It’s hard to find writing done by people who have raised their children minimalistically. I remember searching through articles and blogs, looking for success stories. What I mainly found, at that time, were pointers for getting your children used to the idea that you were adopting a simpler lifestyle. I wondered if we were doing the right thing, by actually raising our child counter-culturally, from birth.
My research led me to write this post, about the benefits of simplicity, for everyone. And, as I left Facebook, I have corresponded with many minimalists who have successfully raised their children this way, “before it was cool.” It was heartening to hear so many success stories, and not one negative.
So, here we are. My daughter is 5 years old. She has attended public preschool for 2 years. And she doesn’t own a television (although she does watch Netflix when she is sick, and we occasionally have a family movie night), has never watched a Disney movie, has been given equal access to “boys'” and “girls'” toys, and enjoys a hot, homemade breakfast everyday.
What surprises have we seen? Plenty!
- Beanie does know all the names of the Disney princesses, through osmossis.
- She has a VERY strong love of reading.
- Beanie has excellent problem-solving skills, and tries to find solutions on her own, before coming to us.
- She hates it when people are doing anything threatening to children in movies (She especially hated “Brave” when she saw it at a friend’s house–she couldn’t finish it!).
- She also gets mad when characters in movies talk back to adults.
- She does not really recognize ownership–and she prefers other children to toys.
- Beanie definitely prefers living on the boat, and talks about it frequently.
- Her play is 50/50, as far as “boy” activities and “girl” activities. She’ll play with toy trucks, while wearing a princess costume.
- She is comfortable entertaining herself.
I would say, at this point, raising our daughter minimalistically is working out well. What have your experiences been?