I came across an article today about a mom in England who has vowed to not spend a penny on her 2 year-old son for one year. With the exception of medicine and food (but not special “kid food”), she is swearing off all spending, no new toys, new clothes, fancy toddler snacks, she’s even going to use…. cloth diapers!
Let me be clear, I think this is great. It is how I raised several of my kids, because… well- we were broke! What I find amusing about this is that:
- It makes the news.
- People think this is some kind of revolutionary thinking.
- People are concerned the child will suffer.
Minimalist parenting or whatever they want to call it isn’t a new trend started by upper middle class families who want to experience a life with less, it is something numerous families have been doing for thousands of years due to financial circumstances, environmental concerns, or choice.
Children don’t need a closet full of clothes, a room full of toys, and every new electronic gadget that comes on the market. The problem is that people often come to this realization after they’ve gone into debt purchasing these things.
Anyone who has been around children knows that kids usually like the box a toy came in as much if not more than the toy itself.
Minimalist parenting is great, but let’s stop using the term minimalist and just call it smart parenting. If you can afford to indulge your children that’s your choice. But it doesn’t make happier, smarter, better kids.
Your time is the most valuable thing you can give to your children. Invest in your children by reading to them, playing with them, and letting them help you around the house.
Kids don’t want more stuff, they want more of you.
What do you think, is minimalist parenting a new trend or something you’ve been doing for years?