Raise Them Simple

a black and white photo of a mother and her baby sitting in tall grass. The baby is wearing a cowboy hat with jeans and no shirt and the mother is holding him up. She has a floral dress on with her hair down.

When I googled “raising children” before our Beaumont was even born, most of what popped up were articles on raising successful children. I was faced with article after article that addressed how to give your children a leg up in the world, how to help them succeed + be prepared for their future, how to help them keep up with multiple after-school activities and succeed in school, or even tips on motherhood during the daily grind of school drop offs and sport practices. I couldn’t help but question if this was something I even wanted to instill in my motherhood journey or future children’s lives, because truth be told it almost seemed like the magic of childhood was overshadowed by the successes. Isn’t success subjective after all?

Somewhere along the line of growing a baby and breastfeeding him to sleep in the quiet hours of the night, I realized I don’t want to have a strict schedule or marathon of after school activities when our children become old enough.

I want slowness.

I want intention.

I want space to guide them in finding interests and hobbies of their own.

I want simplicity.

It was during those nights after Beaumont dozed off to sleep that I started writing thoughts about what a slow childhood could be like. I do want to mention that I truly believe it is without a doubt SO MUCH HARDER to lead a slow paced life as a family today than when I was a young child. Many things are to blame for that; phones, social media, a push for successful children at a young age, the idea we glorify busy-ness, etc! The list goes on, but it is without hesitation my heart so clearly wants to choose simplicity over all of it.

We may not be experts in keeping life as simple as we strive for on a daily basis, but we try.

The Magic of Childhood Rooted in Simplicity

RAISE THEM SIMPLE

Here are 6 ways we focus on raising children simple:

Choose quantity of time and leave space to breathe in your schedule.

Magic takes time. Memories take time. The impromptu walks before the sun goes down and cloud gazing and hammock swings or making breakfast for dinner on a whim all take time. And I would venture to say you can’t schedule miraculous moments when you don’t have the space to breathe life into a slow day. Schedules and routine have their place in life, but as a mother striving for simplicity so does beautiful space without plans. A day where we wake up with no plans has often blossomed into some of the happiest times with our Beau.

Remember that less is more.

Beaumont experienced his first Christmas at a whopping 11 months old and I was reminded; less is more. He had a few gifts nestled under our tree to open Christmas morning, but he would have been happy with one gift.

When we give children too many choices or have a toy room full of everything you could imagine it can be overwhelming. Not only for them but us too! If you do one things for your child this week, I encourage you to purge their room/toy room! Sit and interact with them as they play and take note of what they actually play with and what they find no interest in. A 2021 study showed that 80% of children play with only 20 or fewer toys out of all the toys they have. The likely hood that your child(ren) is in that 80% is fairly high.

Remember to choose what comes into your home with intention and care, always.

Let them be bored and embrace free play.

I know everything in us wants to solve our children’s every problems. But even at one year old, Beaumont is a creative little human that can busy himself if I give him the space. Sometimes the best thing we can do for our children is nothing at all. Give them the chance to use their imagination. I find watching your children during free play helps you gain better perspective on their interests and hobbies too. These tiny humans we have the privilege of raising are ever growing and learning just like we are!

Limit screentime.

We aren’t yet at an age where limiting screen time has to be something we worry about with our son, but I can only hope screen time is far and few between for our children as they grow up. We don’t have TV in our house so the temptation to watch shows isn’t really an option unless we were to break out our laptop (which typically happens after Beau goes to sleep if we watch a show!) We are planning on getting a projector and white hanging sheet to have an occasional movie night as our family grows.

TV, phones, tablets or whatever you use as a glorified babysitter is not only a time suck but robs our children and us of memories we could be making. None of us are perfect parents when it comes to raising our children, but removing your television or other sources of screens from the home may just surprise you at how imaginative and fun your children can really be.

The truth is your child probably won’t remember that episode of CoCoMelon when they’re older, but they will definitely remember how you made them feel when you impromptu popped some popcorn and built a blanket fort together on a rainy Saturday morning.

Spend as much time outside as possible.

It’s no secret that green spaces can do wonders for children. Playing outside helps children grow in curiosity, creativity and critical thinking. Studies have found that children who spent more time in nature exploration had improved learning outcomes. Research also shows that when children spend time in natural settings they have less anger and aggression.

Why are children allowed to spend more time gaming and watching shows on their tablets than encouraged to explore the great outdoors? I think it’s important to ask yourself if you child spends virtually no to little time outside every week, is that a reflection of yourself? The answer is probably yes. So take this as a wake up call for the entire family to experience intentional outside time together everyday. It will help your mood too, mama!

A great way to do this is start a ‘1000 hours outside challenge’ as a family! You can find more info and resources about this HERE.

Choose simplicity on a daily basis for yourself.

If you don’t choose to live in a space of intention, simplicity, and slowness why would your children? We have to share in the calm. When you run around frazzled trying to get everyone out the door or the morning chores done like a chicken with your head cut off, your children will undoubtedly catch on that you don’t have time to do what truly matters to you.

Mama, if we want a slow and simple life for our children shouldn’t we want the same for ourselves? If you aren’t sure where to start on this journey our Simple Living Journal Prompts is a great place to start.

6 journal prompts to help mothers re-align with what it truly means to live in the slowness of today’s chaotic world.

DOWNLOAD HERE

If it feels like you’re living in the fast lane mama and you don’t know where to exit, just know you’re not alone. With a little bit of thought about what you want childhood to be for your children and a shift in your current habits, you can get there.

RELATED POSTS:

What is Slow Living and Why Choose to Practice It?

10 Slow Living Tips for the Work From Home Mom

5 Simple Steps You Can Take to Live a Slower Paced Life


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