Sunday, November 17, 2013

Living Simply with Children

I finished reading this book a few days ago.

JD bought it and read it a month or so ago and then passed it on to me to read. Living simply is something we're already doing and interested in so it was good to read a book someone had written on this topic. The concept behind the book is downshifting your life to free up time to spend with your family. Working less, spending less and creating a life where you can spend your time doing the things that matter to you most.

I've always felt that spending time with your kids is the best thing you can do for them. I'm always trying to think of different simple, inexpensive activities we can do as a family. We enjoy baking together, going on walks, fishing in the river and lots of other things. Yet, still I worry how my children feel about having less 'stuff' bought for them than their friends. It's hard to live simply in such a material world. I want them to grow up remembering a fun childhood spent with their family and not feeling deprived or resentful that they didn't have the latest smart phone. Reading this book did reassure me that sticking to my own personal values about 'spoiling' my children is the right thing to do.

The book tackles lots of problems you face in trying to bring up children to have good values. It gives plenty of ideas to help you focus on the things that are important to you. I feel like we've already made some changes towards living in a more simple way in our family but I've got a few ideas from this book that I'd like to try out.

  • Having a weekly family time where all 'screen' activities (TV, videos internet etc) are banned for a few hours.
  • Making my kids more globally aware so they realise how children from other countries live compared to them.
  • Re-thinking our Christmas activities to make it less commercial.
  • Helping the kids focus on what they want to spend their time doing.
  • Teach them better money maintenance.

But most of all I want to continue to spend time with my family, getting out into nature, talking, laughing and having fun. The general belief that a successful life is one where you earn lots of money, own lots of stuff and have a big house or car couldn't be further from the truth for what I want from my life. I want to lead a simple, happy life and get to spend as much time with my family as possible...and hopefully they want to spend time with me because that would be awkward, haha :D

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