Believe it or not, boredom is a good thing. How can that be true? The basic concept behind this notion is that when a child is bored, they will then become imaginative to find a way to fill that boredom hole. Contrastingly, if a child is constantly stimulated, boredom never happens, and, so, creativity is cut to a minimal. Can parents strike a balance between the two successfully? Is it okay to let children be bored for periods of time?
There’s a growing trend towards raising minimalist children, and that trend has been picking up a lot of steam for one very good reason: children today are over-stimulated. With tablets, video games, and a myriad of other entertainment go-tos, children hardly ever have the time to create, imagine, and “be bored.” Part of raising a minimalist child is to start getting rid of some of the toys and items that your child really doesn’t need, and keeping the things in your home to a real bare minimum. Here’s how to accomplish it all.
Start By Explaining
If you’re new to minimalism, that probably means that your family and friends are new to the idea too. So, you’ll have some explaining to do. Try and tell your loved ones why you don’t want hundreds of birthday gifts for your kids, or why one Christmas present is enough. Most people won’t understand your philosophy, but most will respect your choices. If people insist on giving your child lots of gifts anyway, start packing some of those things away. You can place some items in a storage unit, or you can donate some items to a child in need.
One good way to change the playroom atmosphere while still respecting a minimalist lifestyle is to store the majority of toys that your child has, and switch toys periodically to change things up. Your child will appreciate the “new” toys, but you can still go with the minimalist flow. After you’ve explained your new minimalist philosophy to those people around you, you’ll have to explain to your child the decision that you’ve made to have less things (unless your child is an infant, and then you can simply raise her to think minimally!).
Lead by Actions
It doesn’t make any sense to cut back on the toys in a child’s playroom, but cram your home with tons of things that you love. You have to lead by example in this case, and that means getting rid of some of the things that you have in your house currently. Do you really need hundreds of bowls or books? Can you store some of those larger things in a storage facility until you can sell them or use them at a later time?
Look around your home at the things that you never use. Then, think to yourself whether or not you’d actually miss those items were they to disappear. Chances are that you’d barely notice the difference, but your home would be cleaner with less clutter, and your child would learn by example — if mom doesn’t have a ton of stuff, why should I? See how that works?
Pick a Few Activities
Exercise is great for kids, but cramming a ton of activities into a child’s schedule brings up that boredom issue again. Living the minimalist lifestyle means not signing your kid up for everything, but letting her pick the one or two things that she really wants to do. This will provide some needed downtime between activities for your child to simply kick back, relax, and think of imaginative things to do – like read a book, write something, or create an imaginary world to play in. All of those things are a large part of childhood, and they all add up to a really creative adult!
Cut Back on Screen Time
A vast number of North American households now have more than one TV, plenty of tablets, and tons of video game consoles. That’s a lot of screen time for kids! Either cut back on these options by setting up either one console or one TV in your home, or create a schedule that lets kids know when they can and can’t use any kind of screen. You’ll find that you don’t need that much electronic stimulation in your home anyway!
Where to Store Your Stuff
At Waterglen, we offer large and affordable storage units. If you do decide to go minimalist, you can store many of your items in a storage locker, and pick those things up if you decide that you do need them after all. Our storage units in Fort Collins can accommodate all kinds of items, and our grounds are completely secure at all hours of the day. Call Waterglen Storage today for more information or for a complete list of rates.