Minimalism and Your Money

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Act Like a Kid Again! And Live More Intentionally

5 Things We Can Learn From Kids on How to Live More Intentionally

My wife and I are doing our best to raise our two boys, who are now 5 and 4. I would like to think we have taught them a thing or two about life so far, but they have taught us so much more. We’ve learned to be more patient, less selfish and more responsible. But they’ve also taught us to live our lives more intentionally. Having kids has made us a lot more tired and a lot busier, but they have also reminded us how to have fun and they have allowed us to feel a kind of love neither of us had experienced before.

It doesn’t end there, however. Over the last five years, my wife and I have become much more mindful and in the moment. We’ve learned to appreciate what we have and simplify our lives so we have more time for the things that really matter to us. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that our own children have led us to live more intentionally. It’s their energy, enthusiasm, and innocence that have sparked this change in our outlook on life.

C and B a few years ago, captivated by the bubbles

Here are five specific examples of how we can learn about simplicity and living more intentionally from kids.

1. Live For Today


Children don’t worry about the past nor the future. They are just excited to enjoy today. They want to play and have fun from the moment they wake up until bedtime. My kids don’t really think at all about the future unless they are excited about a big event or vacation. They also don’t dwell on the past. What happened yesterday was important yesterday, but today is a new day. They live in the moment.

In some ways, wouldn’t we all be better off acting like kids sometimes? Kids have fun, while we adults spend too much time worrying, particularly about things that we have no control over.

2. Be Yourself

Children do what they want to do instead of worrying about what others will say or think. Young kids don’t worry about rejection. They don’t fear the consequences of singing at the top of their lungs or dancing in the middle of a park. My oldest son talks about pink being his favorite color without any hesitation, something I fear he will lose in the near future because of peer pressure and societal expectations.

As adults, almost all of us are guilty of trying to fit in. It’s not Junior High School anymore, but the pressure is still there. Act like a kid again, and be yourself.

3. Get Outside


Kids have boundless energy. They want to be outside, running around all day long. Is there any better place in the world for a child than out in nature? Whether it’s swimming in a pond, meandering through the woods, or hunting for bugs in the backyard, kids just want to be out there.

Well, guess what? So do adults. The only difference is that adults don’t get out there nearly as much as they should. We spend too much time inside our cubicles at work, inside our cars shuttling our kids back and forth, and inside our houses on the weekends.

4. Love without Question


My kids love just about everyone they come into contact with. They love us, their grandparents and the rest of our family, their teachers, the janitor at school, the mailman. You name them, and my kids want to have a conversation with them. They don’t judge somebody by the color of their skin, or what they are wearing, or how old they are. None of it matters.

We would all benefit from such acceptance and inclusiveness. Kids display no prejudice during an early age, it is a learned trait.

5. Say What You Mean


My kids can be brutally honest. They say what they are thinking and don’t know enough to hold back. But they also advocate for themselves better than adults. If they’re hungry, they let you know. When they are sad, they cry. If they want you to play, they don’t care what you are doing, they want you to play.

Adults could sometimes benefit from doing the same. Not to the point of being rude, but standing up for what we believe in instead of being fearful of the repercussions. For every person that speaks their mind a little too much, there are three others who are holding back, and missing out.

Act Like a Kid Again

Maybe it’s time we all start acting like kids again. Dance and sing, play outside, speak up for yourself, live in the moment and have fun. Go sledding, color, get some exercise, use your imagination, and ride a bike. Choose to experience as much as you can. Learn from children and create a more simple life that you can live more intentionally — and have a lot of fun while doing it!

So what about you? What have you learned from your kids about mindfulness and living more intentionally? In what ways have you acted like a kid?

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4 Comments

  1. Matt Hodges

    I’ve learned that being a ‘yeti’, yelling and chasing around my kids apparently never gets old (except for my throat). These are good refreshers – I’ve become so used to always stressing about everything, that I forget I was once a carefree child.

    • minimalismandmoney

      Well, I would encourage you to spend more time being the Yeti!! And try to have as much fun as those kids always seem to have!

  2. Diane Forster

    You say “choose to experience as much as you can”. I believe kids learn more when you make those experiences fun. Walking down to the beach and picking up seashells and periwinkles(and maybe getting your shoes wet) can be fun. Going to Disney is a different but still fun thing to experience. I know I always have fun with all the “kids”

    • minimalismandmoney

      I totally agree. Ultimately, I think kids have fun with almost any experience. All they really want is for others, especially family members, to have fun with them.

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