When you have your first baby, so many people will tell you just how complicated your life will soon be. And in some ways, it’s true. Having kids can be complicated, but I have some simple living tips that will help you see that you can live a simple life, even with a kid, or five!
I truly believe that simplifying life for our children will help them to become happier adults. A busy, complicated childhood increases stress and may actually keep your kids from discovering who they are. These simple living tips with kids will help you take action to simplify your life now.
10 Simple Living Tips with Kids
How do you live simply with kids?
Reduce clutter in your home
First, let’s work on our homes. Reduce the clutter! I’ve written a lot about decluttering, and it’s so important to help you create a peaceful atmosphere in your home. One of my favorite books, Clutterfree with Kids, by Joshua Becker, actually emphasizes the importance of reducing clutter.
It is possible to live with less. And as Becker says, “There is more joy to be found in owning less than can ever be found in organizing more.”
So, this goes with my number one tip, but let me emphasize that less really is more. I was cleaning out my daughter’s room this past week and she had so many toys crammed into her closet that she had forgotten what she even owned. If she wanted a specific toy, she would go in the room and become so overwhelmed that she would forget what she was looking for.
I cleaned out her room and now she knows what she has and where it is. Her room is also much less stressful and chaotic. Reducing toys such an important tip for living a simply family life.
Choose extracurricular activities wisely
Extracurricular activities can be wonderful, but if you aren’t careful, they can consume every evening and even your weekends. It’s not necessary to fill your child’s every waking moment with an activity, and in fact, it can be detrimental. If you don’t have time to truly discover your interests because your dad thinks your should play baseball, then you won’t discover what you’re truly good at.
Be wise and particular with the activities that you are going to give your time to. In our family, we choose one extracurricular activity outside of church for our children.
Guard your family time
Children need to feel bonded to the family. Guard that time. Make it precious. Have dinner together as a family as often as possible. Go to church as a family. Plan family outings once a month. It doesn’t even have to cost anything. Go to a local park, take a walk around your neighborhood, but keep your family time sacred while your children are still young enough to want to be around you.
Create traditions that your children will carry with them throughout their lives. We always have Pizza Fridays and Taco Tuesdays. We watch a movie together on pizza night. Prayer is another important tradition in our home that we are sharing with our kids. Of course, we also have our special holiday traditions, too, such as the Shepherd on the Search and the Christmas Eve gift bag.
Teach your kids to cook
Don’t neglect teaching your kids this important life skill! Food brings families together, so get your kids involved in the meal prep. Teach them special recipes and let them work alongside you. Maybe you’re learning a new cooking skill, too. Bring your kids in with you. You can see my daughter and I cooking a roast chicken together, one of our favorite meals!
Your children need to feel like they are an important part of your family. Have them do age appropriate chores. Let them know how important it is for them to help around the house. Everyone lives in the house and contributes to the mess, so everyone needs to pitch in to help keep the home clean!
Get to know your own backyard
Do you know what kinds of plants and flowers are in your yard? Take your kids outside and learn together. Become connected with where you live through informal nature study.
We have a small elm tree in our backyard and if I wasn’t observant I never would’ve noticed the little robin’s nest that is perched in it.
My kids and I have become accustomed to looking for our robin friends. We also intentionally plant flowers in our yard that will bring butterflies to us. We hang a bird feeder so we can watch different birds.
If you like to garden, that is another wonderful way to connect with nature, but it’s not necessary!
Share interests with your child
Take an interest in what your child is interested in. My oldest son loves Minecraft, so I intentionally buy him books and toys that are related to that interest, and then we talk about it. I can’t say I’m a huge Minecraft fan myself, but I want him to know that I’m interested in what he’s interested in.
Create an atmosphere at home that your children are comfortable in
In Sally Clarkson’s book, The Life Giving Home, she talks about creating a comfortable atmosphere in the home. Keep a tidy home, maybe light a candle or brighten the space with some flowers. Keep arguing to a minimum. The atmosphere you keep in your home will determine whether your child wants to come back to visit when they are grown.
Clutterfree with Kids
If you are ready to simplify your life with your kids and you want to start in the home, I highly recommend reading, Clutterfree with Kids.