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Choosing to live with not very much of anything. - Page 6

post #101 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by momo7 View Post
Woud you say that Amish children are deprived, or even think about children in other countries that may not have alot of posessions, but aren't considered poor?

I had a friend once that lived on a sail boat, they definitely didn't have alot but he certainly wasn't deprived. He went places most kids only read about in books. Both parents had amazing educations but they decided to "give it all up" so they could go and do what they wanted. So there wasn't alot of income. When they needed money they found a place to dock and his dad would work for a couple of months and then they'd go on to another place untill they needed more money. This kid was completely homeschooled. He didn't have many toys, very few in fact, he barely knew what a video game was. They didn't eat much meat and they were mostly vegetarians when they were at sea. If you want to say depived....this family did not have much at all. But that kid loved the way he lived.....I was so jealous he got to do everyting he did.

I don't think that not having "stuff" makes a person deprived. I think living simply actually makes you more wealthy in ways that matter more than worldly possessions.
Love that story. I watched a thing on PBS recently about a family that lived like that. SO inspiring!
post #102 of 155
I haven't read all the pages/replies but wanted to post.

First, in regards to the kiddo who gobbles and takes food from the other kids. I'd be more inclined to think there was a potential health issue than a lack of food issue. I've known a couple people over the years who have gut issues that will go nuts around things like nuts and bagels. I've seen it in young children and in mature (and theoretically self controlled) adults. Seeing as you mentioned things like bagels I'm guessing their enthusiasm is seriously just a novelty thing. We routinely have bagels and english muffins. When my friend comes over with her kids that's what they go for. They could tear through my entire pantry within minutes. I KNOW they have similar foods at their house. Differences in prep., display, toppings etc. can make a huge difference. Think of it as marketing. There is a huge difference in your reaction to a poorly lit display case with an item in as opposed to a brightly lit and well decorated and arranged display case with the same item in it yk?

In regards to the thinness. Be gentle with the judgments there. I was a skinny kid and it was hurtful to have that always be a "concern". I was healthy, active, and happy. I just don't gain weight easily. I still don't as an adult. My kids are tiny as well. Genetics ya' know? There is a difference in a healthy skinny and an unhealthy skinny/thin. From the sounds of it these kids are just another variation of the human body. Skinny/thin does not always equal not getting enough to eat.

Secondly, I think you hit the nail on the head earlier. You mentioned that you operate from wanting more due to your upbringing. I totally understand that as I go back and forth with that at times. You can't let that cloud your perception though. It's just a breeding ground for unfair judgement IMO. We live very modest. One tv (only movie access), my girls share all their toys (so technically only have one kids worth if that), we prioritize books and reading and music over toys, live in a tiny place (under 600 sq ft), one car etc. They go nuts at others homes and when others come to our home those kids go nuts over what my kiddos have. I have a friend who flat out told me last night she'd go nuts living my lifestyle and that sometimes when I mention random things it bugs her. I tend to think the same about her lifestyle. I've noticed that for those who go with less than average it's easy to get distracted/swept up in the extras. Even as an adult I tend to go into kid mode when we visit because it is so different. Do I prefer our set up? You bet ya! I KNOW a lot of times the food will be unfilling for me or make me feel gross and the entertainment will bore me or give me a headache etc. but I still go into the "gimme" mode because it is different.

Different strokes for different folks.
post #103 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by momo7 View Post
Woud you say that Amish children are deprived, or even think about children in other countries that may not have alot of posessions, but aren't considered poor?

I had a friend once that lived on a sail boat, they definitely didn't have alot but he certainly wasn't deprived. He went places most kids only read about in books. Both parents had amazing educations but they decided to "give it all up" so they could go and do what they wanted. So there wasn't alot of income. When they needed money they found a place to dock and his dad would work for a couple of months and then they'd go on to another place untill they needed more money. This kid was completely homeschooled. He didn't have many toys, very few in fact, he barely knew what a video game was. They didn't eat much meat and they were mostly vegetarians when they were at sea. If you want to say depived....this family did not have much at all. But that kid loved the way he lived.....I was so jealous he got to do everyting he did.

I don't think that not having "stuff" makes a person deprived. I think living simply actually makes you more wealthy in ways that matter more than worldly possessions.
this family is not amish nor do they live on a sailboat. they live in regular society and should be able to enjoy common things that the other children of society get to enjoy. im not saying that you need to have the very best toys and clothes but you gotta have SOME.
post #104 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
Living simply is not living in deprivation.
no it isnt. the situation described by the op is a little more extreme than simple IMO. I have no problem with "simple" but sometimes when parents cant afford things they make themselves feel better by claiming "simplicity".
post #105 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspineau View Post
I don't get why people choose to live like that either. I dont understand this trend of deprivation.
I think it's shocking that we are so glutted with stuff in the Western world that we think having one car, no television, and not eating lots of treats or processed food is "deprivation." As Americans, we are among the most overfed, overstimulated, wasteful people on the planet.

I actually saw nothing in the OP to indicate that the kids are in any way deprived--they don't have a ton of toys or their own computer. Horrors! The food issue MAY be an issue, but it may have nothing to do with "simplicity", but more a particular problem with the particular child who's doing it.
post #106 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
I think it's shocking that we are so glutted with stuff in the Western world that we think having one car, no television, and not eating lots of treats or processed food is "deprivation." As Americans, we are among the most overfed, overstimulated, wasteful people on the planet.

I actually saw nothing in the OP to indicate that the kids are in any way deprived--they don't have a ton of toys or their own computer. Horrors! The food issue MAY be an issue, but it may have nothing to do with "simplicity", but more a particular problem with the particular child who's doing it.
Well said.
post #107 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
I think it's shocking that we are so glutted with stuff in the Western world that we think having one car, no television, and not eating lots of treats or processed food is "deprivation." As Americans, we are among the most overfed, overstimulated, wasteful people on the planet.

I actually saw nothing in the OP to indicate that the kids are in any way deprived--they don't have a ton of toys or their own computer. Horrors! The food issue MAY be an issue, but it may have nothing to do with "simplicity", but more a particular problem with the particular child who's doing it.
post #108 of 155
I am always amazed about the strong feelings people have about food. I'm part of a pretty large natural parenting group with people on all ends of the food spectrum. One of our very first meetings, we had a nutrition topic... this was topic caused more heated debate than any other.. including vaccines! There is such a wide variety of views on healthy eating, and a LOT of different reasons for eating a certain way. And it is very hard to eat differently than the mainstream and to try to instill healthy eating habits in your kids.

Some people are very passionate about consuming only or primarily raw milk. My kids have had sensitivities/allergies to dairy, but their issues are much less with raw milk products. I'm not very strict about it when we're out and about... BUT, I have been thinking about trying to eliminate pasteurized dairy more in the hopes it will help ds1's eczema without him having to completely cut out all diary. Some kids can handle a bit of regular dairy, but not a lot. So, I can understand saying "you've had one, now we're going to return the rest." I have tried to be polite and not say anything to the giver but just make the food disappear later.

I find it so hard to find that moderation. We have a history of diabetes in our family, and I really want to prevent it in my kids. At the same time, I don't want my kids feeling so deprived that they binge on junk as soon as they're grown and on their own. I also have a child who has food sensitivities to foods that are in most processed foods. So, I have to constantly monitor that and tell people (like the ILs) what he can and can't have over and over again.

So, just because you don't understand the family's attitudes towards food doesn't mean they don't have some good reasons behind them... even if they're not your reasons. How would you like it if someone said your dcs will probably end up obese with Diabetes because you offer so much food and let them eat whatever they want all day long? (I'm not saying this... just playing devil's advocate.)
post #109 of 155
I think a lot of people (including my brother and sil) probably think we're absolutely insane for having made the lifestyle choices we have.

We live in a small place as we slowly work to improve it and clear the land etc, we have three kids, and I am a journalist. My income fluctuates- I have two hourly days a week that I work for the local paper- the rest of our income is freelance/article whatever we can manage. There are tight months (this is one of them!) when we put off a bill for a couple weeks, but they aren't the majority of the time. My husband is a SAHD- legally in the US from Canada, but still waiting to be able to legally work. Even when he can work, unless he finds something that will make it worth paying for childcare AND the commute- we're probably better off with his being home with the kids.

I'm sure people think I've starved my daughter- almost 8, and almost 50 lbs- but the reality is that what she wants to eat is 'junk'. We have a great variety of food at home, and the fridge and cupboards are always open to her... but if we go visit someone with chicken nuggets-I'm sure they'd swear she hadn't eaten in a year.

Same nearly 8 year old's room? It's pretty barren. She decided a few weeks ago that she no longer wanted a bed, and requested a hammock- so we got one for her and put it up. Most of the furniture came out of her room, most of the toys, most everything, in fact- because it wasn't being played with, and she was unable to organize herself and herthoughts with the chaos around her. We purposefully minimized/simplified her space until it worked for her, but I'm sure people on the outside looking in would assume that we don't buy her toys/clothes/extras.

We also have a 1 year old and a newborn. They don't have a lot of 'stuff'. For DS 1's first birthday, he received one gift- a set of blocks everyone in the family helped to make- his grandfather cut them, and everyone else in the family sanded them, and finished them for him. Again, people thought that was deprivation, but he plays with them constantly.

We try to choose what does fit in our family, in our home, and in our budget.
post #110 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeca View Post
Are they actually hungry or do you just have snacks that they don't get at their house. It may be simply you have different kinds of food and kids react crazy to that.
my kids do this when they go to my friends house. She has so many sugar filled sweets and convenience goodies that they want it all. She knows me well so she knows I feed them but we don't have "those" kinds of snacks so my kids go ape. Other than that they just has different priorities I see nothing strange about it.
Right. I don't tend to keep a lot of the sugary snacks around, but my neighbor across the street has a cabinet full of them in the garage that's basically "open" for any kids who are playing there to take from.

It's sometimes a struggle to keep my 3-year-old from gobbling down 4 packages of HFCS-loaded treats, especially since her kids are eating them pretty constantly and give him them when I'm not looking.
post #111 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspineau View Post
no it isnt. the situation described by the op is a little more extreme than simple IMO. I have no problem with "simple" but sometimes when parents cant afford things they make themselves feel better by claiming "simplicity".
This is what the OP described:

"They have no computer, no tv, some toys (mostly books), one car (they bike a lot), one tele, and etc."

I don't see that as being particularly extreme. I wish we could go no-TV, but my husband likes his football too much. We have gone no-cable.

We have one car, one tv, mostly books, and bikes for all of us. The only thing I see as problematic is the no-computer, particularly if the kids are public schooled. At least around here, the public schools kind of expect that all kids have a computer and Internet connection at home which isn't that great an expectation since our district also includes part of a rather poor, urban area.
post #112 of 155
Apologies if this has been discussed (I'm stealth posting from work, lol!), but in this case, I would wonder what the home environment is like. Is living this simply a choice or a necessity? If the parents are happy with the life they've chosen and are consciously passing on their simple-living-values to the kids, I think that would/does make for much happier kids than parents that are stressed and arguing about a lack of disposable income.
post #113 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspineau View Post
this family is not amish nor do they live on a sailboat. they live in regular society and should be able to enjoy common things that the other children of society get to enjoy. im not saying that you need to have the very best toys and clothes but you gotta have SOME.
Yeah! Let's all conform to mainstream society!

We live simply because we want to, not because we're poor or in a unique living situation. Maybe not to the extent as the family in the OP but still.

You don't need whole lot of toys, or TV's, or fancy high end computer, or a big house, or two cars, or a whole lot of other things that society deems important.

The even the family doesn't seem extreme to be honest. We have one car and either walk or take the bus many places. Heck, a portion of the grocery shopping is done by me on foot if I can do it then why shouldn't I? We could very easly get rid of the TV and no one would notice, most of the toys we have are books, we are big on reading.

Now if we take the kids opinions on the matter... DS is happy as long as he gets yums and snuggles. DD would have us living in the middle of nowhere completely off the grid.

We get to enjoy a lot of what many kids in our area don't. We go camping, DD found out at the begining of the school year only one other student in her class as been camping. Everyone else goes to Europe or Disneyland in the summer and stays in hotels. could do that but chose not to. We sit around at least twice a month and play board games, this even usually consists of at least one 5 - 10 minutes session of laughing so hard the game stops until we get it under control. We read books together, each person taking their time to read. We got through three harry potter books and a couple of Tamora Pierce books that way.
post #114 of 155
As far as toys go, most kids have the most fun with plain cardboard boxes, or with blankets suspended between two chairs. Kids don't need things marketed as toys to have toys.

More than one car is a luxury we've gotten used to in our society. It would be nice if we had better public transportation. People used to manage very well with fewer cars. Sadly, public transportation isn't an option where I live. But we get a lot of places by biking and walking, and chose where we live because we're able to do that.

Books are free from the library.

Kids need very very little as far as material goods. They need food, but they don't need out of season tropical fruit, and being excited because of some (bananas, wasn't it?) doesn't mean they are "deprived".
post #115 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
I think it's shocking that we are so glutted with stuff in the Western world that we think having one car, no television, and not eating lots of treats or processed food is "deprivation." As Americans, we are among the most overfed, overstimulated, wasteful people on the planet.

I actually saw nothing in the OP to indicate that the kids are in any way deprived--they don't have a ton of toys or their own computer. Horrors! The food issue MAY be an issue, but it may have nothing to do with "simplicity", but more a particular problem with the particular child who's doing it.
I dont think any of those things are deprivation. that is pretty much our lifestyle and we are well off. im just not a fan of having no toys, no tv, nothing to do, and no food. call me crazy.
post #116 of 155
okay i guess i figure that if the op was concerned it has to be somewhat extreme? i mean if the kids have some toys but not an outrageous amount, thats fine in my book. no tv is weird to me, but to each their own. if the kids have not much food that is bothersome to me. i commented like I did based on mothers that I know personally that claim simplicity and they actually cannot afford basic necessities. I guess i just read too much into it? anyway i didnt mean to offend. i really have no problem with a simple and basic lifestyle.
post #117 of 155
The only way you can ever truly have nothing to do is if you have no imagination and you're alone.
post #118 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspineau View Post
I dont think any of those things are deprivation. that is pretty much our lifestyle and we are well off. im just not a fan of having no toys, no tv, nothing to do, and no food. call me crazy.
I really don't see how having no tv and not a lot of toys means you have "nothing to do". Can you go for a hike? Build a fort out of couch cushions? Go to the playground? Go to the local library? Play tag? Build a robot out of an old cardboard box? Play hide and seek? Play chef or restaurant using pots and pans from the kitchen? Teach the dog how to fetch a ball? Climb a tree? Read a book? Write your own book? Choreograph a dance? You don't need to be hyper-scheduled and have a house full of commercial toys to be a busy, active, imaginative kid.

I was one of those kids who had tons and tons of toys, but my most memorable childhood play experiences involve doing things that didn't involve anything that came from the toy store: building a whole "town" for potato bugs in my background, using plants, rocks, sticks, and dirt; playing "desert island with my friend Melissa--we would go into the woods behind her house and pretend we were stranded and had to make everything we needed out of what we found in nature; making a homemade croquet set out of cans, sticks, and straws, with oranges for balls; working with my best friend to design and play our own board game. I know that I had pretty much every "hot" toy on the market, but I couldn't for the life of me tell you what most of those things were now--they were just more stuff. (My books, on the other hand, I remember vividly--but all you need for that is a good local or school library.)

Obviously, "no food" is a real problem. But simply, whole food, rather than lots of packages or boxes? That is NOT a problem and it is certainly not deprivation. Even the simplest American diet is far more rich, varied, nutritious, and plentiful than what most of the world's children survive on. The OP indicates that there MIGHT be an issue with food--but without more information, and since the "problem" seems limited to one child, there is simply not enough information to go on.
post #119 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
I really don't see how having no tv and not a lot of toys means you have "nothing to do". Can you go for a hike? Build a fort out of couch cushions? Go to the playground? Go to the local library? Play tag? Build a robot out of an old cardboard box? Play hide and seek? Play chef or restaurant using pots and pans from the kitchen? Teach the dog how to fetch a ball? Climb a tree? Read a book? Write your own book? Choreograph a dance? You don't need to be hyper-scheduled and have a house full of commercial toys to be a busy, active, imaginative kid.

I was one of those kids who had tons and tons of toys, but my most memorable childhood play experiences involve doing things that didn't involve anything that came from the toy store: building a whole "town" for potato bugs in my background, using plants, rocks, sticks, and dirt; playing "desert island with my friend Melissa--we would go into the woods behind her house and pretend we were stranded and had to make everything we needed out of what we found in nature; making a homemade croquet set out of cans, sticks, and straws, with oranges for balls; working with my best friend to design and play our own board game. I know that I had pretty much every "hot" toy on the market, but I couldn't for the life of me tell you what most of those things were now--they were just more stuff. (My books, on the other hand, I remember vividly--but all you need for that is a good local or school library.)

Obviously, "no food" is a real problem. But simply, whole food, rather than lots of packages or boxes? That is NOT a problem and it is certainly not deprivation. Even the simplest American diet is far more rich, varied, nutritious, and plentiful than what most of the world's children survive on. The OP indicates that there MIGHT be an issue with food--but without more information, and since the "problem" seems limited to one child, there is simply not enough information to go on.
Ugh. are you even reading my posts or what? i said NO toys is not okay by me. not NOT having TONS of toys. I never said that not having packaged foods was bad. we do not eat premade, preserved, artificial or sugary anything. i am a firm believer in whole healthy food. but the op made it sound like the children were starving.
post #120 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspineau View Post
Ugh. are you even reading my posts or what? i said NO toys is not okay by me. not NOT having TONS of toys. I never said that not having packaged foods was bad. we do not eat premade, preserved, artificial or sugary anything. i am a firm believer in whole healthy food. but the op made it sound like the children were starving.
Actually the OP said "not at lot of toys" (which implies that they have some) and that the kids eat a ton at her house. We have no idea how much they eat at their own house, and there really isn't any evidence in what the OP said that the kids are starving. Every child I know gets crazy for food at other people's houses. I don't know why, but that doesn't seem like a kid thing.

Also, "no toys, no TV" doesn't mean nothing to do, lol. I can't imagine what you'd have to do for kids to have nothing to do... White padded room maybe?
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