Choosing Simplicity in a Modern World
As parents, we go above and beyond to make sure that our children have everything they need, receive the very finest education, feel safe and taken care of.
Yet, it feels at times that the more we try to make them happy, the more challenging it becomes. Today’s society seems to largely promote material accumulation over authentic experiences that can help ourselves and our children achieve happiness. Rather than fall prey to the consumption trap, a growing number of families are embracing a simpler way of life.
1- Turn off the electronic devices!
Teaching your children to embrace simplicity is a lot easier than you think: start by bringing back the basics – trade iPads and smartphones for books and board games, encourage them to go play outside rather than sit in front of a computer or video game, and limit their TV time.
Don’t rush into it: your children may feel like it’s a punishment and may not agree with this choice. Lead by example. Start by introducing these healthier activities on the weekend, and progressively reduce their interaction with electronics. Changing old habits takes a little time, but it’s well worth it!
2- Let go of old baggage
Take a fresh start by de-cluttering and really asking yourself what is essential to your lifestyle. Living minimally is life-changing. It will fill your home with a burst of positive energy that is conducive to productivity and new endeavors.
For children too, less is more: ask them to regularly put away or, better yet, gift toys that they haven’t played with for over a month, clothes that don’t fit, or books and manuals that they are no longer using.
Use this example from The Minimalists as a way to get the whole family involved and see what you really could live without!
3- Promote family time
Carving time for positive human interactions is the root of a happier family lifestyle. During the week set aside a night to have game or movie night. Use weekends to start cooking together, run or bike as a family, learn a new instrument or experiment your arts and crafts skills. Try it and see how it works wonders!
Simplicity is a core component of sustainable living. It is the decision to act and consume with intention and mindfulness; choosing items and thoughts that align within your value system. Rise to the challenge and prepare to be happily surprised.