How I Teach My Kids Minimalism

Last week, my family and I were window shopping in a mall when Ryah, my 7-year old daughter, saw a Dora cup in one of the shops.

She already has the exact same one, and an Elmo cup, but she kept on insisting to her mom that she “needed” a third cup.

I was sitting on a bench in the department store with my son on my lap, and I was overhearing their conversation.

"Mom, I need the Dora cup.”

“But you already have the same one at home. And an Elmo cup, remember?” mommy said.

“But I still need the Dora cup.”

Ryah was beginning to make a scene so I called her to sit beside me.

The obedient daughter that she is, she willingly followed. I spoke softly.

“Ryah, why do you want the Dora cup?”

“Because I need it, daddy.”

“But you already have one at home. And you also have an Elmo cup, so you have two cups. That’s great.”

“But I still need it, daddy.”

“Which do you think is more important, the Dora cup… or love, family, and friendship?”

She hesitated for a moment, and I felt that her young mind understood what I was trying to get across. Her face looked disappointed because she knew she wouldn’t get the Dora cup.

“Love, family, and friendship, daddy.”

“Do you have those?”


“Are you happy?”

“Yes.” Her face lit up a bit.

“So come, let’s just eat and have fun together.”

On the way out of the store, I bought her favorite Lego Friends set which cost many times more than the Dora cup she wanted.

That one, I know she really needed.