We hear so much about the value of simplicity. Be it the joy of having less, the freedom of a minimalist lifestyle or the relaxation inherent in simple living, we recognize the benefits.
This week I’d like to explore simplicity and how you can help your children simplify their lives.
One effect of this pandemic has been to help us simplify our lives. Many of us have cleared our agenda. Our constant busy-ness has decreased. This includes taking children to different activities.
This lack of regular activity is not necessarily a bad thing for children. Studies show those who are over-scheduled are more stressed, even if the activities are enjoyable.
I am wondering how you reacted the last time your child said, “I’m bored.” Is boredom a cause for alarm, or do you see it as a natural part of the human condition?
I remember over 30 years ago, telling someone special to me I felt bored and her response was, “Whose responsibility is it to entertain you?” It felt like a blow, but I knew she was right. I had to work on finding things I enjoyed doing.
How can we help our children find and enjoy their own self-made entertainment? Digital devices hinder their ability to do this. They gravitate toward them, like a moth to a flame, yet a break from this barrage of stimuli is refreshing.
Try providing children a 1/2 hour of no devices and no planned activities. Thirty minutes they can use however they want. Whether it’s reading a book or playing without adult supervision (or minimal as their age permits). Blow bubbles, build with blocks, paint, throw leaves; there’s so much to enjoy.
If they can go out into the yard, provide interesting and unrelated items for them to assemble or create with. A pile of discarded items can really spark their creativity. Things like cardboard boxes, pieces of plastic, cans, and bottles, tubes and balls. The list is endless.
Children enjoy simplicity when it is available to them. Allow them the time to find this pleasure. Then step back and watch the magic.