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Interview with the Kids

simple living, minimalist living

My daughter wanted me to take a bunch of pictures with her and I have been playing with some different editing techniques.  These are pictures I took of them at the park last week. … most are of Lily because Ian was hiding and running.

A few weeks ago it was mentioned in the comments that I should ask the kids some questions.  I do all the writing on here (except for a post by Lily last fall and maybe some more when school starts again).

What do the kids think about minimalism?

Lets ask them:

Me: What is minimalism?

Lily: um, what does that word mean?

Me: like simple living

Lily: Cleaning my room is easy.

Ian: You don’t have a room

Lily: Well cleaning the house is easy

Me: Ian, what is minimalism?

Ian: Eating at the table is easy

Me: What do you like about our simple living apartment?

Ian: The pool, and sitting in the sun chairs at the pool

Lily: I like that we can jump a lot.

Ian: I like that we can run a lot. And books!

Lily: The books aren’t ours, they are library books

Ian: I like to relax on the couch

Lily: I like sleeping in the living room

Ian: I like sleeping in the bed at night

Me: Are there things you don’t like?

Lily: ah, I don’t like that there are bugs around here

Ian: shrugs and giggles

Me: Do you have enough toys?

Lily: More than I know what to do with

Ian: I have so much I don’t know what to play with first. {giggle}

Me:  What is it like sharing a room with your sibling?

Lily: Ian pokes me every morning

Ian: giggle.  Lily puts her feet on my bed in the morning all the time

Lily:  I do not

Me: Do you think other people would benefit if they became more minimalist? Why?

Lily: I think they would have a lot more fun because it is easier to clean up

Ian: I like to bike.

Lily: There is so much more time to have fun instead of cleaning my room

Me: You have only kept a few toys and other things, how do you decide what to keep and what to give away?

Lily: I give away stuff I don’t like playing with.  I keep stuff I like playing with.

Ian:  If I have any cars that I want to sell then I sell them

Me:  Is it hard to decide what to keep?

Lily and Ian: Yeah

Me: What do people say when you tell them you don’t have different things that they have?

Lily: When someone tells me about a TV show and I told them I didn’t have a TV and they said “What!” and stared for like 10 seconds with their mouth open.

Ian: If we didn’t have a computer I would tell them we didn’t have a computer and they would say ‘What!’

Me: Is it hard not to have the same things as everyone else?

Lily: Sort of

Ian: That is hard for me.

Lily: But not that hard.

Me:  Is there something else you wish you had?

Ian: A cube puzzle.  I wish I had a cube puzzle.

Lily: Dancing skittles

Ian: I wish I had my own golf playing game inside the house. Down the hall.

… there you have it from the mouths of a 5 and 8 year old.  I have talked to them before about it but it was good to see what they had to say again.  They had lots of fun and want to make sure I let them know if I have any other questions.  If you can think of any other questions for them feel free to write them in the comments and I will see if I can get you an answer.

Basically to them, from what I can tell, they are happy.  They go along with whatever because they are kids.  They see the different things their friends have and often wish they had them too in the moment.  That is just human.  It gives us a chance to talk about why we have and do the things we do.  Hopefully it will help them as they grow to think through what they want in life and not just go along with what society says.

I don’t know that they will grow up to be minimalist, but I hope they grow up thinking through their life and moving toward what they want instead of what is ‘normal’.

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  1. I love this line: “Hopefully it will help them as they grow to think through what they want in life and not just go along with what society says.”

    As a kid, we didn’t have a lot of ‘things’ either. When our old TV died, my parents could not afford another, so we went without for years. Those years provided great lessons that I still live by.

    Your photos are great and your kids don’t look deprived at all! 😉

    • thanks :)

  2. I love what your kids have to say it’s so honest and they make me realize that all the “stuff” people think their kids need are their projections on the kids. The kids probably would not care if they had the stuff or not. We train kids to be consumers and it is refreshing to see that you have taught your kids not to be consumers.

    • Diane, it is cool to see even from a young age what really catches kids attention is big empty boxes, dirt, and sticks (etc). Brightly colored plastic toys catch kids attention for a bit but don’t hold it near as long as the simple stuff :)

  3. I love the pictures of your children! And I enjoyed the interview. I believe your children will grow up with a heart of gratitude for the way you’re raising them. My children (22 and 15) were raised without things that other children had. Even though I know it has been hard for them at times–especially since we live in a small home and most of their friends have large houses and much more stuff than we do. But I still believe teaching simplicity to children at a young age shapes them into generous people who want to make a difference in the world.

    • Thanks! I think all children grow up with the idea that others have more or different things than them no matter how much they have… probably just human nature. I want to help them understand that what we have is a choice and every choice we make makes other choices for us :) I really want to raise generous kids, it seems like people are either focused on what they don’t have or what others don’t have, I would much rather the latter.

  4. Nicole Nicole

    Ahhh! So Sweet!

    • thanks!

  5. It is neat to hear from the kids! I think they’ll grow up knowing that they don’t always need the stuff that everyone tells them they need. They’ll be smarter consumers, even if they don’t embrace minimalism.

    • Yep, that is the goal :)

  6. Laura Eadon Laura Eadon

    Great article. This shows kids don’t need fancy electronics to have fun and be kids. They don’t need rooms full of toys or designer clothes to be healthy, happy and have fun. AND THEY DON’T NEED TV! The smut and udder garbage on the TV is disgusting.
    Me and my Husband don’t have any children yet. I’m just embracing the minimalist lifestyle, it’s been a year long process for me. Somethings were so hard to even imagine getting rid of yet, yesterday, more went to donation bins. I’m getting there!
    I have a question for Liy and Ian: Do you feel like you live different then other people? Would you rather live the way you live or the way they live?

    • Laura – thanks for your comment. I feel the same way about TV. Some stuff I am okay with them watching (Like the Olympics or something) but then the commercials are bad.

      Let me ask them:
      Do you feel like you life differently than other people?
      Lily: yeah
      Ian: yeah

      Would you rather live the way you live or the way they live?
      Lily: uh.. I have no idea
      Ian: our way

      How do you think ‘other people’ live?
      Lily: In houses
      Ian: In hotels

      There you have it :)

      • Laura Eadon Laura Eadon

        Thanks kids! I enjoyed your responses!

  7. Just found this post. Very cool!

    • thanks! I will pass on the compliment, they had fun… I will have to find a way to interview them again about something else :)

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