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Muslim Parent Minimalism

Muslim Parent Minimalism

The Simple Life!
Muslim Parent Minimalism isn’t all about getting rid of everything you own, living in a white tent in the middle of Arabia. Ha! Ha! That would be the day!  Rather, It is a state of mind, a philosophy if you will, and it can be applied in everyday life. Modern culture is deeply rooted in consumerism, and in the most subliminal way planted the ideology that some how, happiness can be purchased at a department store. We all know this is far from the truth. But, we have remained in a ‘loop’ for quite some time, and it’s time to bring everything to a hult!

Choosing to become a Muslim Parent Minimalist is the practice of being aware, thoughtful, and intentional about the tradeoffs we make between our time, our money, and our attention. It’s a heartfelt intentful declaration of liberating the ‘Nefs’ نَفْس (soul) of continually being ‘needy’ of something, and dares to seek happiness elsewhere. Muslim Parent Minimalist is a modern life discipline that subscribes to the mantra: more is less and less is more. It is a [mind shifting] thought processes of being actively conscientious in fostering relationships, experiences, and soul-care {towards yourself first, then others} And in doing so, the ‘Nefs’ نَفْس (soul) is alive and finds life!

How to become a {Muslim Parent Minimalist}

Before you embark on this journey, know that there are varying levels of minimalism ranging from extremist to light ,and the goal is to find a comfortable balance. Let state the obvious: any life that includes children is going to be complicated, at least to some degree. However, there are ways to simplify your house, including the kids’ rooms at a manageable level. Here are a few tips for simplifying your home with kids.

Importance. The first step in decluttering is identifying which toys and other possessions are truly important to your kids. What do they play with, what do they love? Then get rid of as much of the rest as possible, keeping only those they use and love.

Organizing. In the beginning, if you have a lot of kid clutter, you’ll want to block off a day to go through their rooms. Do one area at a time: a drawer, a section of the closet, a shelf. Take everything out of that area, put it in a pile. From that pile, take only the really important stuff. Then put back the important stuff by keep similar things organized together,  and tackle the next area.

Have Fun. Play a game such as the five-in-five challenge. Can you find five items you don’t want in just five minutes? Create a scrapbook with your kids and take before-and-after photos. Often times, being able to see the progress you have already made is helpful —especially if your child start to feel frustrated during the process.

Less is more. Educate your kids that they don’t need to have huge piles of stuff to be happy. They can’t possibly play with everything anyway — there aren’t enough hours in the day. With less stuff, they can find things more easily, and they can see what there is to play with.

Give Back. Donate to charity if the items are in good condition. Get some boxes and put all the stuff to donate in there, and when they’re full, load them up in your car to donate on your next trip.

Life Lesson.  Children do what you do, not what you say! The ‘togetherness’ actionable deeds of becoming a Muslim Parent Minimalist teaches kids the practice of being aware of the ‘stuff’ they accumulate, thoughtfully think through whether or not the ‘stuff’ is important, and intentional about the tradeoffs they make between their time, and attention they should seek. Kids become self-centered in a {Me, Myself, and I} society. Your child will have the opportunity to learn an important concept of ‘selflessness’--think of others less fortunate. Remember, choosing to become a Muslim Parent Minimalist is an interactive engagement process focusing on what matters most; fostering relationships, experiences, and soul-care {towards yourself first, then others}.

Ways to {foster} a Muslim Minimalist home

A Muslim Parent Minimalist lifestyle is about changing your way of thinking which ultimately changes habits. Habits can be difficult, but with mindfully paying attention in the present moment, we can see our thoughts, feelings, motivations, reactions, and responses with great clarity and wisdom. We can model to our children when and how to pause before reacting and choose the appropriate response for the moment we are in. We can demonstrate how we choose to purchase items at a department store and why we need the item in the first place.

Muslim Parents...do not tell your kids, show them [how].

Do regular decluttering. Every month or two, you’ll need to declutter their stuff. Do it at least quarterly. Have your child participate by placing a reminder in the kitchen calendar, or hold their hand and walk to their rooms every now and then, and if it looks way too cluttered, schedule some time to do some purging.

Learn to accept. You’ll never have a 100% minimal life with kids. You have to accept that. Be patient. It can be difficult while implementing a minimalist lifestyle, but the incremental steps done together will allow the family to grow together. They will learn to separate their own sense of self-worth from the things they own. It allows your child to explore who they are without the ‘stuff’, and focus on finding ways to contribute, help others, and spread kindness.

Note Book. Purchase a notebook for everyone in your home and label ‘My Endless Wants’. Encourage yourself first, and kids to write down every ‘want’ item they ask for. Writing down what’s on you mind is a great way to pause, reflect, and work through prioritizing the ‘wants’ from ‘needs’; which gradually change habits.

Buy less. Drastically reduce the amount of stuff you buy for your kids. It’s difficult to resist them when they really want something at a store, but you aren’t doing them any favors by caving in. Don’t deprive them completely, but also don’t spoil them with stuff.

Mom and dad, on your journey to live a Muslim Minimalist lifestyle, invite change with compassion and embrace and accept where you are. The time you spend being aware and mindful of family habits now will pay big dividends for the rest of your lives, here and in eternity--because less is more!

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