A lot of people always say that home is where the heart is. But no one ever mentions how much space that heart needs.
How much space you need for your home depends on plenty of factors. If you want your household members to have more privacy and extra space for activities, you get a bigger house. But if you want something cozier and have less than five members, a small house will do.
While big houses aren’t bad for raising a family, having plenty of space does not equate to a better life. And having an excessive amount of space doesn’t equate to happiness or success. In fact, studies have shown that kids can thrive in modest houses because they’re more likely to spend time with family rather than stay cooped up in their rooms.
But aside from this, there are also several benefits to raising a family in a smaller house and living a modest lifestyle. It does not necessarily mean forcing everyone to share a bedroom, but here’s why you won’t need a separate playroom and study room to raise your kids properly.
Foster Heartfelt Communication
You might think that a small house will make your kids feel constricted, especially when they grow older and space at home becomes more limited. But the limited space means your children will have to learn how to communicate their needs and feelings instead of hiding away. So, even with all the fights, the kind of sibling relationship that they’ve developed will undoubtedly last a lifetime. That’s because room-sharing has a lot of benefits that most people do not expect.
Since a child’s frontal lobe has yet to develop during the age of 2 and 5, they still cannot distinguish reality from imagination. Because of this, they’ll carry the imaginary monsters that they had until they grow old. Having a sibling in the same room is a comfort for them. The mere presence of another person inside the same room will help them have a peaceful sleep.
Also, a smaller home means that you can share almost everything. That includes the annoying sound from the TV that everyone can hear around the house. You can scream and ask to change the channel or even educate your child about the things that he sees on the TV. Although these things sound simple, these little opportunities to communicate can give you a chance to build a strong bond with your child.
If you feel like the house is getting too small for your kids to run around, then you can encourage them to go outside and play with the rest of the other kids. The Huffington Post says that letting them enjoy the outdoors is an excellent form of exercise for them. Even more, it also allows them to develop their interpersonal skills, too.
Raise a Family Practically
When you’re raising your kids in a condominium or a small house, it’s also a practical way to help ensure your child’s future through your finances. A smaller home means that you’ll be able to save more on living expenses, utilities, taxes, and other expenses that could eat up your savings. Even more, it also allows everyone to share chores, which teaches your child the value of cooperation.
Raising your family in a smaller house gives you a chance to see your child as they grow. Downsizing doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re also downsizing your way of life. Instead, it teaches you the value of simplicity and how to appreciate the simplest of things. So, enjoy the time that you spend with your kids while they’re young and get the opportunity to see them grow when you live in a modest house.
Teach Them to Be Less Spoiled
Even if you have the financial means to spoil your children and give each of them their own large room with everything they want, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should. It’s OK to give your children gifts from time to time, but if you spoil them consistently and give in to their tantrums, you risk making them unable to face the real world when the time comes.
A psychologist at Harvard Medical School found that while it is possible to curb spoiled behavior, it may be better to ensure these behaviors do not develop in the first place. And as spoiled children become teenagers and adults, they became more prone to traits like self-absorption, lack of self-control, anxiety, and depression.
You might not think you’re spoiling your children, but spoiling children is not necessarily limited to giving them toys and sweets when they ask. It’s about parenting that does not have limits or structures that cause children to develop self-centered behavior. While there are plenty of factors that can go into this, living a modest and practical life at home can help curb these behaviors.
Set Their Standards for Later in Life
Teaching your kids at an early age to live a modest and practical lifestyle can prepare them for their future. Living in a modest home doesn’t necessarily have to be full-on austerity where you have to deny your children anything fun, but you need to find a balance and establish what’s important and what isn’t.
Raising kids in a home that puts practical needs first and enjoys luxuries every now and then teaches them the importance of prioritizing what matters – a lesson that can help them later in life.
Teach Kids to Be More Considerate
Having limited space at home can curb the “me me me” way of thinking and teach children to be more considerate of others. Smaller spaces can get children to empathize and consider that they need to think about others when they act a certain way.
This can be done in a lot of ways. For example, having a modest home without a maid means that chores have to be delegated. You can teach your children to be considerate of other people because if they refuse to do their chores or delay doing it, someone will eventually be burdened with it, and they may feel guilty for their lack of contribution.
In another case, if you live in a small home, your children can learn to be quiet when playing or watching TV so as not to disturb anyone sleeping or working at home. This is a sign of respect, empathy, and consideration for others that you’ll want to instill into your children.
Appreciate the Little Things
Some children do not really learn to appreciate the little things in life and take for granted their family’s financial position since everything they want naturally goes to them whenever they ask for it. Living in a practical and modest home can change that.
Show your children that they can still have fun and thrive. Instead of staying in their room all day to play with their toys and gadgets, try to schedule family activities in common areas like your living room. From time to time, it’s OK to reward your children with gifts and luxuries if they’ve earned it, but if you’re constantly showering them with presents, it can be difficult for them to appreciate the real value of things because they feel like they can get it easily.
Give Them Reasons to Go Out
Having a big house isn’t bad, but it could reduce the reasons for you and your family to go outside. If you have a playroom, a swimming pool, a private library, and a large backyard, you might find your children unwilling to leave their home because they have enough things to keep them entertained.
While it’s not a bad thing to have these things and be able to afford them, you could unknowingly be keeping them cooped up at home. This may make your kids avoid more opportunities to socialize outside of school and practice activities outside your home.
A more modest home limits their space at home, making them want to go out and socialize. In fact, it can even lead your whole family to want to go out and do something fun. There’d be no reason to leave the house during the summer if you have a pool, but if you don’t, it would be a great excuse for a family trip to the beach or a water park. Or, if you prefer the forest and the outdoors, it could be an excuse to go camping for the weekend.
Living Modestly, Not Cheaply
There’s a fine line in all of this, though. Living modestly doesn’t necessarily mean forcing a large family into a small home where everyone feels cramped and no one gets a sense of privacy – this isn’t something we’d recommend.
By living modestly, you’re living in a home with enough space for everyone with all their needs provided. A few luxuries and a vacation every now and then is good and can foster familial relationships and instill good traits. But by not showering your kids with presents and spoiling them, you’re teaching them to be practical and understanding their priorities, a trait that many kids do not have because of the lavish and spoiled upbringing they were raised in.