I follow a famous thought-provoking blog called zen habits. They just recently came out with a guest post by Joshua Becker from the blog Becoming Minimalist. This piece was about raising minimalist teenagers. From reading this post I found that four years ago he sold basically everything he had. He was tired “to be living paycheck to paycheck.” He makes some great points about the challenges we face in a growing materialistic world. One example is that as teens we value acceptance and have the need to conform with our peers. So many girls I know would go out and spend enormous amounts of money on clothes they don’t really want, but need so they could “fit in”. I think this grew out of most girls around Sophomore year of High School because us teens wanted to be more original and choose clothing that really describes who we are. In some ways I think its different for boys though. I still see guys wearing the usual “skateboard attire”, to fit in with there friends.
He proposes that parents give the teens some helpful tips. I thought i’d share them with you….
- Model Simplicity
- Encourage Idealism
- Volunteer as a family
- Watch less television
- Make teens pay for expensive things themselves
- Provide an ally
- Discourage Entitlement
- Travel to less developed countries
- Teach that what matters most is not what you have, but who you are
These are some great tips that he’s left for parents. I think that all of these will help regular teens out. However, in my case (and many other teens) I am not one to be told what to do. Watch less television? When my parents tell me this it makes me want to watch more television. I think as teenagers we are confused because we are almost adults and have many more responsibilities. We feel that its okay to make our own decisions, however I do respect my parents guiding hands. I do love the tip about making teens pay for themselves. Thats truly a great point; paying for things ourselves means we learn to work for what we want. And that could relate to many things: getting a good grade, getting a great job, learning to do something new.
Although teens don’t like to be controlled, I think this blogger makes some great points.