Saturday, January 30, 2016

Our Minimalist Home

I've been wanting, for awhile, to share some pictures of our home. We love being here, and we enjoy showing it off. Here are pictures and brief explanations of our space and how we use it.

Living Room

We do most of our hosting on the main floor, which contains our living room and kitchen, as well as a half-bath off the kitchen. Because our living room doesn't have a light built in, we have to use several lamps so it isn't so dim we get sleepy at night (especially on long winter days, when it starts getting dark around 4 PM). We have a clock on the wall and some pictures near the entryway.

One shelf has reference and literature books. The other only holds items our daughter plays with. There are six or seven toys, a few items which "nest", her Simba, and a box of blocks.

Two couches and a love seat might seem like too much, but we frequently need all of them, and the rug is mostly to protect the cream carpet from my daughter :). The mirror and the clock were gifts from my mother.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Parenting Methods: RIE Approach (or “Educaring”)

RIE is probably the closest to my instinctual parenting style. I came across a blog about it quite by accident, then I read a couple books about it – one by the founder of the method, Magda Gerber. Here are some guidelines RIE teaches:

  • Every child should have a safe environment where he/she can play and explore
  • Babies need time to play on their own and with other babies
  • Childcare activities (diaper changing, baths, feeding, etc.) should make the child an active participant and warrant your undivided attention
  • Weaning should take place at one year old if you can't manage any sooner
  • You shouldn't use pacifiers
  • Sleep-training is strongly encouraged
  • Anything your child is to learn should be learned independently, as much as is possible. This includes talking, potty training, rolling over, crawling, walking, etc.

This parenting style gets a lot of flack because people think it expects your child to be too adult. I don't see how this is true, as every child longs to be like an adult, and children spend all their time imitating what they see. Here are the points fleshed out and my comments on them.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Parenting Methods: Minimalist (or “Simple”) Parenting

I've talked about minimalism often, and this style of parenting was one I liked before I knew it had a name! It appeals to me because of its simplicity. We live a simple life-style, so it naturally fits into our lives. Some of the basic practices of minimalist parenting are as follows:

  • Remember what was important to you as a child and incorporate those experiences into your own parenting
  • Own less toys but provide more opportunities to have meaningful experiences
  • Don't fill up your schedule with constant doings

I think parents like the sound of this, though it may be hard to practice, because we live in a world where busyness is a virtue, and you know how much a child is loved by how many awesome presents he/she gets from his/her parents. Let's talk about each of these practical ideas separately.