Minimalism and children
So many people often ask me how this movement towards a more minimalist lifestyle has affected my kids or what my children think of the whole pairing down and simplifying.
The fact is that children are so adaptable. Unlike adults, children haven’t necessarily accumulated a ton of things or stuff. They have what they have because of us. Adults are more set in their ways. Adults have a harder time letting go.
My goal is to help my boys understand what the benefits are of living a life with more intention. I want them to understand the value of money, the value of relationships and to appreciate every single thing that they purchase and bring into their lives.
I thought I would share with you a conversation that I documented of my two older boys. On our way home from an errand, we were listening to The Minimalist podcast. The episode had a young teenager sharing her experience as a minimalist. When we got home my oldest had some questions about being a minimalist. My middle guy joined in on our conversation. I thought it would be neat to document….So here we go.
Dom: I like what that girl said about being a minimalist and saving for her school and stuff. How does it feel like for you?
Mom: I feel like it has brought us so much clarity. I feel a lot lighter. Daddy and I feel like we take more time to focus on our family and friends. That we really think about purchases we are making. Building this house we are a lot more reflective and careful about what we are doing and what we are going to bring into our new home. I can keep going on all the positives. What about you?
Dom: Getting rid of things we don’t need and bringing only things into our life that adds value has been really eye-opening. I used to want to spend my money on all kinds of stuff, but now I stop to really think about it. I think about what my priorities are now and how I want to travel instead or go to a concert.
Anthony: You know mom, all we really need is a bed, shelter, clothes…but not a lot of clothes. We need lights. We need happiness…oh and each other! Everything else now is just stuff.
Mom: What makes you happy?
Dom: Hanging out with my friends and girls.
Mom: Not funny.
Dom: I am not being funny. haha.
Mom: What else?
Anthony: Hmmm I like to go to hockey and skateboard. That makes me happy. I like to spend time with you and dad and Stef and Dom, that makes me happy too. Oh! Oh! and I like to play video games. and I know you don’t like that I do, but I do. You know if you didn’t limit it, I would be even way happier!
Mom: not happening.
Dom: I am happy when we spend time together as a family. I like that.
Mom: And girls apparently.
Mom: If you could get rid of 1 item right now, what would it be?
Dom: Well I have two boxes of books that I have already read. I probably won’t read them again. I won’t bring them to the new house. I can definitely let those books go.
Anthony: well I have these really ugly striped shoes you got me, those, for sure.
Mom: I love those shoes!
Anthony: I don’t. I could give them to someone who needs them.
Mom: I like that. I like that you thought of that too. That makes me proud.
Anthony: Ya. I know.
Dom: I could donate the books to a library.
Mom: Ya that’s a good idea. We can look into it. So why do you think people have so much stuff? What would you say to those people now that you have come to realize you don’t need so much stuff to be happy?
Anthony: People like to spend money so I would say, stop spending money. You will be rich!
Domenic: I think people like to spend money on things that make them feel socially accepted. They spend money so they can fit in. I would tell them to be happy with who they are and to hang out with people who accept them for who they are.
Mom: You guys are pretty smart.
Anthony: I know!
Mom: You are so humble Anthony….Ok, What I want you to do is draw me a picture of what a minimalist lifestyle looks like. You think you can do that?
Anthony: I can try, but it’s hard….
The boys went on to draw some pretty cool art. Anthony made a house and he said inside was simple and he had all these boxes sitting outside the house and that was messy. Domenic made a more complex drawing with someone selling items they didn’t need and taking that money to pay off debt and then using saved money to travel.
it’s pretty amazing what our children pick up. It makes me so excited to continue on this journey and watch my boys grow up. proud mom here!
till the next post,