At Healthy Child Coalition – Central Region we are, of course, familiar with the four pillars set out by Healthy Child Manitoba:
- physical education and nutrition
- parenting, and
- building community capacity.
Until recently I had never heard of the “four pillars of excess”. Then I read an online article titled “Simplifying Childhood May Protect Against Mental Health Issues”.
What are the four pillars of excess?
- having too much stuff
- too many choices
- too much information, and
- too much speed.
The author refers to Kim John Payne’s book Simplicity Parenting. Early in his career, Payne volunteered in refugee camps where children were dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. Years later when he ran a private practice in England, he realized that many affluent children were displaying the same behaviour as those refugee children had. Why?
Because, Payne says, we have overwhelmed our children with more and more toys, more and more activities, more and more information.
Children need down-time, he says, in order to increase creativity and self-directed learning.
“Our children have their whole lives to be adults and to deal with the complexities of life, but only a fleetingly short time in which they can be kids. Silly, fun loving kids.”
To read the article go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/tracy-gillett/children-mental-health_b_9400848.html