My recent delve down the rabbit hole that is known as minimalism has drawn me to a new branch of parenting. Minimalistic Parenting. Not because I love self help books. Because I prefer a good romance novel any day over the self help section.
But as I’ve minimized our life and home bit by bit (and when I say bit by bit, I’m talking van and truck loads of stuff removed from our home), I’ve slowly seen the simple rewards creep in.
A quieter home, happier children, better communication with my husband, a lighter heart, a stronger spiritual connection with God. It really has placed a simplicity and zen into our home that I didn’t really know existed before.
So naturally, as I started to see the rewards of a more minimal lifestyle, I wondered how I could sprinkle this goodness through other anxiety ridden aspects of our life. Diet, housekeeping, wardrobe, parenting.
And guys, I could not recommend this book more! Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross has honestly opened my eyes.
I know what your thinking… eye roll. BIG eye roll.
But for real. I mean for real for real. I find I’m so overwhelmed with outside noise. Every. Single. Day.
Phones. Social Media. Cartoons. Commercialism.
Even the visual clutter in our own home. It’s all just too much. All of it. There has to be a reason over 40 million adults in the US suffer from some sort of anxiety.
It all adds up and overwhelms. And if it’s overwhelming me, someone who has the cognitive ability to function and process at an adult level (most days at least, ha!). Then how is it affecting my children, whose brains are so fragile and still forming?
And once you open your eyes to see it, it’s so obvious. The constant battles with a preschooler. Their inability to calm after overstimulating social events. Too many busy days back to back and their sleep schedule is almost nonexistent. Even a picky eater, one of the few areas of their life they feel they can control. All of this makes for such a hectic and overwhelming family life. And maybe it’s just me. But it is definitely not what I want for my kids.
I want them to experience the simple days I had, playing outside, feeling safe and secure in my environment. The creativity and willingness to explore. The simplicity I had, where so many “boring, days at home” lead to some of our greatest adventures.
There is a lot this book could open you up to, if you were interested. Montessori. Waldorf. Or even The KonMari Method (which is another amazing book I’d recommend!). Bits and pieces of all of it are in here. But you don’t have to. This book does a great job getting your toes wet and covering the bases of a simpler life for yourself and your children.
It gives simple suggestions to decrease the clutter in your child’s life in terms of their toys, their visual surroundings, their over-scheduled activity calendar, their diet, and even how we as parents communicate with them.
Since reading this book, and slowly implementing some of the practices, along with minimizing our home and lifestyle in general, I’ve seen so many improvements in our kids. Willingness to eat what’s placed in front of them (I’m talking preschooler clean plate club here). Compliance during nap and bedtime. Cleanliness and ownership of their spaces. Creativity and imagination blooming during free play times. So much more too guys, so much more.
It’s not the answer to everything. But I promise you, it’s definitely a gateway to a whole new world for not just our children, but ourselves as well.