I recently came across an article from simplefamilies.com with this very title, which truly reflected my philosophy in life, applied to parenting. By no means do I preach anything or like to give people advice on how to live their lives and especially on how to raise their children, but I thought it was ok to share a summarised version of this article I really liked.
The points made by Denaye Barahona were as follows:
1. Hover less and your children will live more.
We spend so much time protecting our children, we forget to let them live. When we hover over them and perseverate over safety, our fears can undermine a child’s confidence. These fears rob them of their independence. Instead of hovering, let’s instil a sense of responsibility and natural curiosity for the world.
2. Entertain less and your children will innovate more.
When we provide endless varieties of entertainment for our children, we leave them with very little opportunity to create and explore new ideas on their own.
Skip the Pinterest activities. Then cut back on the screen time. Let kids be bored. Give them space. The innovation that results will astound you.
3. Schedule less and your children will rest more.
As humans, we need to rest our bodies and minds. This is particularly true of small bodies that are growing and maturing rapidly. Research show us that childhood anxiety is a rising epidemic in this generation. A child who grows up with anxiety is significantly more likely to be plagued with mental health challenges throughout their adult years.
4. Referee less and your children will problem solve more.
Parents have the tendency to jump in and solve any disputes and challenges that children come across. It’s easier to be the referee than watch two kids awkwardly settle their own disagreement. It’s easier to be jump in and help than wait ten minutes for a kid to fumble through shoe tying.
After you hang up that hat, get comfortable sitting on the side-lines in silence. Kids need a lot of practice to learn how to problem solve—so let’s give them many chances to do it for themselves.
5. Buy less and your children will seek more.
Research shows that clutter is associated with higher levels of stress in families. Have you yelled at your kids to clean up their rooms recently? If your home has less inside, it is easier to clean up. It is easier to take good care of fewer things.
You know what doesn’t have a long-term impact on a child happiness? The latest hit toy. Buy your children less, and as a result, they will be able to better filter out the noise and focus on the important things.
I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did!