When I hear the word clutter I think of an endless process and the more is best attitude. Yet I know there are segments of the population who are embracing the less is more philosophy. I think that’s so great and I want to be one of them! But what does that actually mean? How do I get rid of the more is best attitude myself and how do I teach the less is more philosophy to my child?
Sometimes it feels like this world is spinning faster
Than it did in the old days
So naturally, we have more natural disasters
From the strain of a fast pace
Sunday was a day of rest
Now, it’s one more day for progress
And we can’t slow down ‘cause more is best
It’s all an endless process
Written By: Arlos Smith
Recorded By: Rascal Flatts
I’ll be honest right now I am failing at teaching my child that less is more. I have become the mom who buys her kid stuff to make him happy which I said I would never be. That mixed with the fact that he seems more sensitive than other kids at wanting to hold onto things means I have created a clutter filled mess!
I can easily go through his stuff and purge things here and there without him noticing just to make myself sane. I can put an end to buying him things just because or always making his rewards toys or junk (yes, I am doing this currently.)
However, I want to teach him why he doesn’t need so much “stuff” to make him happy. I want him to not only be okay with letting things go when he’s done with them I want him to actually want to get rid of stuff when it’s outlived it’s usefulness.
My son is almost seven and he has a friend the same age. If my son likes some of his friends toys his friend sees that it makes my son happy and sometimes actually gives him the toy! I have to talk my son into doing the same thing.
- More stuff does not guarantee happiness of reflect love.
- I must learn that the amount of things I buy my son doesn’t reflect how much I love him. I need to teach him this as well.
- Teach the meaning of value and quality.
- I’m going to start doing better at helping my son recognize how he can better quality or more for his money as well as help him understand how much work it takes to make money for the items he wants.
- Show gratitude for what he owns.
- When my son is less than enthusiastic about playing with or picking up his toys it really shows his ungratefulness. Instead of giving endless warnings I am going to start taking away the toys he doesn’t seem to care about and donating them. I want him to see if you don’t care about it it goes away. The more we give him the less he appreciates it and I don’t want him to feel entitled or perpetually disappointed.
- Teach decision-making and awareness.
- I have a hard time watching my son struggle with decision making. I find myself answering for him more often than not. I need to learn to let him struggle with his decision, make a decision, and stick to it, no matter the consequences.
- Help limit choices.
- It’s plain as day that our kids have too many choices for their age and developmental level. I need to stop asking and start telling. I don’t need to burden his brain with so many toys, activities and distractions that he can’t decide what direction to go in.
- Less is more.
- I need to give him less material things and let his brain come up with creative things on his own.
- Talk about gratitude.
- My husband and I need to talk about what we are thankful for in front of our son and encourage him on a daily basis to tell us what he is thankful for.
- Encourage more chores.
- I need to encourage and enforce more chores around the home so that my son learns the effort involved in taking care of pets, a home, laundry and dinner.
- Acknowledge blessings and serve others.
- As a Christian I want my son to know how much his life is blessed and know who is truly bestowing these blessings upon our family. I want him to know how good it feels to serve others.
- Involve kids in daily living.
- I am a takeover mom. I hate to admit it but I am. Maybe it’s lack of patience or fear of failure but it’s hard for me not to take over in certain situations. I need to let my son vacuum even if the room doesn’t get all the way done. I need him to dust and wipe things down even if they are not perfect. I want him to learn to prepare food with us as a family and set the table even if he drops a plate. I need to relax and let him learn.
I am sure there are many many more lessons I need to learn and bad habits I need to kick to make my son into the person I want him to be. But I think this is a good list and a solid place to start our journey.
I would love to hear any tips you you have for teaching yourself or your child the “less is more” philosophy.