Monday 12 September 2011

It is that simple! - Part 2

Previously on aux Petits Oiseaux: It is that simple! - Part 1

When people come to my place, they often comment that we don't have stuff lying around everywhere. When we moved in, 3 years ago, we selected functional pieces of furniture and added meaningful decoration accents. We now ask ourself "Do we really need this?" before buying something new and dispose responsibly of outdated items. Obviously, we did the same to create Alice's nursery.

A lot of stuff leads to a lot of choices. But what is wrong with that? These choices are distractions from a kid's natural growth (neural, social and physical) and create a false feeling of "power" (more more more!!!). According to Simplicity Parenting: "A smaller, more manageable quantity of toys invites deeper play and engagement. An avalanche of toys invites emotional disconnect and a sense of overwhelm".

Dramatically reducing the amount of toys (even those awesome vintage ones on Etsy!) is a good starting point. However, it also works for books *sigh*, clothes *sigh* and all the other rooms because a minimalist nursery would be completely inefficient in a cluttered home *sigh sigh and sigh*.

By selecting a small amount of appropriate toys (touch, imaginary play, nature, art, etc.), kids should become more attentive, imaginative and creative. As the author wrote: "Imagine watching your children create new worlds and new ways to play with their toys, instead of their requiring new toys to play with."

I remember, as I kid, I loved to recreate the world of Anne of Green Gables. I would braid my hair, dress up in old "costumes", grab a picnic basket and pour milk in a glass jar. Just like Anne, I would keep the milk cold by putting the jar in the little stream next to my mother's house. At the time, this was my definition of a perfect afternoon.

So, do you think that you can embrace a more simple environment for your family?

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I don't want to contradict myself here but look at my new rain coat...because pushing a stroller with one hand and holding a dog leash in the other doesn't leave me much option to hold an umbrella! It is indeed necessary :)

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lola: Really? You are so right. It does make grocery shopping so much easier.

daniela: It is an awesome book!!!

lydia: What was your favorite part? Are you going to try some advices from the book?

little gray pixel: How come men never decide what is for dinner??? Wow, you work until 8pm. This is a long day. I hope that you will have your family dinner time. xox

becca: Thank you. It is truly a wonderful book.

lindsey [homegrown spud]: Oh, could you please tell me more about the Montessori versus Waldorf thing. I don't know much about Waldorf and I just started to learn more information about Montessori.

luke and pamela: Your library should have it. It is very popular.

jacinthe: T'es trop hot :)

allie: Thank you so much for the information. I usually over-think stuff like that all the time. I will also try to use my mom instinct on that subject.


Unknown said...

Thats a beautiful coat! I am also trying to live a bit simpler... its hard to stop 'wanting' things but Its so much easier to have a clean home when we don't have too much stuff. For that reason alone its worth it. If everything has its place, our lives stay naturally cleaner and less stressed. I just read "Twelve by Twelve by William Powers and he really made me think about living a simpler life style and using your money in a way that will make us happier not just buy more stuff. Thanks for the awesome posts! Its nice to know there are others out there trying to live a simpler life!

emily said...

i am so excited about this book (already placed a hold at the library) and so excited about your posts. thanks!

Rebecca said...

Fab coat!! And loving this little series- It's amazing that the idea of simplicity flies in the face of society's mentality (more is more!!) so this idea is a breath of fresh air to me. Right now I am dreaming of 'simple'!! It sounds like a peaceful place to be!

Daniela said...

Looooooove the jacket!!! I found one too!! Finally! Stroller, dog (terrier crazy dog) and umbrella does not work!
I neeeed to buy this book! It's exactly what I have been thinking all along! Kids don't need 1000 toys! Don't give them the option! They are happy with the simplest things!
(right now, favourite toy: her delicious little toes! And they are free!)

Olena said...

Thank you for these reflections on importance of simplicity. I've been consciously tending to it for few years.

I don't have a kid yet, but it looks challenging to keep the toys collection minimalistic with all the gift givers that are usually around.

From all the mom blogs I read, yours is the most thought-provoking and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!

taryn said...

i was busy agreeing with everything in your post (i hope luke is the sort of kid who can entertain himself with things like boxes and his imagination) but then you said books. is there really a thing as too many books??

i gotta check this book out.

Sometimes Life is Bliss And Sometimes Not ! said...

I love your coat and as a mom with 3 small children in a small place I could not agree more with the do you really need notion! I love your blog translation is a little loose from french to english as I am a dummy American who can not read French ! love your ideas

Anne said...

Thanks again for recommending this book. I agree so much with it too.
That's how we're going to try to raise our little boy.
And it doesn't mean you can't buy an awesome new coat, it just means before buying something, you have to ask yourself whether it is necessary and pick carefully. You'll end up with a closet of things you truly love and use. Ain't I good at making the guilt disappear? ;)

Giselle said...

love the simplicity parenting idea! will definitely order the book. oh, and the coat is an investment :)