In this world of excesses we want to give our children more than we had to ourselves. We want to provide them with best of clothes, best of toys, latest gadgets, and exotic vacations. My intentions were no different. I wanted to give more and more and more. But then I realised the continuous desire of giving the best to my child has left me depleted. And then, I discovered the benefit of minimalism in life. that’s when I decided to implement the same in my parenting.
I still wanted to give my child more but this time it was, more opportunities, more time, more love and more emotional security.
Here is my point of view on why did I choose minimalism in my parenting style and how am I implementing it-
* Instil minimalism through actions and not by words – as a parent we spend a lot of time talking about it to justify it with reasons. But it’s easier when they see you practising it rather than preaching it. Sometimes all they need is to see you model the desired behavior in your daily actions.
* Taking Local Vacations – Ofcourse exotic and luxurious vacations are a privilege. But it’s a great learning to experience trips from wherever you are into your local nature and relish a local street delicacy.
* Buy less to let them innovate more – When we provide endless varieties of toys to our children, we leave them with very little opportunity to create and explore new ideas on their own. Have you ever let the child be with one toy and just notice what new games they invent with that toy out of boredom.
* Do not be the sole provider of their wardrobe – we ofcourse love shopping for those fancy and in trend clothes for our little hearts. But just to instil the comfort when taking and giving away the clothes, try and make them wear passed on clothes or gears from friends and family just to make them comfortable with this concept. Simultaneously pass on the out grown clothes, gears and accessories and keep the space decluttered.
* Use the library – The library is there for a reason, and these days library is not just for books. Register with a good toy library, or a music library.
* Look for people with similar philosophy – children who have a similar minimalist philosophy can get together and can enjoy being creative together and won’t come away with a feeling of envy.
I believe the key is to not force it on the child, instead it’s better to talk to them and help the child “own” this lifestyle by emphasizing that minimalism is your way of life out of choice. secondly, it’s important to take this really slow and gradually inculcate this in day to day life, any try to make this an over night process might leave a negative impact on the child.
In your journey of minimalistic parenting, many times you might feel guilty of depriving your children of “the best” when you don’t register them for every other activity, or take them to every movie, or buy them every brain-enhancing toy. But hey! Media and advertising companies are paying millions to make you think this. Don’t “buy” it. Trust me on this, You are not depriving your children; you are enhancing their mental and emotional development.
I am not against buying things that make our life easier or more enjoyable but certainly against mindless consumption and raising my child to link her self worth to how much cool stuff she owns.
share with me your views on practising minimalism in your parenting style.