Slightly revised and re-posted from April 2013
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. Throughout my minimalist journey, 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 7 years old. She has attended public school for 4 years. And she doesn’t own a television (although she does watch Netflix when she is sick,we occasionally have a family movie night, and she loves her Wii), has rarely watched a Disney movie, has been given equal access to “boys'” and “girls'” toys, and enjoys a hot, homemade dinner every night.
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?
Are you working toward a simpler lifestyle? Then I would love to share your story! Please submit your original (not published anywhere else) story about how you are simplifying your life. You don’t have to be an extreme minimalist–I would love to share stories of people who are just starting out of their journey. If your story is selected to be featured, you will receive 50% off the the Simple Living Basics E-Course, after any other discounts. Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org .
New to Simple Living? Then check out our Simple Living Basics e-course. There are plenty of discounts available, and it will be an investment in a lower-stress more focused lifestyle!