We spent three years off-grid, living in a small cabin in the woods. It was minimalism at its most serious, a life pared down to just the necessities. And let me tell you – children and minimalist living go together like butter and fresh bread!
Children are extremely adaptable, and can learn a multitude of things in a very brief period of time. This is no exception in the case of learning minimalism, yet some ask, “Are there any benefits for kids living a minimalist lifestyle?”
The answer is a concrete, and echoing yes.
Let’s go over just a handful of the amazing effects minimalist lifestyles have on children.
Good Financial Habits
One of the awesome things children learn from practicing minimalism are good money habits.
When they learn to think more deeply about their choices for purchases, it teaches them the value of money and work.
This will also teach them to take care of the things that they buy, and make them last. Be sure that they understand this part of the process. These habits can be lifesaving skills when they reach adulthood.
They Share Willingly With Others
When you are teaching minimalism, practice what you preach.
Show your children how to know what they want to keep, and once they have made their choices and understand what they can part with, have them put the clothes, toys, or whatever the item may be in the donation bin. Make it clear why you don’t hoard items that you know you won’t use, and why you choose to bless others with them instead.
Teach them to identify simple living, decluttering, and tidiness with generosity and the good feelings we get from giving to others.
They Have Healthy Self Esteem
When your child sees you cleaning, one of the first things they want to do is help.
Now, we parents all know that an important part of our job is delegation, right? (If you didn’t, you do now) So delegate! Get your children involved in the process of removing clutter and teach them how to stay on top of it. Be sure that you understand appropriate chores for children so that you don’t give them more than they can handle.
There’s an interesting side effect that comes about when children know they are helping, that they are an active and important part of the household, and when they know that they do have a role in taking care of their environment.
These children develop a healthy pride in their surroundings and in keeping it healthy, clean, and clutter-free.
One of my favourite quotes is that you should not handicap their children by making their lives too easy. Along the same line, do not deprive your children of the pride, accomplishment, and personal ownership of their home by denying them the experience of cleaning it. Set them on a good path, with good habits that will last a lifetime.
They Will Know How Much You Love to Spend Time with Them
Talk to your children.
Tell them why you have chosen to live life as a minimalist.
When they understand how much you wanted to simplify life so you could spend more time with them, you will earn their respect and love.
Take the time during cleaning and decluttering projects to talk to them, and make them fun times that they can be excited about in small ways. Your time will always be the greatest gift to them, so let them know what that means to you.
Minimalist living and children – they just go together like mud puddles and toddler toes.0