The second item in my “Rich Legacy for Kids” series is minimalism and sustainable living. I would like to raise my children knowing that quantity does not equate success, wealth or happiness. They don’t need a lot. I’d like them to realize early that they can do more with less and be beautiful/handsome in simplicity. Most of all, I’d like them to realize that they should be mindful of their actions’ impact on other people and on the environment.
Toys. We’ve scaled down when it comes to toys. We buy ones which we believe could help with the development of their imaginations. I’ve also retained a few of their favorites and interests which promote conversations and/or thinking and problem-solving. I’ve slowly surrounded them with books instead. (You may read more here / Keeping Toys at the Minimum.)
Food. I highly discourage them to waste food by avoiding left-overs. I try to teach them to taste the food first before getting a whole piece, slice or a full serving. I also teach them to get what they think they can finish. If they want more after they’ve finished the first serving, then they can go for another round. Lastly, I now limited their choices for baon and merienda unlike before when I buy many kinds of snacks for them to choose from. Now, I ask them what they want, then that’s what they will get.
Clothes and Bags. I teach my kids that there’s nothing wrong about hand-me-downs and repeating clothes as long as they are still in good condition and fit them well. Also, with clothes, at a young age, I try to educate them in kid-friendly manners about going for quality rather than quantity and trends. I think that if I could instill in them these values and smart choices, their sub-conscious might retain the lessons and will emerge once they need to in their adolescence. For this school year, my kids are reusing their backpacks and school shoes.
Value over Price Tag. I grew up with an awful lot of insecurities. I used to wear the cheapest (in money and in quality) kinds of shoes and clothing. When I started earning money, I splurged carelessly on these non-essentials which I thought would build myself up (my confidence and my character). Of course, I was mistaken. Again, in everything material, I’d like my children to consider the value, not the price tag, brand name or quantity. I don’t want them to grow up with the same notions that I had – believing false advertisements and allowing other people’s opinions and noise shape me. I don’t want them to define their purpose and worth based on the brands they use, physical attributes and how much possessions they have.
I need to live up to this minimalist and sustainable lifestyle if I really want my kids to inherit this kind of living from me. While I am struggling to find time to face the dragon in my own life, I’m certain that I will get there soon. Right now, I find myself always juggling organizing between my clothes and the kids’ toys (mostly gifts or giveaways). So much work to do, I know. But, it’ll be all worth it, I know that much as well.