Why Children need Minimalism in their lives
How are the holidays going for you? Hopefully lots of chocolate is being consumed!!
My one weakness at this time of year is a creme egg. I know they aren’t great, but as a one off I LOVE them!!
Ok so talking about consume, this week I wanted to dive deep into the wonderful world of ‘minimalism’ and why children need it in their lives.
When it comes to children, everything is always in excess. Parents especially believe that they must have more than one of everything, and every new toy/trend that comes out on the market.
At a young age, children really do not know the difference and before I became aware of the term and way of life reffered to as ‘minimalist’, it would baffle me as a Nanny the amount of ‘things’ all children I cared for had.
I’d clean the playroom weekly and find broken toys, parts to puzzles missing, things that needed a good clean and hadn’t been used in ages and just stuff they did not need or even know about!
I’ll even admit that at times, I just used to throw these things out! No one ever questioned where the broken Action Man or Barbie had gone, or what had happened to that old pen.
The children were not gaining any value from these items, and neither were the parents.
So, why does it matter? What will children get from this?
A lot, to put it simply!
They will learn to become creative. If they don’t have a certain thing, they can use their imagination! WOW imagine that?! Hello imagination you old friend, where have you been since the Ipad was invented?!
Fewer toys and things mean creativity can flow endlessly, and cause less arguments over who has what and for how long and when. You will be pretty much half way towards a stress free life with less fights and tears.
Independant play will be encouraged. They won’t be constantly overwhelmed by all the choices and options in front of them and will learn to think on their feet and make confident decisions based on how they feel and what they actually want.
Tidy rooms will become a regular thing, and children will be encouraged to look after what they own, tidy their space and appreciate things in a new, clear, mindful light.
Experiences are far more valuble than things. It’s also something you can do together and will remember for years to come.
It will encourage children to use their minds, think more and express themselves in a whole new light.
Spend less money and invest real time with your family, it is the best possible way to give them something of real value.
Cut the clutter and enjoy time with your children.
Less really is more, and it will allow you to feel free of constantly moving and tidying things away.
Think of how much more time you will have on your hands!
So when it comes to actually considering a clear out, thing about what they truly need and what is excess.
Surely they can live with say, 4 pairs of pj’s compared to 20? AND you will no longer need to cram everything into their drawers to try and get it all to fit!
Clothes, shoes, toys, books, all of the THINGSSSS. Go through and ask if it brings joy, if they need it, and what real purpose it serves.
Get the children involved! Donate or throw depending on the current state of whatever it is. That way you are doing a good deed and encouraging the children to recognise this also.
Here are some key ways to really help kick start the journey of introducing children to minimalism:
- Does it bring joy? Can it still be used broken?
- Is it classic or handed down through the family with real importance?
- What purpose does it serve?
- Does it fit?
- Will it be used ever? (Clothes with tags on are a prime example)
- How does it make you feel?
- How often is it used?
- Will it be missed?
- Think before you buy. Do they really need that? Or would they much rather you saved for a cool experience that will create long lasting memories?
Learning to live with intention, and give children time rather than constant things will build up your relationship with them and allow you to teach them the importance of value and making wise choices.
These days, it pains me to see children shoved infront of ipads to keep them quite.
This was not an option 30, 40 years ago so why do we allow it to happen yet complain about children being addicted to technology and bring in experts?
The answer is so simple! You allowed this to happen, you can just as easily take it away.
If they were encouraged to use their imagination more there wouldn’t be as much of a problem.
Now as a Nanny you can also encourage this and make a list of things that you have noticed haven’t been used in a while, or someone else could get great joy from and approach the parents in a respectful manner, especially if they are new to the idea! It can help create a more peaceful, clutter free atmosphere and encourage better time together and communication.
There really is no down side to having a good clear out if done properly.
Give it a go today! Or if you are already on the minimalist train drop me an email with your top tips and I will feature them on the podcast!
Until next time