me not want to take them out in public without another adult, and that’s not right. They are just so high-spirited all the time. Once they get into tantrum mode, it’s hard to reason them out of it.

  5. Cheryl says:

    This chapter was less interesting for me, I think because I’m pretty emotionally intuitive and have been dealing with soul fevers along these lines since the get go. I find probably more resistance from my friends and family on this issue than any other so it was at least vindicating 🙂 I’m often labeled unreliable because i am quick to cancel engagements, or leave parties early when I see that flicker of need in one of my kids that no one else can seem to see. On the flip side I get compliments on how happy and confident they are but people don’t seem to see the correlation. I’ve even been called s liar when I explained that Porter was on the edge of a meltdown, heard a lot of “he’s fine”, but I stick to my guns. I would prefer to be wrong but either way giving them the time, space and support won’t ever hurt and it might help a whole lot.

  6. Cheryl says:

    My oldest is almost three and we had been having similar meal time problems. Before I read the book I was reading some simplicity related blogs and found a post about mealtime. I can’t find it now but I think Rachel has one here that is similar. We started lighting candles at the table and that one thing made a big impact on him, getting him to the table without a battle – check. I also solicited his help in setting the table which he loves. We have been talking more and more about the food, where it comes from, what it does for your body. If he says he doesn’t want to eat, which is almost every night, we tell him he doesn’t have to but breakfast is a long way off and we hope he doesn’t get hungry before then and quickly change topic to more fun things (he knows he has to stay at the table until mommy and daddy are done and he wants to so he can blow out the candle). Usually before long he just quietly pulls his plate back over and eats. Not that there are never bumps in the road but we went from 100% meal rejection to about 5% in just a few weeks.

    Barbara, I’m sure you are an awesome mom, and even people at the dmv know tantrums happen! I am barely figuring out how to deal with two but maybe involving them/preparing them for what to expect would help? Letting them hold a form, maybe just a blank one to give to the person behind the counter, a game for in line like i spy? Promising a reward for good behavior like a trip to the playground immediately following an errand like that? I think you have to try to head them off at the pass because like you said once tantrum sets in going back is a real challenge.

  7. Cassandra says:

    Hey Cheryl! I am also unreliable! Yeah! I’m not sure why more parents don’t pull the plug on an activity if they see that their child isn’t in the “head-space” for it at that time. I myself just got a cold-shoulder from a relative who felt slighted that I didn’t make the 3 hour trip from Madison to Chicago when my littlest who had a bad cold last month. And this was for an actual sickness! And you know what? I would have pulled the plug if he just seemed to really need a quiet day. You know what they need…don’t feel bullied by people who don’t understand.

  8. Sara Adams says:

    I’m with you, Cheryl. This chapter didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know. It seemed like a good reminder for me though. It’s nice to read someone backing up the way I already parent.

  9. Rachel Wolf says:

    I understand that others feel you are unreliable or over reacting. I recall when Sage three months old canceling an engagement with some friends. “Sage is sensitive,” I told her. “I believe this will be too much for him. He’s having a hard day.” She showed up anyway and he was happily in my arms when she arrived at the door. Her response? “Sage is sensitive? He looks fine to me. I think it’s his MOM who is sensitive.” Hm.

  10. Rachel Wolf says:

    My methods are not a quick fix. If your child is into pushing they will push you again. And probably again. I would first validate the emotion that was behind the push: “You are feeling angry that I told you it is time for bed. You were having fun playing with your block and you hate to stop.” I want them to feel heard for what they were communicating with the push. Or “You love it when I play with you and you feel angry when I say no.” HEAR them first. Then help them find a solution that will work for everyone. “It is bedtime and we’re going to go and get our jammies on now. Would you like to leave your block basket in the kitchen tonight so you remember to play with them right away in the morning?” Validation and connection go far.
    Meals – Some people have the “no thank you bite”. I came up with a sweet idea a few years too late – a bite for each year. “You are three, so please take three bites of your squash before you tell me if you like it or not.” Serve small portions of nutrient dense food. Leave out anything that isn’t a great food, and he can eat what ever he wants from his plate, with a few “no thank you bites” of the rest. Hope this helps!
    ~ Rachel

  11. says:

    Arrgggh… I wrote a long comment and it got erased! Let’s try again…

    The part of the chapter that most spoke to me was towards the end. I don’t have the book in front of me and I forget the exact words, but basically, I’m not responsible for making my children better. I started tearing up as I read that. So often when my kids are acting out I take it personally, feel like I messed up somehow, need to FIX it. Just like when they’re sick, you care for and nurture them, but you don’t *heal* them by yourself. And you may not see positive results immediately.

    Just like some of the other mamas mentioned, I too can tell when my kiddos aren’t themselves. And people are often surprised when I put my family before other obligations or frivolities. One of my friends expects me to drop my children off with a family member or babysitter when she wants to do something. It seems the growing trend to think of children more as accessories to be taken out and put away when convenient.

    I try to keep things “quieted down” most of the time anyway, but I do often feel like we need to be Doing Something. I try to remember: less is more.

    There are days (it seems to coincide with PMS, but since I’m not regular there’s no predictable pattern) when I get so upset with my children and have my own outbursts – but mamas rarely get time-outs! I find it difficult to shower affection on my kids when they are “the least deserving.” I’m working on this, but for the most part I consider myself an even-keel, matter-of-fact kind of person.

    I, too, would be interested in some of Rachel’s discipline techniques. I never thought I would use time-outs with my children, but I often send my 3-year-old to her room when she’s being fussy and won’t comply (I also employ the “count to 10” warning). She can come out when she stops fussing, ready to be a good girl and apologize. If there’s some more serious infraction – hitting or outright disrespect – we’ll often get down to our daughter’s level and try to speak calmly about what’s expected and ask for an apology. If the behavior persists, then we tell her she’ll get a spanking unless she complies. She’s gotten a few spankings. We always explain what’s expected of her and why she got punished.

    Ah, mealtimes – I’ve gone all over the spectrum with this one! In the past I’ve gotten so upset with my kids for not eating their meals, telling them they couldn’t leave the table till they had eaten. Other times (and this is what I aim for), I don’t make a big deal about it – provide healthy food, realize they will eat when they’re hungry, put away leftovers, and don’t pander to their food whims. The chapter I’m reading now – four, five? – speaks to simplifying food choices, which may also help with picky eaters. But how to handle grandparents who give them treats?

  12. says:

    Rachel, I love the “bite for each year”! Sometimes my daugter loves something once she tries it… but other times she really doesn’t care for a specific food.

    On validation, I’ve realized this is one of the things that most hurt me growing up. NOT being validated. So I’m trying to break the cycle – but it’s hard!

  13. kendra says:

    i have limited experience with some waldorf philosophies, but i think you mamas of threes (i’ve got one too!) might find this interesting/of value. around three years is the first “separation” in the child. where they begin to find themselves as their own person (the big one is around 9 years of age ~7-10 coming in and out gradually). until that time, in waldorf thinking, the mother and child are still connected. but, children of this age are still “one with the world” – a book i’m reading (a new earth by tolle) describes this well. if you take an object from a small child it is as if his personhood is being torn away because he is so “one” with the universe. similarly, they might expect a chair to move out of their way, seeing the chair as another entity revolving around them. or dinner. we try to give advance warning of transition, have songs for transition, or play games for transition (i.e. let’s hop like bunnies to the table), but it is sometimes a challenge over here too!

  14. Emily says:

    I recognized these symptoms in my husband and I!!!! We are often overwhelmed and need to slow down and this is not good for us or the children.

  15. Melanie B. says:

    A book I read recently had some really great positive discipline ideas: “Positive Discipline for 1-3 year olds” By Jane Nelsen. So true that the younger they are the easier in some respects, but as they get older the bonus is that you can talk with them about things to figure out “why” they are acting out.

  16. Melanie B. says:

    Thanks Cheryl, I will try some of those mealtimes ideas. I guess we are just afraid (being that he is our first) that if we just let him eat what and when he wants, that we will end up with a child who won’t eat anything for a long time (talking lifespan), unless it is something he really likes. I have heard so many different theories on how to handle not eating, that it gets kinda confusing. Some even suggest that they eat the food they didn’t finish at the next snack/meal time. Then there is the opposite of the spectrum, where they will eat when they are hungry, and not to force them to eat anything.

  17. Lynne says:

    For me, this chapter didn’t have the impact of the first. I too feel in tune with the people in my family, so while this is a good reminder, it didn’t have the same profound effect. What I did really like was the part on allowing it to run it’s own course. I am certainly the variety that feels inclined to ‘fix’ things, and although Baby M is not quite 10 months old, I could foresee this for our future. I will try and remember to be conscience to allow some things to play out, and just be there.

  18. Melanie B. says:

    Oh, it was nice to read your comment, because it reminded me about how I often think as well. I need to remind myself that you may not see positive results right away.

    I too see a direct correlation between where I am at in my cycle and when he has his worst days and worst sleeps. For anyone curious about this, you should totally chart it, and you would be surprised how regular the pattern is. I think the little ones pick up on our moods, hormones, stress levels at these times. I find that I can handle less at these times, so I make sure to adjust my schedule to ease my stress and emotions. Just a few tips.

    Grandparents and treats….well, this is something we do have to deal with. We try to be honest that we simply want them to eat their lunch/supper, so they either can’t eat it or just a little. If you are pretty consistent with your response, they usually get the picture.

    General Questions about the chapter:

    Do you think when he suggests a weekend (implying 2 days) of rest and relaxation to help with a soul fever, that you would see results by the end of the weekend? What does it mean when you don’t?

    How do work with a child who is very social and wants to be out and about all the time, and loves visiting and going places? He seems happier when we are out, but afterwards if we have been out too many times, I see the results later on.

  19. caitlin says:

    I don’t comment very often, but I got this book this past weekend, and have been really enjoying it!

    My son is 3 and is in the middle of some kind of a “soul fever”. His sleep cycle is totally off. Has been for the past few weeks and seems to be getting progressively worse.
    The past few nights he has been tossing and turning and coming out of his bed repeatedly, not actually falling asleep until 9 or 9:30 pm (we put him to bed between 7:30 and 8)
    and then he is waking up between 5:30-5:45, but this morning it was 5:15!!!
    He is cranky throughout the day, and visibly tired.
    I give him a nap earlier in the day, but make sure that he is up by 1pm or so so as not to effect his bedtime.
    But it still does!!
    Anyway, I have been taking it slow this week, showering him with attention and books and healthy food, and it doesn’t seem to be working so far!

    Any advice? I could really use some right now, this Mama is burnt out!

  20. nannergirl says:

    My daughter is going through a soul fever right now. I am due any day with our third child and my daughter is very sensitive to others’ emotions. She came home from school with a ‘tummy ache’. I was running around, trying to get things done and she had a melt down. I decided to sit with her and slowly it came out that she was worried about things. She was so emotionally exhausted that she fell asleep in my arms. Since then we have been making an effort to focus on her care an concern for others and I’ve been trying to slow things down.
    It is quick and easy to react badly when your child is out of sorts. It takes more time and effort to try and get to the bottom of what’s going on. But it is SO worth it. Thanks for the discussion Rachel

  21. kristy says:

    Saw Kim John Payne speak last night and it was so inspiring. He talked a lot about bullying and inclusion in schools. A lot of it rang true to me and made me look back at things from my past. He is truly an inspiration and if any of you get the chance to see him speak I highly reccomend it.

  22. Heidi says:

    I feel like my 5 year old daughter has had a soul fever since she arrived earthside…she is very spirited and very deep. She has sensory issues that make every evening a disaster(after having her sensory system overloaded all day long, just from the world being out there worlding.) OT is helping a bit, and talk therapy, but I feel like this combo of SPD and her “spiritedness” is kicking my butt. I have had my own soul fever since she was born…it was only since the birth of my second daughter that I realized, no, I’m not really a crappy mom- parenting my older daughter REALLY IS THAT HARD. So anyways this is a kind of a vent, but our Simplicity Parenting Group met last night and discussed this chapter. Not suprisingly, a common theme was that many of the parents were themselves in the throws of a soul fever. Many times we are too busy to recognize it. And then our kids “catch” our soul fever, and then it is a vicious cycle. So, self-care is also of utmost importance, so that we can be there for our children- steady and strong.

  23. KC says:

    I found the concept of soul fever to be quiet interesting. As mom to a high needs baby and now very active toddler I find that when she gets crazy it’s usually do to my over activity. We’ve been doing the attachment parenting thing since day one and I feel it’s helped us to to read her signals more. When she was a baby I found that when I had made sure that all her needs were met (food, sleep, diaper, temperature) but still she was crying or fussing that it was usually my state of mind or activity that would set her off. As soon as I slowed down she calmed down. If I tried doing to many chores that often set her to fussing. So a simple walk outside would help her to calm down.
    I think mom’s and young children are so linked that they often set off each others soul fever. So as the adult who can take charge of it, it’s my duty to recognize when things are getting to busy and slow down. If I don’t take the time to listen she will make me take the time. That’s never pretty for either of us.

    I totally agree with the part where he talks about kids needing affection most when they “deserve it the least”.

  24. Sara Adams says:

    First of all, 3 years old is hard. It’s hard to be 3 and hard to be a paren to a 3 year old. Their awareness is expanding and with too many choices/ too much information especially I think it gets hard to process all that information. My daughter started having nightmares when she was 3 and a half. We did a couple things. First we’ve always put our kids to bed early (Really Early). My girls go to bed around 6:30 right now because they’ve always gotten up early. The other thing we did for my eldest was start giving her valerian root at bedtime. It’s supposed to support nerve function and help regulate sleep. We’ve noticed that she really sleeps so much better. I hope everyone gets rested soon.

  25. Julie says:

    I think my 9 year old has been going through soul fever since about 3 years old. Things would get better for quite some time and then we were right back at square one with the melt downs. I have always known that my kids ( I have 4, twin 9 year olds, a 7 year old and a 4 year old) need lots of sleep and time just to “be”. Time for them just to do as they wish with no time constraints.
    My two daughters will play and talk together nicely one second and the next, my 9 year old is going off on her sister for something she said. Sometimes it was something innocent and sometimes not. I have no idea why she has so much, what seems like, rage. I will often send her to her room after something like this happens, for one, I am so angry at her for doing this, and two, I want to take her out of the situtation.
    She stays in there until she has calmed down and I can talk with her. Every time I ask her why, she doesn’t know and she has no idea how to just let things go. I suggested counting to ten, before doing or saying something, but she says that she can’t think in this type of situtation. The last thing I feel like doing is hugging or being near her at this time. She has gotten better, but it is still not acceptable. She flys off the handle at me sometimes asking her to do something I have already asked her to do. I ask nicely, but I think she gets distracted and then is mad at herself for not doing as I asked and takes it out on me. I hope this is soul fever and not something else. But, I do think it her perfectionism that is rearing its ugly head. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

  26. Valarie Budayr says:

    This chapter rung so true for me. As I was reading I was having all of these flashbacks to when my girls were growing up and thinking “Ah ha, that’s what that was, a soul fever.” My youngest is 12 and I can see so clearly his soul fevers after reading this chapter. I like the very practical, doable,solutions that Kim John Payne provides. It takes a potentially frustrating situation into the realm of healing, nurturing, and care for both the parent and the child.

  27. Rachel Wolf says:

    Here too, Lynne. So much of it tied in the the NVC we are already doing at home… and yet after reading it I find myself being just a touch more dialed in than before. So perhaps it has impacted me, though more subtly.

  28. Rachel Wolf says:

    I thought of this comment when Lupine was acting “off” this weekend. So I pulled her in. Thanks for the reminder of just how important it can be. Peace, Rachel

  29. Rachel Wolf says:

    Agreed! Especially with a high needs child self care is absolutely vital. I (almost always) fall short in this area until I am at wits end. Poor choice on many levels…

  30. Rachel Wolf says:

    I have often wondered what Sage’s baby hood would have been like if I was able to hold a different energy for him. Heck, for all of us. They do pick up on so much.

  31. Emily Krenzke says:

    I completely understand your daughter, that was me towards my daughter. I couldn’t seem to stop myself before I would flip out and yell at her. I really believe in energy medicine and I’m a completely different person since doing some sessions with Kim Tedford and Emotion code ( She can work with you over the phone, Skype or in person. HIGHLY recommend her! Only takes a couple of sessions and I’m a much happier person:) Good luck!

  32. kristy says:

    I book that I throughly enjoyed and found useful as a former preschool teacher and nanny was “Easy to love. Difficult to discipline” by Becky Bailey.
    I find that the half ages are harder then the whole ages ie 3.5 or 4.5. Its like the children are getting ready for the change.
    If your child pushes you or hits you make a big deal about how much that hurt you.
    You can say I dont like it when you hit me. That hurts mommy and are hands are for helping, holding.
    Mealtimes I would explain to them that they need to at least try the food. Sometimes It takes 10 tries for a child to like a certain food. You can also try making it different ways to see what works best.

  33. kristy says:

    I reccomend a book called “Easy to love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky Bailey. It throughly helped me as a former prechool nteacher and nanny.
    I found at the half ages can sometimes be more difficult than the whole numbers ie 3.5 , 4.5. It is like the children are preparing themselves for the next age.
    If you child pushes you, you can make a big deal about how they hurt you. You can say I dont like it when you push mommy. That hurts. Hands are for holding or helping
    As far as mealtimes I explain to him that he has to at least try one bit. It takes children up to 10 times to like a food. You can maybe try cooking it in different ways. Also have him help you prepare and set up for the meal. Good luck

  34. Jessica says:

    Good morning! I am a bit behind in reading, but after reading the comments about Chapter 2, I am really looking forward to it. I have a daughter turning 10 tomorrow, and talk about transitions! Along the lines of Waldorf thinking, 9 is/was a wonderful challenge. Seeing my daughter turn emerge from her little person self to a bigger person self is a gift to behold! (yes, I keep reminding myself of that when she exhibits her struggles with that as well)
    I did hop on here to say ‘hooray’! Out of nowhere after reading the first half of Ch. 1, I cleaned out our bookshelf and our mantle in our den. Our mantle was full of Lego projects, cough drop wrappers from 1982, just STUFF! After cleaning it all off, I truly realized that this is the hearth and heart of our home. It is the focal point of the whole house! Do you think I am feeling cleansed this morning, walking downstairs to SPACE instead of STUFF??? Wonderful…

  35. Martin Family says:

    sorry to go backwrds here on the posts, but this chapter is really helpful to us and relevant right now. It’s totally true, we just get too busy.And its such a thing of balance because if you decide to homeschool, chances are you are involved in making a living at home – or you might have a lifestyle that involves serious homemaking/cooking and farming, which means you are SUPER BUSY! In the midst of all the great lessons im teaching her on doing things by hand, I have to remember to slow down for the little moments that she’s having and that really keeps us connected.
    thanks rachel for this topic discussion

  36. Gwenllian says:

    I loved this chapter too! I liked that a reason is given for behaviour that is so often taken for granted. I often pick up when R has a clingy day but hadn’t given thought as to why she is other than it is something children go through.
    It has definitely hit home the importance of a calm uncluttered home to relax in. I can hardly relax in the clutter that is in my house but I hadn’t picked up on how that could effect my family.

  37. kari b. says:

    Isn’t it funny that we, as new moms, tend to think, “If only the baby will calm down, then I can relax..” When in reality sometimes all it takes is US calming down for the baby to relax! I didn’t learn that until my son was about 7 months old and it was like a light came on in our days and we were both more able to deal with each other!

  38. Melissa says:

    This chapter sure hit home for me! Our lives are busy (too much so) and as a result, I have a three year old that I seem to be at odds with constantly lately. Given that, I (not surprisingly) had my very own soul fever last week. I crumpled into a pile of tears and overwhelm and having not read this book at all, my husband did just what Payne recommends. He noticed me, he cancelled our plans, and he was there for me. It didn’t take long for it to runs its course and I feel exactly the way Payne described in the book afterward – more connected, more aware. As hard as it was, I’m grateful for the experience and what I’ve learned from it. I will be so much more away of my son’s own soul fevers and will strive to handle them with compassion.

  39. Lola and Jonathan Daniels says:

    I was very interested to hear about “soul fever”. Our son Ife was clearly overwhelmed at the start of his school experience, and was experiencing a soul fever. Simplifying why explaining he can play with 1 kid at first, giving him lots of love and ‘energy hearts’ (visual), helped him get over the fever and love his school. The pivotal moment when he got over his fever was quite clear in retrospect. Ife said the following: “There are good problems and bad problems. I learn from my good problems and my bad problems.

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