Minimalist Parenting (2013) presents a new conception of parenting: fewer rules and more listening to your gut. Rather than following the herd’s latest parenting trends, Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest present an approach to raising a family that puts your personal and family values at the heart of your life as a parent.
If you are a parent, you’re familiar with the exhausting modern parenting treadmill of expectations, choices and pressure. Luckily, there is a way to stop the madness!
Chances are you already have everything you need for a great family life: time, love and probably enough money for basic necessities. The stress and hurdles come from an abundance of choice, stuff, obligations and guilt.
Choice is wonderful, but the incredible range of choices today, from philosophies to gadgets, is overwhelming.
Minimalist parenting, however, is not about harsh rules or living like a monk – it’s about giving yourself the permission to reject impossible expectations and so-called ideal ways of parenting. It’s about living a joyful life that fits your personal values, not those of others. Parenting this way makes your kids stronger and allows them to grow.
Here are a few steps to get started with minimalist parenting:
Begin with a fresh mindset that challenges the modern parenting demand of “more.” One way to do this is to stop comparing yourself to other parents. Even if their children have more toys, get better grades and do more activities, their style of parenting is still not yours. Everyone has to develop their own unique path.
To do so, you have to know yourself and your family. Your family might want different things than you do; if you crave adventure and travel but your family doesn’t, you shouldn’t focus everything on traveling the world.
Next, drop the idea of being perfect. Instead, try to improve bit by bit. Bear in mind that you’re not alone in your struggles and that other parents share the same worries, so talk about your experiences with them.
Finally, remember that more doesn’t necessarily mean safer or better. Your child’s future isn’t determined by his or her first violin! Real importance lies in being present, minimizing and being happy – with yourself.