Learn why kids need minimalism and how your family can benefit from choosing a life with less stuff, clutter and chaos.
Is Minimalism Good for Kids?
Have you ever taken your child to Chuck E. Cheese?
If so, I am guessing that you noticed that initially your kiddo was having a great time.
However, you probably also noticed that after a while their mood began to change.
By the time you decide to leave they are in full-blown tantrum or meltdown mode.
The lights, noise, toys and crowds all just became too much.
They became overstimulated.
Why do kids need minimalism?
While the Chuck E. Cheese example is an extreme, the same thing happens at home when their environment is cluttered and they are overwhelmed by choice.
Their little brains have trouble focusing on one thing at a time and they end up being easily distracted.
This could result in:
- Irritability, frustration and overwhelm
- Difficulty staying focused or paying attention
- Lack of interest in playing
This is not a good situation for anyone involved.
This creates a stress for the parent and makes life difficult for the child.
However, there are many benefits when children have a calm, open and decluttered environment.
Below are the top 10 reasons why kids need minimalism:
1) Reduced frustration
Children’s brains were not designed to make a million choices a day. When you start filling their environment with toys, colors, clothes and stuff their brains have trouble figuring out what to focus on. As a result, they become overwhelmed and frustrated.
When their environment is simplified they become more calm and relaxed because they are able to focus, decide and play without becoming anxious and over-stimulated.
2) Increased focus
ADD and ADHD levels are steadily increasing. As an elementary school teacher, I see more and more diagnosed kids every year. While these conditions are absolutely real, I do strongly believe that many kids are actually just distracted by all the stuff.
When you reduce the amount of toys, colors, sounds and objects you will notice and increase in any child’s ability to focus.
3) Promotes independent play
Numbers 1 and 2 above are directly related to this.
When children have fewer toys (and toys that do less playing for them) they get caught up in their own land of make believe and get good at playing by themselves and for longer chunks of time.
Independent play fosters increased self-esteem, feelings of self assuredness and their ability to problem solve.
These are all amazing skills to have because they also mean that you will have more time to get stuff done while your child entertains them-self without constantly needing your help.
4) Makes clean up manageable
One complaint I hear constantly from parents is that their children’s rooms are messy and they won’t help clean up.
Parents are surprised when I tell them that they caused the problem by buying too many toys and items of clothing in the first place.
When children have just a few toys to put away, or a few clothes to fold they are usually happy to comply because the task is manageable. But when the adults fill their rooms with tons of toys and there are clothes everywhere the child sees the task and impossible and throws a tantrum instead.
Read this next: How to Get Your Kids to Declutter
5) Encourages creativity and imagination
Many minimalist moms swear by open-ended toys to spark imagination and creativity.
Open-ended toys are toys that can be used in many different ways. Blocks are a great example because one single block can be turned into a tree, a building or a car with just a little imagination.
Unfortunately today, many toys do all the thinking for they children. They only serve one purpose.
If you are looking to reduce the number of toys in your home then choose open-ended toys that your children can use in many different ways. You will be amazed as you watch what your kids will come up with.
6) Leads to more outdoor play
Another side effect of having fewer toys and electronics is that kids will be more inclined to leave their bedrooms and head outside.
7) Teaches wants vs needs
When a family begins to lead a minimal lifestyle they also begin to set a great example when it comes to determining Wants Vs. Needs.
This is a skill that many adults in our culture have not mastered and that is why we see so many people seeking instant gratification and accumulating so much debt.
When children learn to live with less, they learn to appreciate what they have more and understand that convenience items are not essential to happiness.
8) Gives them what they really need, when they don’t know what to ask for
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, children become fussy and frustrated when they are overwhelmed. Many times this is caused by being overstimulated by their environment, choices and stress.
However, children do not have the self-awareness or language strategies to say, “ Hey all this stuff everywhere is really stressing me out!” Instead they have a meltdown or tantrum.
When you declutter and simplify you create a minimalist environment for them that allows them to thrive and regulate themselves without them having to ask for it.
9) Emphasizes experiences over things
One amazing benefit of minimalism is the shift from items to experiences. Instead of buying a bunch of plastic crap they don’t need, take them out to ice cream or on a weekend family getaway. The memories created from those experiences will last, even when those toys are broken and discarded.
10) Happy Kids = Happy Mom = Happy Kids
This here is the real reason why kids need minimalism.
When kids are calm and their environment is organized they are happy. When kids are calm and happy, it makes life easier on their moms, who then become calm and happy. Then, when kids have a calm and happy mom they are more likely to stay calm and happy. It’s an amazing cycle that keeps repeating itself and is a huge benefit to the entire family.
- Minimalist Playrooms that will Convince You to Get Rid of the Toys
Minimalism with Kids; 5 Practical Steps to Make it Easy
- Simply Decluttered – 30 Day Minimalism Challenge to Simplify Your Home
- 8 Benefits of Minimalism for Moms
There you have it mama! 10 reasons why kids need minimalism and you do too!