Nov. 7, 2018

How Little Parenting Can We Get Away With? (with guest James Breakwell):

How little parenting can we get away with? Is doing less better—or at least good enough? We talk backing off on what our kids wear, what they eat, and what they do all day with James Breakwell, author of the hilarious new book Bare Minimum Parenting.

Sometimes we need to stop trying so hard for things to get easier. We asked our listeners: where’s an area of your parenting where you got better results by doing less? And as usual you all came through!

In this episode we discuss your best advice on how to parent more lightly by caring less about our children’s


potty training



basic hygiene

birthday parties

and have happier homes as a result.

We also talk “bare minimum parenting” in its many forms with guest James Breakwell, author of the hilarious new book Bare Minimum Parenting: The Ultimate Guide to Not Quite Ruining Your Child.

James says bare minimum parenting isn’t about the number of kids you have: “Two children aren’t twice as much work as one. If you’re already yelling at the first kid, just add the name of the second kid at the end.” For James, bare minimum parenting is about playing the long game. Can you look around at a group of adults and pick out which ones had baby massage or language-immersion preschool? Okay, sometimes they’re dead ringers. But most of the time you can’t, and we think James’s new book is slyly revolutionary in the way it enables all of us to do less, worry less, and get our kids to pretty much the same place in the end.

In other words, Bare Minimum Parenting doesn’t have to mean no rules. It can mean basic rules that work for your family. But those rules aren’t set by the family next door, or that clickbait-y guilt-inducing article you just read.

And when the rules don’t work? Put them aside for a bit. No regrets.

ICYMI: in this episode Margaret mentions this slackline as her key to bare minimum backyard fun— her kids play on it for hours.

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