Simple Premise #3 – Kids Don’t Need That

| August 3, 2012 | 0 Comments

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Parenting is a big deal to me.  I think it is to any parent.  I have chosen to be a mom, than a stay-at-home mom, and now a homeschool mom so the success of my kids is something that fills most of my days.

I get very defensive and worry about how people see my parenting because I hold it so close.  Insulting my parenting is like insulting the very core of who I am.

In the past few weeks we have downsized again and have really cut down on what we all own (including the kids items) and I worry people will question my ability as a parent providing materially for my kids.  It has made me think hard on what I believe and how parenting should work.

However, just like the other premises I believe parenting is simple.

Contrary to what society teaches kids don’t need:

  • their own room
  • every new toy
  • … really any toys
  • expensive education
  • private lessons (piano, karate, etc)
  • large personal library
  • activities planed to entertain them
  • electronics
  • brand name cloths

None of these are wrong and lots of these things make childhood easier but we need to be clear on what kids really need.  Here is what I have come up with.

Kids Do Need:

  • Love
  • Time
  • Attention
  • Someone who believes in them
  • Opportunity to explore
  • Opportunity to fail
  • Opportunity to serve
  • Chance to learn obedience and honesty
  • Physical and emotional protection
  • Access to book and basic education
  • Training and assistance in hygiene and health
  • Food, shelter, and weather appropriate cloths

These to lists are very different.  The first list is typically easier to provide.  However most of it also costs money which causes stress and takes time and energy from the second list.

The first list is also much more visible.  If I want to quickly prove I am a good parent it is much easier to pull out some of these first list items that would be obvious to anyone watching.

However parenting is a constant work requiring time, effort, and a piece of myself.  There are no shortcuts.  (want to tweet this?)

Something that really bugs me is how society has become rushed and stressed working to provide the items on list #1.  Money is the #1 cause of divorce.  (this is widely know but here is a source).  In our effort to provide for our kids the unnessesary items on list #1 we can cause a total breakdown of the family unit.  This is dangerous and serious stuff.   Kids can grow up without a stable family including both parents, but having that is much more important than anything on list #1.

If parenting has been a struggle for you, no matter what age your kids are (1-100):

  • Find some time to work on list #2 (at the expense of list #1 if needed)
  • If you are married, spend time strengthening it and the family dynamics

These are simple but not always easy.  These are the intangible that get squeezed out of the schedule when too many other things crowd in.

If you work on it on your end I will work on it on my end.  More than most things we work on, parenting has the most ongoing potential for making a positive difference in the world.  As much as it is not always easy (and often very hard) it is worth the energy.

Thanks so much for reading :)

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Category: Parenting

About the Author ()

Lorilee is a writer, God seeker, intentional wanderer, wife, and mom. You can find out more about her at Loving Simple Living. She would love to meet and connect on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest. Have an awesome simple day :)

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