We’re halfway through attachment parenting month and the question for this week’s “Green Moms Weekly” blog carnival is: What is it about being an attached family that lends itself to a minimalist parenting style? Are you criticized by others wondering why your children don’t “have the hottest new item?”
I think that as an attachment parent, the focus is much more about family and less about stuff. Even before I knew of the term attachment parenting, I knew that having things for my children was not the key to their hearts. My babies are happiest when they are given attention and love.
The minimalist parenting style perfectly fits my family and my personality. I like to live life simply and to not take too much from this planet that I often consider junk, only to end up in a landfill. My family enjoys outdoor activites that often require only ourselves and/or a ball of some sort. I also enjoy spending time in the kitchen and I find that all the toys my boys need consist of wooden spoons and bowls. As a result of keeping the toys to a minimum, I think my almost 3 year old has deveolped a really great imagination. He plays well alone or happily converses with his 7 month old brother, who just looks back at him and grins.
I don’t feel that by not having a lot of “stuff” that my children are deprived in anyway. In fact I think it is just the opposite. They have loving parents who love each other and them more than anything in the world and that is more than any child could ask for.
For my older son’s first birthday I simply asked for the large group of family and friends who came to celebrate to please not bring any gifts. I was certainly criticized by some family, saying how could I “deprive” him of all the cool new toys, but ultimately the majority of guests have listened to my requests. For those who insisted, I simply either requested for a donation to his college fund or to refain from buying plastic gifts.
As they get older it becomes harder because they see friends and family with many toys or video games that they don’t have. I just remember my childhood and we were raised with out many material posessions as well. Although I wanted many things my parents didn’t fall into the trap and instead focused on encouraging us to be creative with art or music and to be involved with outdoor activites.
Since my first baby was born I have probably purchaed all of 5 toys all of which have been wooden and are sure to last a lifetime. Not all of my purchases were new either, and we have found great items at yard sales, local consignment shops or craigslist.
What is it about minimalist parenting that you feel gives your children a headstart at life?
The regular “Green Moms Weekly” group is saying:
Naturemoms.com: Why Minimalist Parenting
Natural Moms Talk Radio Blog: Minimalism
Feel free to link up anytime this week!