Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The one on Kids and Simplicity

Yesterday I read this very thought provoking article. It is titled, Why I Took all of my Kids Toys Away {And Why they won't be getting them back} by Ruth at Living Well Spending Less. It had me thinking all day!

It had me thinking about how much most kids in America have and yet how unhappy they are. It seems the more "stuff" kids have to entertain them the more often you hear "I am bored". I know from our own cycle of having lots of toys and having a lot less and then letting them build up again that my kids are definitely happier when they have less. Put them in a messy playroom totally surrounded by toys and you will be guaranteed one melt down after another. Put on the TV all morning and just wait for the sibling bickering and fighting to start... because it will! It makes me think that more than almost anything else kids need simplicity. Simple toys (and very few), simple routines, simple days...

But, have you tried that lately? Our culture is so the opposite! I feel like I would have to move out into the middle of nowhere with basically no electricity and no friends to pull that off! But then, maybe that is just an excuse. Because, in reality the culture itself isn't the problem. My participation in the culture is. My unwillingness to "Mom-Up" and decide what is best for my kids instead of letting everyone else decide what is best.

I think we all do it... we know fast food is bad for our kids and we drive-thru the McWendyKing's for the second time this week. We know the negative effects of TV but we are the ones that suggest an afternoon Arthur marathon so we can sit in peace and quiet for awhile. And we are the ones that wrap the mounds of birthday and Christmas presents and then wonder where they all came from (okay, relatives are to blame for this one too! But, at the end of the day the parents are responsible for the toys that stay).

So, I guess I am in a place of asking myself the tough questions. How am I contributing to the problem of greed, boredom, and materialism in my own children? And, most importantly, what do I need to do to change?

Honestly, I could make a lot of excuses for myself here. I have seen kids that are a lot worse than mine. I could brush it all off and believe that my kids are the exception to the rule. But, I don't want to do that.

Because, I want what is BEST for my kids. I am not willing to settle for mediocre when it comes to the most important task on the planet. I want them to grow up with the right priorities and a vision of loving God and loving others for their life. And I don't think that can happen very easily when we are buried underneath all of the stuff.

So, hopefully, I will be sharing some of my journey along the way. Yesterday I shared how we simplified lunch in our house. Next on the agenda is toys and books... this could take a little bit but I will keep you all updated! Have any of you recently taking any steps to simplify in the lives of your children?

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