Embracing Minimalist Parenting can be a good idea, but let us learn what it is first. Is it possible for your family to have a better time by doing less? Minimalist parenting encourages parents to trim down their activities and possessions to only those vital.
From the advent of capsule wardrobes to the cottage economy centered on Marie Kondo, her Netflix show to an online store to a children’s book, minimalism has characterized many trends in the last decade. Of course, there’s minimalist parenting.
What is minimalist parenting, exactly?
Despite its popularity, minimalism has no universally accepted definition, let alone minimalist parenting. The term “minimalism” is derived from a 1960s art movement and has only recently been applied to our clothes, belongings, and décor. What does it mean to be a minimalist parent? In 2013, Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest published Minimalist Parenting, popularizing the term. Their strategy is to do less of everything: less material, less schedule, and fewer interventions in a child’s life.
Too much consumerism, according to experts, can be harmful to children, but it’s not easy to live in a minimalist family if you’re not one yourself.
Benefits of Embracing Minimalist Parenting
For many years, the focus of parenting has been on more. More professional advice, more gear, more competitiveness, more safety concerns, and more educational, nutritional, and entertainment options to consider.
As a result, embracing minimalist parenting will decrease the percentage of parents who are overworked and confused and children who are over-scheduled and over-parented.
Why is Minimalism the Best Option
Overparenting is exhausting for both you and your child, and it stifles their creativity. New research suggests that the tiger parenting craze may cause long-term mental health problems. “Children reared by authoritarian parents have maladaptive outcomes including melancholy, anxiety, and poor social skills,” said Qing Zhou, an assistant professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and director of the campus’s Culture and Family Laboratory. According to Joshua Becker, author of The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own, 75 percent of parents are too busy to read to their children at night. The number of youngsters enrolled in daycare and after-school activities is increasing.
Americans are having a difficult time finding vacation opportunities these days. Approximately 33% of Americans experience high stress daily. In addition, over half of all Americans report anxiety that keeps them awake at night. That is a serious issue. We’ve become overworked.
What if this excess didn’t consume you? Imagine your children having lots of time and breathing room to make their own decisions! What if you started embracing minimalist parenting?
Seven ways to embrace minimalist parenting
GIVE YOUR CHILD THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE JUST THEMSELVES.
Most children are accustomed to being occupied. Therefore, they may become bored if they are not taught, coached, or entertained by a screen. And their boredom is unlikely to make them appreciate silence right away. They’ll almost certainly request more distractions and entertainment. Teach your children to do nothing, to relax and settle their brains fully, and they will be less agitated and more in tune with themselves. It’s also unlikely to be as tough to teach as you think.
In Rachel Jonat’s book The Joy of Doing Nothing: A Real-Life Guide to Stepping Back, Slowing Down, and Creating a Simpler, Joy-Filled Life, she says: “Doing nothing for kids should be the same as it is for adults: simple, pleasant, and easy.” To begin with, age-appropriate and kid-specific brief relaxation breaks for your children. Make your first tries short and sweet: invite them to sit for three minutes and imagine themselves at their favorite park or beach or observing clouds outside. Request that they sit quietly and focus on only one thing, such as a peaceful and enjoyable experience or activity. The older the youngster gets, the longer these periods of inactivity can last.
APPROACH PLAYTIME WITH A “DO LESS” METHOD.
Your child’s creativity will be awakened once they’ve adapted to minimalism, and they’ll move on from their breaks to deeper creative, mental, or physical play. This brain reboot will clear their minds of distractions, allowing them to engage in the type of play and activities that will nourish their minds and bodies. Doing nothing will lead to the kind of open-ended, limited-toy, imagination- and nature-focused play that is necessary for appropriate development in younger children. Doing nothing can be a great way for teenagers to prepare for school, homework, sports, or music practice.
Children require time to get used to open-ended creative and physical play, especially if they don’t do it daily. If you wish your kids to spend more time outside or engage in open-ended play, a brief period of doing nothing could be a good place to start. Use that uninterrupted time, even if it’s only five minutes, to help your kids reboot.
You’re damaging your child’s independence and ability to think for (and entertain) themselves when you regulate what happens during playing. When we give children fewer toy options, they can be more imaginative and inventive. After all, “the essential evidence of intelligence is not information but imagination,” as Einstein put it.
PERMIT YOUR CHILD TO MAKE CHOICES.
Allowing your child to be free of your constant control does not simply let them eat ice cream and watch television for days on end. It entails giving kids more free playtime and allowing them to choose their interests. Do they want a full program of ballet, karate, swim lessons, and Mandarin? Allowing kids to make their own decisions will aid in the development of their executive functions. It also means you’ll have less stress and less back-and-forth between activities. For the win, minimalist parenting! This isn’t to say that your children shouldn’t participate in activities, but there should be a break from them and a greater focus on what they want to do.
REMOVE EXCESS STUFF FROM YOUR HOME
The bedroom of your child is their area in the house. While your mental health must convert shared rooms into sparsely furnished places, assisting your children in clearing out their own space can help them recognize the benefits as well.
Consider establishing some technology-free zones in your home. Consider the key areas of your home where you spend most of your time and try to select either a completely tech-free room or a room with minimal technology. Also, rotate toys in and out of play spaces to keep them from becoming cluttered. When a youngster has too many toys, their attention span can deteriorate. When there are other possibilities still on the shelves, a child will rarely learn to appreciate the object in front of them properly.
SETTING A SCHEDULE FOR MINIMALIST PARENTING
This section is for you if you haven’t gone to the restroom with the door shut in five years or if your calendar is full of carpools for three different soccer schedules because you have earned this time to accomplish nothing in your life.
FRINGE HOURS CAN BE USED
The best place to start looking for do-nothing time is during those off-peak hours. With a few simple lifestyle changes, the fringe hours can truly become a bounty of usable time when we are typically too wary of taking advantage of them. Take advantage of the time to have a brief moment to yourself. It’s possible.
∙ I am getting up early to enjoy morning peace before those early risers.
∙ Doing one tiny piece of prep work the night before—putting the kids’ clothes out, filling daycare bags—so you can fit in some time while they’re eating breakfast.
∙ They are reclaiming a portion of your evening. If mornings are impossible to avoid, consider the evening.
∙ Before going to bed, almost everyone can spare twenty minutes. Set the alarm for thirty minutes before you want to go to bed, and when it goes off, put down whatever you’re doing.
POSTPONING NON-ESSENTIAL HOUSEWORK.
Make it a habit to tell yourself that the washing can wait. Parents frequently work during downtime at home, such as when their children are resting or happily engrossed with Lego construction. While their youngsters engage in do-nothing activities, they open their work computers or complete some household duties.
Parents scurry around attempting to “catch up” as their children happily engage in a solitary and refreshing activity. Afterward, they return home tired and ready to fall asleep on the sofa after reading the last bedtime tale.
Consider what matters most to your family. Laundry will be completed; it always is. Dinner will be served; that is always the case. But, because they took time for self-care, will there be a focused parent at the dinner table, ready to listen and respond?
Embracing minimalist parenting will need some planning and forethought. The entire family benefits when everyone has the space and time to do nothing. Doing nothing creates a new pleasant family rhythm.
On the other hand, your efforts will almost surely lead to your family learning to respect who they are rather than what they have.
Authored by Afifa Maryam Siddiqui
Edited by Yara Fakhoury
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