By Joshua Becker
A MEANINGFUL AND INTERESTING SET OF PRINCIPLES THAT ARE KEPT IN PRACTICE AND ENCOURAGED BY A DAD WHO RUNS A WEBSITE CALLED BecomingMinimalist.Com THAT IS WORTH CONSIDERING. HE HAS SOME SPECIAL INSIGHTS I FEEL. IN A WORLD THAT IS SO FOCUSED ON MONEY AND MATERIAL POSESSIONS ETC MAYBE WE NEED TO REMEMBER OR BECOME AWARE OF THESE THINGS. BESIDES, SOME PEOPLE FEEL LIKE THEY DON'T HAVE MUCH TO OFFER THEIR KIDS, AND MAYBE THEY COULD FEEL A LITTLE RICH IF THEY'RE LIVING WITH SOME OF THESE PRINCIPLES IN THEIR HOME OR THAT THEY CAN BE. THERE ARE SOME GOOD OLD-FASHIONED THINGS HERE IN THIS POST THAT WERE PRACTICED BY GRANDPARENTS AND GREAT GRANDPARENTS OF YESTERYEAR THAT MAKES FOR HAPPY CHILDREN AND MAKES A HOUSE A HOME AND MOST OF US COULD BENEFIT FROM SOME OF THEM.
“If you haven’t time to respond to a tug at your pants leg, your schedule is too crowded.” – Robert Brault
Whether you have money in your bank account or not, you have something they need:
- Love. More important than anything else, children need your love. When children are loved, they develop self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, and a capacity to love others.
- Time/Attention. Children need your interest and attention. They need quality time with you and they need quantity time with you. The most valuable resource you have is your time, give some to a child everyday.
- Encouragement/Affirmation. Sometimes one simple word of appreciation can change an entire life. Make sure children know that you are proud of them often. Every chance you get, never withhold an encouraging word.
- Stability. A stable home becomes the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives. They need to know their place in the family, who they can trust, and who is going to be there for them. Don’t keep changing those things.
- Opportunity. Kids need opportunities to experience new things so they can find out what they enjoy and what they are good at. They also need opportunities to grow in their interests. This relates to education, activity, food, and friends. And contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t have to require much money.
- Discipline. Children need to learn everything from the ground-up including appropriate behaviors, how to get along with others, how to get results, and how to achieve their dreams. Discipline should not be avoided or withheld. Instead, it should be consistent and positive.
- A good laugh. Laughter is good for a child’s mental and physical health. Encourage joy and laughter. Tell jokes and silly stories. Laugh at their crazy escapades and yourself.
- Your lap. It’s the best place in the entire world for a book, a story, or a good conversation. And it’s been right in front of you this whole time.
- Room to make mistakes. Kids are kids. That’s what makes them so much fun… and so desperately in need of your patience. Give them room to experiment, explore, and make mistakes.
- Hugs and kisses. As many as possible and as often as possible!
Improve a child’s life today and the life you change just might be your own.
Someone commented on his website "I like simplifying my life with kids, which is possible and takes some time on our part. As a parent of two small kids, I find your posts so much useful as you write with kids in mind. Thank you."
Another commented "I believe that a sub-point for discipline could be boundaries. Because if children don’t have boundaries they would never learn when is enough. I believe children are constantly pushing to see how far they can go before they’re told no. Without established boundaries they can get into trouble later on in life."
Some of these principles are practiced today in a lot of Christian Homes and also by thoughtful parents who have carried down Family Traditions. In the last 20 years, I have noticed many New Australian Families spending times together in Parks and Parklands, walking together or having picnic lunches. Some of them told me they do this often and it is their way of life they had overseas often. I've known a few families who do this almost every weekend - their kids have grown up quite happy and stable - it's nice to see.