Every now and then I see behaviors in my children that tell me they are internalizing things that I’ve said, or done, or assumptions they’ve made about my values based on my actions. Thankfully, most of the time it seems like it’s the good things they are picking up on.
My shift towards minimalism is not something that has gone unnoticed by my two sons and daughter. In fact, as I was thinking about this the other day after one of the kids was aghast at crumbs on the kitchen floor, I started thinking about other things they’ve said and done that indicate they are picking up traits of minimalism without really even knowing it.
I thought it would be fun to share some of them-
My boys don’t like it when I purchase them new clothing. They complain that it’s just more for them to wash, fold and hang up.
My middle child thought we were on our way to a featured episode of Hoarders because he found a hidden pile of food crumbs on the kitchen floor under the mat.
My youngest asked me if I’m still into minimizing when he saw that my shopping list had more than 10 items on it.
All three of my children have less of a problem getting rid of gifts they aren’t using than I do.
They haven’t seemed to notice the gradually decreasing size of Easter baskets and Christmas stockings.
They are really quick to point out when I am making a purchase that appears to be a duplicate of another item we own, or we have something that would work just fine for the same purpose.
All three of our children love traveling and exploring new places.
Even though they are typical kids and enjoy their electronics, they also enjoy quiet walks, fishing, camping, reading and drawing.
My daughter purposely tells me she wants a very simplified hair and makeup routine.
You may wonder why my kids have these qualities. Have I taught them from birth, are they naturally inclined to minimalism? Neither. Teaching by example is the main way they have learned. When I first became interested in simple living, I focused on my personal possessions, then expanded to my lifestyle. Along the way I shared the ideas behind doing this with my children. One by one they have grasped certain aspects of simple living and incorporated them into their own lives.
My boys have completely embraced the minimalist wardrobe principles because they dislike doing laundry at this stage in life, while my daughter is a typical tween in our culture who loves her many bright colored outfits to choose from. However, she has purposely expressed the idea that she wants a simplistic makeup and hair routine and is also getting very good at letting go of items she no longer uses.
Teaching by example is the best way to teach your children about embracing a simple life. My husband and I started living like this when they were 5,7 and 9, so it is definitely not something they have just seen since birth. They have been old enough to watch the changes I was making and understand the reasons behind them, and are now living those same principles due to our examples.