toys

Ep 066: How To Raise Minimalist Kids

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Minimalist kids are kids who are content. Kids who know how to play, kids who know how to talk and have relationships. They’re not glued to screens all day. They spend a lot of time playing outside using their  imaginations, conversing with their friends or siblings if they have them. And honestly, they enjoy more of a 1970’s sort of childhood than a 2018 one. If we are going to choose to live a minimalist lifestyle, then we are raising our kids to do the same. That means we are shaping the next generation and how amazing is it that we have a chance to break the over-consumeristic cycle? I love that I get to do that for my kids and hope that you find encouragement to do the same from this episode!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • Why your kids will naturally adapt to what becomes normal and how you can create a new normal of minimalism for them.

  • How to avoid becoming super legalistic about minimalism, especially when it comes to your kids.

  • The positive impact and benefits that boredom can have on your kids.

  • The value of investing in things that bring your kids together and how it benefits them and your family.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Hey friend! I'm so excited to tell you about my upcoming free online class: 3 Weeks To Minimalist Motherhood.

In this class, you are going to learn the secret to not living your life in a state of constant overwhelm. It's minimalism and it's going to have you cleaning, yelling, stressing, and nagging a whole lot less. I'm also going to show you how you can take a bite out of this secret process and start right away.

We're going to go over the three biggest time and energy sucking areas of your home and I'm going to show you how to get started in those areas – Now!

In 3 weeks, you will have a much more minimal motherhood and you'll be feeling a lot lighter.

I'm also going to give you an exclusive discount on my course, Your Uncluttered Home, and show you the next step after you get started so you can go all the way and change your home and your life for good.


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is                   The Purpose Show.

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Hey, beautiful friends! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show! Whether you’re brand new here or you're an old buddy of mine who's been listening since day one, I want you to know that I don't think you're here on accident. I really do believe you're here for a reason and I'm so glad that you are! Welcome to my show!

Today's episode is all about how to raise minimalist kids. This topic, this piece of the topic of the minimalist lifestyle, I think is my favorite just because it's so important. It's a part of the future. It's such a big deal that we're raising kids, that we’re shaping the next generation. Man, how amazing is it that we have a chance to break the over-consumeristic cycle? (I don't even know if consumeristic as a word, but it is now because I said it was. This is my show. I say what I want!)

Anyway, how to raise minimalist kids. There's a lot that goes into this, so I'll probably end up doing like a Part 2 and maybe even 3 to this episode at some point just because it's a lot. I have a feeling that this topic is something that you're going to see on a somewhat regular basis on the show. Like I said, there's just a lot that goes into it. I'm kind of always learning and things change and shift and different topics and questions come up. So, let’s just start here.

I'm going to get into a few of the biggest things that go into raising minimalist kids. What I mean by minimalist kids is kids who are content. Kids who know how to play, kids who know how to talk and have relationships. They're not glued to screens all day. They spend a lot of time playing outside using their imaginations, conversing with their friends or siblings if they have them. They enjoy more of a 1970’s sort of childhood than a 2018 one.

So okay, let's get into raising minimalist kids. The first thing I want you to know about doing this is that your kids are going to adapt to what becomes your normal. So, I know when you have your normal, your family is the way they are, your home is the way it is, you guys kind of live the way that you're living and you're focused on the things are normally focused on, it can feel really daunting to change that and your kids can push back. It’s human nature to push against any change, even if it's positive change. Human beings just resist change in general by nature. It's so true.

But if you adapt your normal and you just kind of stay consistent, practice what you preach and you're making it your new normal, your kids are going to adapt eventually. That’s not to say that we want to force them into anything or make things miserable and just kinda say, “Suck it up. This is your life now.”

But if we're just patient and calm and consistent with these positive changes we're bringing into our family, they're are going to adapt and that's going to become normal one day. You got to your current normal, you know at some point. So, we're going to just switch up and people will adapt.

If you make changes and you stick with it and like I said, you're consistent, your kids are going to see that this is the way things are day in and day out, and over time it's going to become their normal too.

So, don't stress out if it feels like there isn't too much for kids to do or if during the initial lifestyle shift they're kind of whiny and they just kind of seem to not know what to do with themselves. That's totally normal and it will go away, I promise. But you've got to stay consistent and you've gotta make this a positive thing. Don't make it feel like a punishment.

You should just gradually shift into the minimalist lifestyle. Start to limit things. Things that you buy. Talk with your kids. Why aren't you buying that toy? Why aren't you going to go and get this expensive thing? Why aren't you spending money the same way you were before? Why are you purging your home of clutter? Let them be a part of the process.

This is why I always, always, always preach to you guys to make your kids a part of the process when you are decluttering their toys. If they're super small, it might not be doable and it probably wouldn't even do anything. But other than that, once they hit age 3, make them a part of it. Even if you don't think they understand, explain to them what you're doing and why. Let them see the good they're doing by donating things they're not using anymore to kids who are more in need than they are.

Make them a part of the process. Make them a part of your process. Tell them you want they’re help as mommy clears out her wardrobe. Make them a part of the process. Make this your new normal. Talk to them. Be normal about it, and it is going to be their normal too.

The next thing I want to say is stop making things the center of your kids' world. So, kids naturally gravitate to toys and new things just like any other human. Think about it. We do this too. It's not just with toys. They are kids; we are adults and it's the same thing. We do it all the time.

You might maybe be out and see a black blouse and you’re just so drawn to this blouse. It's beautiful. You have to have it. You buy it and you get it home and you realize I actually already have this blouse. It's just from a different store. But that one was amazing to you and you kind of forgot about the other one because it's new.

So as human beings we just naturally gravitate towards shiny new things and we're greedy. We want things. There's nothing wrong with that and you shouldn't make your kids feel like there's anything wrong with that, but it's just kind of raising them up in a way that just shows them there's a better way than this.

So just realize it's okay that your kids are naturally gravitating to toys and new things. That will change as they grow and mature and as you make this the normal like we talked about. And just so you guys know, my kids, they are drawn to things just like we are. I mean it's just not the norm to get them. It's not normal to, “Sure! You can buy that. Sure, we’ll order this on Amazon.” It's just not normal.

We question things. And my kids will say things like, “Man, I really love that black horse that I saw at Target but I just really don't need that toy because I already have a black horse and I already have a lot of other horses.” They're learning to appreciate that something is cool and not necessarily need to have it or make a goal to get it.

And speaking of Amazon, my kids, one of the things that they love to do more than anything is to go on my phone and look on the Amazon App for the next Minecraft toy or whatever they're into currently that they're gonna save their money for and buy with the money they earn. I don't discourage them from thinking about things.

To me, and this might be an offensive example, but I'm going to go here anyway. To me, that's kind of the equivalent of being legalistic about your faith and kind of forcing rules down your kids’ throat. What happens when parents do that. Remember when we did the interview with the author of Why I Didn’t Rebel? They go the other way. They rebel. They push against it eventually because it's legalistic and it's just a bunch of rules that they don't understand.

And so, if we do that with minimalism and kind of take on that legalistic approach of, “Oh, we're not going to look on Amazon for toys. No way! We're not even going to talk about toys. You don't need anything. You shouldn't be focused on things,” it just kind of pushes them away. It doesn't make any sense.

We’re human beings. Everybody likes new things. It's okay. It's just a matter of asking why. Why is this worth my space? Why am I going to pursue this thing? Showing your kids that and not expecting them to get it down perfectly when they're little kids. It's just that you're raising them in this lifestyle and teaching them like you do other things to question what takes up their space.

The point is that things are not the heart of our physical space. Your home is minimal. You're showing them that that's not what you use your space for, and you're showing them that experiences are better than things by setting that example. But also not discouraging them from being normal people and wanting to think about things.

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Hey friend! I'm so excited to tell you about my upcoming free online class: 3 Weeks To Minimalist Motherhood.

In this class, you are going to learn the secret to not living your life in a state of constant overwhelm. It's minimalism and it's going to have you cleaning, yelling, stressing, and nagging a whole lot less. I'm also going to show you how you can take a bite out of this secret process and start right away.

We're going to go over the three biggest time and energy sucking areas of your home and I'm going to show you how to get started in those areas – Now!

In 3 weeks, you will have a much more minimal motherhood and you'll be feeling a lot lighter.

I'm also going to give you an exclusive discount on my course, Your Uncluttered Home, and show you the next step after you get started so you can go all the way and change your home and your life for good.

These online classes are always in serious demand and they don't come around too often, so I want you to snag a spot. Make sure you get one and sign up.

You can go to alliecasazza.com/freeclass. It's totally free!

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The next thing I want to say about raising minimalist kids is that you don't have to go way against the grain with this if you don't want to. To the point where you're weird and you never allow things to take up space at all and your kids are getting the vibe that “toys are forbidden.” You'll just get the opposite of what you're going for, like we just talked about.

In my opinion, just relax. Live a minimal life yourself. Listen to your kids when they talk about toys they saw or want. You're there for them. Encourage them to earn and save their own money and understand the value of a dollar. You get them toys they truly want for birthdays and holidays and you just live your life. You don't obsess over forcing them to become minimalist adults who don't ever think about toys or things. You know, they’re kids. You're still the parent. You're still setting that tone and putting boundaries in your home, just not in a pushy way.

Also invest in things that bring them outside and together. This is kind of like the rule of thumb for us. We do spend money on our kids and for our kids to have things to play with, but it's things that bring them, like I said, outside or together.

This includes technology and toys. The Nintendo Switch is something that brings them all together. Brian and I went back and forth for a year about whether or not to get the kids the Nintendo Switch system. We had the old school Super Nintendo, and we really liked that, but it was starting to break and just get kind of glitchy and weird. We found that you could get all the old games on The Switch, and the new games, and my kids just really liked playing video games together. They rarely argue and bicker when they're playing video games. It's just something that brings them together. And Brian and I actually liked to play with them too on game night. So that was a positive thing.

We were just worried that it would be a burden to limit the time they spend on there, but we decided, you know what? No, we're the parents. We can enforce these time boundaries as it kind of feels good to us. The Switch is something that brings them all together, so we're going to get it for them.

My kids' birthdays are all pretty close together and so we got it as a family gift for one of the birthdays and it's been great. Totally brings them together. They play with it together. They love playing together. Actually, I don't think they ever play like one person at a time. They only play games you can play together or they take turns really well. It's just the way that they are. If they ever do bicker, we turn it off and it's put away for a day or two, maybe even longer. They know that and I think that helps.

And of course, this includes some toys. Toys that bring your kids outside – great! That's a good investment. Get them outside more.

Toys that your kids can play with together, that’s great too. Board games, laser tag, Lego's, “team toys.” These are the things that are a good investment. If you're going to get gifts, if you're going to spend money on your kids, these are the types of things that Brian and I have chosen to say like, “Yes, we're going to get these types of things.”

And I also think that realizing that boredom is actually really good for your kids is huge.

A lot of moms message me things like “I'm trying to just limit toys and we've gotten rid of so much and my kids are getting on board. This whole week is our first week and they've just been like, I'm bored. I'm bored.” That's good. I would encourage you, I will link to a few articles in the show notes for this episode, but I would encourage you to do your own research as well on the effects of boredom on kids and how good boredom is for kids. Science shows us that this is where kids develop imaginations and grow their imaginations and creativity. Let their minds wander and they realize things about themselves. They find themselves. They develop who they are.

So just realize that boredom is not a bad thing. It's actually really good for your kids. They’re going to learn more about themselves. They're going to develop more. They're going to know how to play. They're going to learn to entertain themselves, make up games and make up things to play. It'll force them outside to make new friends. It's really, really good.

So, I would say these are the top few main key points about raising minimalist kids. I really hope that this encourages you to make some positive changes in your family and answers a few of the questions. I know there's so much more we could get into and we'll have to do in later episodes, but these are sort of the keys that Brian and I have implemented in our home.

Realizing that what's normal to us will become our kids’ normal too. We don't make things the center of their world. Realizing that we don't have to go way against the grain and be super weird and legalistic about it. We can invest in toys, technology and things that get our kids playing outside more, get them playing together more. But also not too much because it's good for kids to have very little and to create their own entertainment. And boredom is good for your kids.

So, I hope that is a great starting point for those of you who are interested in creating a life of less for your family.


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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

Ep 052: Coffee + Questions with Allie

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Welcome to this month’s Coffee & Questions segment here on The Purpose Show! The Coffee & Questions segment is a time when I sit down with 2-4 questions from you. You guys ask questions in many different places – email, Instagram Messages, Instagram Comments, Facebook, all of that. I have my team help me pull a few select questions and I answer them once a month. This is a time where I always physically have a cup of coffee with me because it feels super fun. It feels like I am sitting down with my friends, having coffee, and just…chatting. That’s what I want my show to feel like, especially this segment. If you asked a question, this is a time where I may answer it. So, sit down, cozy up, get a cup of coffee, and let’s chat!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • How to store your kids toys without dedicating a whole space to a toy room.

  • Ways to help minimize overwhelming your sink (and yourself) with piles of dishes.

  • Practical tips for simplifying outdoor toys.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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The Supermom Vault is a library of inspiration I created for you. It holds replays of my very best online workshops that aren’t available anywhere else, tons of really actionable pdf’s that are downloadable with just one click, more than 20 audio and video trainings from me, and professionally designed printables for your home to keep you focused and inspired. If you want more than just the podcast and are looking for more actionable ways to help you get started when it comes to minimalism and simplifying your motherhood, then the Supermom Vault is for you!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Hi beautiful friend! Welcome to this month’s Coffee & Questions segment here on The Purpose Show! The Coffee & Questions segment is a time when I sit down with 2-4 questions from you. You guys ask questions in many different places – email, Instagram Messages, Instagram Comments, Facebook, all of that. I have my team help me pull a few select questions and I answer them once a month. This is a time where I always physically have a cup of coffee with me because it feels super fun. It feels like I am sitting down with my friends, having coffee, and just…chatting. That’s what I want my show to feel like, especially this segment. If you asked a question, this is a time where I may answer it. So, sit down, cozy up, get a cup of coffee, and let’s chat!

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Question #1: How can I store my kids toys without a toy room? Okay, so this is a good question. I actually don't like the idea of having a room just for toys because I think it just begs for excess. You've dedicated an entire room in your house for something that can actually inhibit your kids’ creative play and it doesn't really leave a lot of room for being intentional in purging things that are not really loved, really being used, and really serving your kids' childhood. So, I prefer to not have a toy room. I know it's really common, especially here in America, to have a toy room or a dedicated space as a play area. I would suggest if your kids have a shared room, put a toy chest in there.

My three boys share a room. The two older boys are in a bunk bed and then on the other wall Emmett is in his own little twin bed. They have one toy chest in their room at the foot of Emmett's bed. It's just a regular, medium-sized toy box from Ikea and all their toys go in there. That’s where the toys are kept. They can get the toys out, bring their swords out and play Ninjas in the living room or whatever. When we're cleaning up, that's where they go.

You could also do a smaller bin in each of their individual rooms. We have a lot of common toys where they don't really belong to one particular person and they're just “our toys” and everyone plays with whatever. And so, the one toy chest works really well for us. But if your kids all have their own room then you could do a smaller bin for each of them and they can put their toys in there.

You could also do a toy chest in a common area like behind the couch in the living room. And that's where all the toys go. You could do a basket by your stairs if you have a two-story house and that’s where the toys go. You have a few different options but definitely don't feel like, “it's a lack of space and it kind of sucks that you don't have a toy room” because I actually really, really love the idea of not having an entire room in my house dedicated to toys. Like I said, it just begs for lots of excess because there's room for it.

Question #2: Can you help with dishes overwhelm with kids? There are just so many dishes. Yes. Another great question. First of all, I want to give you guys permission to use paper plates in seasons of insane overwhelm. If you're moving, if you're starting a business, if there's sickness that’s been plaguing your house for weeks. If you have a new baby, if you're pregnant and exhausted. If your husband started a new job and he's traveling a lot more than you're used to and you have to adjust to that. Use paper plates in seasons of crazy overwhelm. I use paper plates when we are launching a new course in the business or if we are going through an intentional time of chaos.

There was a point really recently where the kids had baseball three nights a week. Bella had horse lessons two days a week. We were in the thick of finishing up our homeschool year. I was launching a new course. It was insane and you can bet your bottom that I went to Costco and got the giant pack of paper plates and temporary plasticware - forks and spoons and stuff - and used all of that and gave myself permission to make my life a little bit easier.

But in the long run, this is where you've got to have less dishes. You think about it, why do you need more than one type of dish per person? Why? Because friends come over? Well, that's fine. Then have spare dishes, but keep them in a different place because what's going to happen is if you have tons of dishes in your regular cupboards, your family is going to pull a fresh, clean dish out way before they ever rinse a dish that's ready to be cleaned and reused. You don't need more than one dish per person living in your house.

Since this question is about kids’ dishes, get whatever set of plastic plates and bowls that you want for your kids and just have one plate and one bowl per kid. That's it. If they want something else for the next meal, the dishes need to be rinsed off and then it's ready to be reused.

If you have less dishes, you have less to wash. It makes your life so much easier and it makes it impossible to get that giant pile of dishes at the end of the day waiting for you to wash them.

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Hey friend! It’s Allie! Have you heard of the Supermom Vault yet?

The Supermom Vault is a library of inspiration I created for you. It holds replays of my very best online workshops that aren’t available anywhere else, tons of really actionable pdf’s that are downloadable with just one click, more than 20 audio and video trainings from me, and professionally designed printables for your home to keep you focused and inspired.

The Supermom Vault is only $39.00 and is available at alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

Check it out! It’s a really good simple start.

Want more inspiration than just the podcast? Do you wish there were more episodes?  Want more details? Do you want videos? Do you want pdf’s? Do you want to download things and get your hands on something to really get you started when it comes to minimalism and simplifying your motherhood?

This is definitely the place to go!

Check it out!  Alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

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Question #3: How can I simplify outdoor toys? I love that my kids want to spend time playing outside, but the stuff gets out of control and messy and then my yard looks terrible. Okay. I totally understand this. I've talked before about how we have less toys and we encourage our kids to play creatively and be outside. One of the biggest reasons that we moved back to southern California after our time in the midwest is because we really realized the value of living in a climate where the kids can play outside all the time.

So, in terms of the outdoor toys, first of all have only what they use and love. Go through those outdoor toys with your kids. Is there a random baseball and a broken bat? Get rid of all that. Another example, is there random baseballs and nothing to play with them, like you don't have baseball gloves or a baseball bat? Why do you have baseballs, then? Get rid of the baseballs.

Take into account what do you have? Why do you have those things? What are they using? What do they love? Notice for a couple days, what do they play with all the time? Get rid of everything else. Have only what they really use and really love.

Next, get a large outdoor storage bin to keep everything in. They have these at Lowe's, Home Depot, Costco, Sam's Club. I think I've seen a couple at Target, but I noticed the industrial-type stores and big box stores that have big items have the really large ones.

We have a black outdoor bin that I got at Lowe's. It's weatherproof and it's got the little extra locks on each side, so bad weather or no rodents or anything can get in there. We keep things like the baseball bats, gloves and balls in there. The kids have a soccer ball that they kick around. There is a bubble machine they like to turn on so they can play with that when they're in the backyard. Just outdoor toys go in there. Not bikes and scooters and stuff, but outdoor toys can go in there.

That way there's a location that you can fit everything in when it’s clean up time. Don't let your kids just play and leave everything out. Set up a rule in your house where it's like, “Okay guys, we're done playing. You've got to pick up and put the things in the bin.

You have somewhere for things to belong and that's the key. You have to decide how much space things are going to take up by getting something that you're going to keep it in. So that's where the bin comes in.

By getting an outdoor bin for toys to go in, you're deciding this is how much space our outdoor toys are going to take up. Then when your stuff exceeds that amount of space, instead of buying more storage, get rid of stuff so that new outdoor bin becomes the deciding factor of how much stuff you allow your kids to have for playing outside.

We have a pretty big one - the largest outdoor bin you can get - and there's just lots of fun toys in there. It's all stuff that my kids use all the time, every week. But if our stuff exceeds that bin and it becomes not a big enough space to host our outdoor stuff, then I'm not going to go and buy another bin or buy a bigger bin. I'm going to get rid of stuff.

A lot of the time it helps to have the amount of space you're willing to give to something be the deciding factor in how much of that thing you have. It's really helpful to look at it that way.

Also, a quick side note about bikes, scooters and things like that. There are giant hooks that you can also get at Lowe's or Home Depot. You can hang them in the garage and stack multiple bikes and scooters onto those hooks, especially if they're little kid bikes and scooters. They fit better.

We used to have our bikes and scooters on the side of the house and that was fine. But it wasn't covered in our new house, so when it would rain, which is rare here, the bikes would get rusted.

I didn't really want them in the garage because you guys might already know our garage is a really functional space. It's not a normal garage. It's Brian's gym and then he's got his drum set. He plays worship at our church so he has his drum set here, like a music studio. Then behind that the garage is pushed back and there's a faux brick wall we've built, and this is my office. So our garage is a really functional space.

We got these big hooks at Lowe's and we put them on the wall, so now the bikes and scooters hang on a wall in the garage and they're out of the way. They're up off the floor. They are protected from the weather. The kids can get them down because they're not super high up. The helmets hang off of the bike handles.

It's super functional, really easy, and really out of the way. I can link to the hooks that I'm talking about in the show notes.


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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

Ep 027: What Happens When You Take the Toys Away?

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A big part of what I do and talk about is toys and their effects on children. This is something that I have become really passionate about as I have evolved in doing what it is that I do. I have gone through lots of different seasons with toys with my kids. When it comes down to it, kids play much better with less options. Scientifically, their little brains can’t handle all those options. We think we are doing them a favor by giving them all these options and providing them with all the toys we didn’t have as kids, but really it is harming them. It is super difficult for their little brains to process all that and to make a choice from all of those options.

There is nothing depriving to your kids about giving them the gift of less material things. Children thrive on less. And what a gift that is for us as parents, not only financially, but also knowing that you are not going to scar your kids by removing some of this excess or getting rid of some of the stuff, the toys!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • The beautiful gift that you give your kids when they have less toys.

  • Scientific studies around less toys + boredom with kids.

  • Myths around limiting your kids’ toys.  

  • How to handle the detox period your kids’ may experience going from all the toys to less toys.

  • Boundaries that she has in her house when it comes to toys, technology, etc.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Do you want to give your kids the gift of less? Do you want more information on how to do that? I created How to Declutter Your Kids' Toys as a FREE resource guide just for you! It is made to be the natural next step for this episode for those of you who are taking action! 


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hi beautiful listeners! Welcome to Episode 27 which is all about what happens when you take the toys away from your kids.

Sounds super mean and serious, but it’s not. I promise. That’s what this and the next episode is all about. I am going to be talking about the beautiful gift of less toys for kids and going over some scientific studies that have been done on less toys, or even no toys. I will be addressing some of the myths about limiting your kids’ toys and talking about how to handle that detox period from your kids being entertained all hours of the day and then going the exact opposite and how to handle that. Also, we will be talking about some different things that Brian and I have done in our house with toys, technology and all that.

I am really excited to dive in.

DISCLAIMER: I have a terrible cold, bordering on a sinus infection, so I am a little stuffy. I am an “oils” girl, but I have been drugging myself with actual medicine, just for you guys. I also have a heater blowing next to me on my feet. In case you don’t know, my office is an extension of our garage, so it is not as insulated and taken care of as the house. It gets cold out here. At the time of recording this, California is having a weird, cold, winter blast. Usually at this time everyone is wearing shorts and flip-flops. It is almost March, so it’s weird. But I am happy to be acting like the rest of the states in the country during this time of year, and I am dealing with it. So, if you hear the buzzing of the heater or snot coming out of nose, or whatever, I apologize. But this episode is too good to skip. So, I am going to dive in despite my very serious illness.

A big part of what I do and talk about is toys and their effects on children. This is something that I have become really passionate about as I have evolved in doing what it is that I do. I have gone through lots of different seasons with toys with my kids.

“All the toys” is where we started. We have the first grandchildren on both sides of grandparents, so in the beginning and early days, our toy room was chocked full of toy bins that were overflowing with toys. We had an entire, large-sized room dedicated to toys and it was intense. It was really overwhelming. It took up a lot of my time. I wanted to keep it somewhat picked up and organized because you could see it from the entryway and the kitchen. I didn’t want it to look like a mess all of the time. It was ridiculous. I didn’t know any other way. This is just how you did things. That’s all I knew.

I had all of the toys and didn’t want to waste anything. I didn’t know if one day my kids would want to play with something that they weren’t playing with right now. I kept everything as organized as I could and had all the colorful bins and all of that. It was insane. If you have heard my story, which I am sure most of you have, the first thing that I tackled when I had my epiphany about all of this stuff in our house, was the toys.

I don’t think that was a coincidence. I was bothered by the amount of toys in our home. I saw it but I guess I didn’t consciously realize it until that day. They weren’t serving their purpose. We had all of these toys. We had a big room full of all these amazing toys that we had bought, grandparents had bought, the kids had gotten for birthdays and Christmas over the years. Honestly, the room was pointless.

I would tell the kids to go play. I would get annoyed that they were at my feet while I was trying to get the dishes done or whatever. They would go in there for five minutes, dump everything onto the floor, and then come out complaining that they were bored or hungry, although they had just eaten breakfast or whatever. It went in this pointless cycle for so long.

When I did have that epiphany moment, the first thing I did was the toys because it was just a pointless bother. A leak on my time and my focus. The kids’ time and focus too. I didn’t realize that at the time, but it was. I got rid of almost everything except for a few key constructive or imaginative play items.

After a bit of a detox period, which I will talk about a bit later in this episode, my kids never played better. They were so little at the time, so it is incredible that it had that effect on them during a very needy, clingy part of their toddlerhood.

Now, I have a 9-year-old, a 7-year-old, a 5-year-old, and a 3-year-old, and they play all day long with almost nothing. We have a decent amount of toys now, but I notice that they don’t always play with them; they only do sometimes.

Even right now as I am recording, I can hear them upstairs running around in the loft. They are being the characters from the Mario Brothers Games. Bella is Yoshi, Leland is Mario, Hudson is Luigi, and Emmett is Bowser. They are running around making up games, stories and scenarios being those characters. They have been doing that since about 8 a.m. and it is just about to turn 10 a.m.

So, after breakfast they are still playing. This is a normal day for us. It is not a rarity. It is not just because mom is recording. Brian is inside editing and working at the kitchen table. The kids have been playing for about two hours. This is totally normal. It is amazing. It is definitely what I expect on a regular basis.

We have a Nintendo Switch, a Super Nintendo system, two big screen TV’s - one in my and Brian’s room for Netflix and chill at night, and one in the living room. We are normal. We have technology. We have the latest and greatest game system because it was a Christmas gift and the kids loved Mario. We have a bin of toys in the boys’ room and a bin of toys in Bella’s room, and a bunch of Legos in the loft. It is just not excess. It is not out of control. It is very minimal. We have what the kids like and play with.

We do a regular purge every 2-3 months. My rule is seasonal. Whenever the seasons change, we reevaluate an area of the house that needs it. It is usually the toys and clothes. We do a big purge together. We have what we need. We have what the kids like. They play all of the time. It is very simple. Technology has its limits, but it isn’t anything super harsh or hard to enforce. Everything is calm, still, and settled into this rhythm. It is really a joy.

I am telling you this because I want you to feel empowered. I want you to feel like this could happen for you. Brian and I were definitely intentional about this stuff. It didn’t happen on accident. One of my sons definitely has a tendency to get obsessive. He will play with technology all day long and stay up all night. He is the kind of kid that if there is a movie playing, he will never fall asleep. If there is something on, he is awake. He definitely gets obsessive. He asks to play with technology more than anyone, but still not more than 1-2 times a day. When the answer is, “No, not right now” it is not a big meltdown.

Even with a kid who seems to be more obsessive and technology centered, this can happen for you.

Having laid the groundwork and explained why less toys is such a good gift to give your kids, and how it looks in our day-to-day life, I want to encourage you to look up some scientific studies (link in the show notes) that have really inspired me and helped to give me clarity on kids who have less toys or even no toys at all.

When it comes down to it, kids play much better with less options. Scientifically, their little brains can’t handle all those options. They get overwhelmed; that’s why they will have tantrums or their attitudes will get really crappy. Giving them an open-ended task like “go play” and have them walking into all of those options is seriously difficult for them.

We think we are doing them a favor by giving them all these options and providing them with all the toys we didn’t have as kids, but really it is harming them. It is super difficult for their little brains to process all that and to make a choice from all of those options.

You might notice that your kids have a lot of toys and they tend to play with the same 2-3 all of the time. Or you may notice that they play with all of them over time and you can’t differentiate the toys that they play with all of the time because they play with everything at different times of the year. Both of those actions are the result of being overwhelmed.

Google this. Seriously. It is so amazing. We have a guy on our team, also named Brian, whose sole job it is to stay up-to-date for me on research surrounding children and minimalism and the idea of less toys and the effects of toys on kids. He sends me research and links to studies that are currently being done or have recently finished. I am always up-to-date on that. Brian is a great researcher and that’s why he is in charge of doing that. There is a lot of stuff out there. Again, I will link to a couple of the really good ones.

Every time there is a new study done it is always the same result. Children thrive on less. What a gift that is for us as parents, not only financially, but also knowing that you are not going to scar your kids by removing some of this excess or getting rid of some of the stuff, the toys.

I want to address some of the myths surrounding this idea. I think I have heard it all. I get a lot of emails and messages. I don’t read them all myself, but my assistant always fills me in on some things. They are always the same – it’s sad, how dare you, your poor kids, they are deprived, it’s hard for them, they are crying when I want to take their stuff away, this isn’t right, this is too hard for me as the mom to remove things because they don’t want to get rid of anything, it’s adding stress to my life. I totally understand.

But you have to understand something too. There is nothing depriving to your kids about giving them the gift of less material things. This is such a good thing for them to learn. It is such a good thing for them to see. It doesn’t have to be hard for them or you.

I think the main problem with the women who are emailing and messaging me with things like this, is they are trying to get it all done right now. They don’t want to let it unfold, let it go slow, start to implement this idea of less stuff in your family and in your home. Have less in your own self, the way you schedule your calendar, the way you do other areas in your house. Kids learn by watching you, so practice what you preach. It will happen. Things will change.

Also, around the ages of 5-6, kids naturally get very collective. Everything takes on a personality. Pieces of trash, rocks, and twigs, have life and a personality. They become obsessed. The want to keep everything and collect things. This is normal.

Know your stuff. Do your research. Know where your kids are at. Know the studies backing up the idea of less. Make decisions out of what works for your family right now. Maybe you can do a good purge session. I am not going to get into how to purge toys with your kids because I have talked about that so many times (I will link to my blog in the show notes.)

In this episode, I really want to focus on what happens when you limit the toys.

I want you to be encouraged. It is not sad. You are not depriving your kids. You don’t have to take all the toys away, shut down the TV’s, and say, “go outside and play.” That’s not what I am saying at all. Be calm. Be confident. Come at this in a way that works for you and your family. Maybe it looks slower than it did for me because my kids were so little. They didn’t really have a say; they were all under 3.

It can be in a way that works for you and only you can judge that. I am here to encourage you with what is going to happen for your family and your children if you choose to pursue this idea of less when it comes to their stuff.

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Hey friends! I put together a free resource guide all about decluttering your kids’ stuff. It is really a resource guide for the mom who wants to give their kids the gift of less, but wants a little bit more information on how to do that and where to start. To get that for free, go to alliecassa.com/shownotes/27. You will get all the links that I talk about in this episode as well as the link to download this free resource guide. It is super helpful. It is made to be the natural next step for this episode for those of you who are taking action.

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A couple of the studies show something that I definitely have experienced. Back in the day, six years ago, when I only had three kids and they were really little, there wasn’t a detox period. But over the years we have accumulated stuff and had to re-purge. It’s not like I purged it one time and then every season I purged the toys. There was a period of time after I decluttered the toys, where I didn’t know what was I doing, and I went 1 ½ years before decluttering the toys again.

You bet your bottom they reaccumulated, the pile grew and it got overwhelming again. As I went through the process of toys coming in and going out, I experienced times that it was “time to do a really big purge again.” My kids were older than the initial purge. There is definitely a detox period. If your kids are used to having a lot of stuff, used to a lot of a technology, used to having a lot of toys that light up and make noise and don’t leave much to the imagination, there is definitely going to be a detox period.

That is normal. It is OK. There are things you can do to be prepared for that. One of the things is to pick a time that will work for you. Find a time in your schedule where nothing else big is going on. Don’t pick a time when you are moving, or something sad is happening in your family, or something really big is going on. Or maybe you disagree and timing this around a move would work really well for you. You do you.

But I would imagine that timing it around a time in your life that is normal and calm is a good idea. Make sure it is a time where you can handle it as best as possible. If your kids are at home all day, prepare yourself for it. Come up with an activity. Maybe you can plan a hike or a beach day. Maybe you can take a day off from housework and sit outside with your kids and watch them play. Maybe ease them into it. Don’t shut everything down and expect them to figure it out.

You have gone this far teaching your kids that their play is laid out for them by the toys that they have, the options they have, and the technology they have. You have taught them that this is how play looks. You can’t just shut everything off and expect their natural play instincts to kick in. It’s not going to work that way.

However, kids are naturals at play. It will happen. It is just that they haven’t been in that place at all, and they have been trained to be entertained. They have that subconscious entitlement, for lack of a better word. They need their imaginations to be re-born. They are just out of commission. That makes sense. You just need to have some grace and patience.

For me, I do a tech detox. I did this several times when we were re-purging and getting back to our roots. Whenever there is a season of heavier technology or heavier toys and we hadn’t purged in a while, I would do a detox. I would say, “We are going to do no technology this week. Let’s go purge the toys.” We would make the decisions together and get rid of stuff.

My kids have each other; it’s different if you have an only child. They would play and whine, bicker, and argue a little bit more than usual. I could make a choice. I could remove them from the area and have a change of scenery, maybe go on a hike. Or I could just let them push through it and gently correct them.

You have to understand there is going to be a detox period. My best piece of advice is to plan some kind of outdoor activity for the first day. You don’t need to make your kids feel entitled to entertainment by taking them somewhere amazing like Disneyland, but just go do something out of the norm. Go for a hike. Go for a walk. Go to the beach. Go to the forest. Have a picnic. Break up the usual routine. This helps kids see that this can be fun. It also helps to break up the day and distract a bit from their being bored.

There are plenty of articles on boredom and how good it is for kids to experience boredom. This is where ideas and imagination happen. The word “bored” really gets a bad rap. It’s kids experiencing boredom for the first time. Because they are not used to it, they are whiny, cranky, and hard to be around. You have to understand that this is what detox means. This is what it looks like. You can do some things to help break it up, but it is going to be a bit harder than usual for about a week or so.

We have done a lot of different things. We have done no TV in the house at all. We actually meant to do it for about a week, and it turned into six months. It was amazing. Not even for Brian and I. No TV at all. It was one of the best times in our family. It was so fun. So many good things happened and came from it, although it was hard at first.

We have done no toys at all. When we were living in the camper, there was a big chunk of time, months, where we had no toys at all, because we didn’t have room for a lot of them. The box we had set aside to bring a few toys into the camper, got left back in storage. We didn’t get our toys back until we came back to California. It was great. The kids figured it out. Their imaginations got even stronger.

We have done no TV at all and no toys at all. Our normal is monitored TV time. I don’t really have a specific amount of time per day. There are definitely days where it is a little bit more than usual, but it is typically really little. There are a lot of days where there is no TV or technology at all. That is very normal at our house to have a no-tech day.

We don’t wake up and decide we need to have a no-tech day. It just doesn’t happen that day. Technology is definitely not a part of every day for us. The toys are definitely at a minimum. It has been at a maintained place for a solid three years. One bin of toys. All the “free” toys for the boys and Legos being separate from that. Bella has her own box of personal toys that she doesn’t want the boys to play with. That’s it. I don’t count art supplies as toys, in case you were wondering.

That’s where we have landed. We have done it all. The more you limit, the more you remove the excess, it is so much better. Your kids play so much better. Your days are smoother.

Before I wrap it up, I want to make a quick note about people who have one child. I have done some studies of my own on students in Your Uncluttered Home, who have an only child. One woman in particular, I actually gifted her the course, if she would give me a good synopsis of how it goes with her having an only child. At that time, her daughter was an only child; she is not anymore.

She did all that I am talking about. She limited things. She went through her entire home and did Your Uncluttered Home. She had the same results as me, as did the other five women that I did this with. Hers was really detailed and I appreciated what she did so I am going to focus on her.

She had the same results that I did. Her daughter played for hours alone instead of just a couple of minutes. She didn’t need her mom to play with her so much. She grew her imagination. She became very creative. She took up coloring and art. She started to really thrive.

Don’t give me the excuse that it only works for me because I have four kids and they are really close in age. This can happen for anyone. With kids that are far apart. With only children. With families of 12 kids. Whatever your situation is I would encourage you to attempt to remove the excess when it comes to your kids’ toys. See how it goes for you. Give it a month. Give it some time. Let it sit. Let it breathe. I promise you will see some positive changes.

I will link to my story. I will link to my favorite studies that have been done. I will link to my post about how to declutter the kids’ toys. I also have put together a free download for you. It is my top resources for decluttering the kids’ toys. If you want that, go to the show notes. It is totally free. It will help you with the “how to” of all of this. I will also link to the articles on boredom and how good it is for your kids to be bored every now and then.

If this is really, really speaking to you, and you are game and you so want this, I would really encourage you to dive into my blog archives. Read my old posts. Consider enrolling in Your Uncluttered Home. There is nothing else like it. It is all in one place. It is all right there. It is so full, helpful, and valuable. I promise you will love it. It will change your entire life.

Take action in some way. Whether you get the course, whether you don’t get the course, whether you do it yourself, whatever. I just want you to experience the life changing, amazing effects of decluttering and simplifying your kids’ toys. It will change your whole family dynamic for the better.

The show notes can be found at alliecassa.com/shownotes/27. Get your free download. Look at those studies and check all that out. I encourage you to take action; don’t just listen to this and do nothing. That is my worst fear for you guys.

Take action. Be a doer. Make a positive change for your family.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!