The benefits of minimalist parenting: an interview with Christine Koh (and a book giveaway!)

I’m excited to be interviewing Christine Koh, one half of the dynamic duo behind Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More By Doing Less, along with Asha Dornfest. Minimalist Parenting is a brilliant book that puts parenting into a saner perspective. Christine sheds some light on the premise of the book, along with some information about the benefit they are doing for women in Ethiopia. A book about laid-back, connected parenting with a social-good cause? Yes, please.

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Me: So what does "minimalist parenting" mean?

Christine: Minimalist parenting is about lifestyle editing, both physically and emotionally. It’s not about scarcity or being disengaged from your kids, and we don’t try to tell parents that there’s one right way to do things. Instead, our goal is to help parents tune in to their unique values and priorities so that decisions can be made based on joy, priorities, and instincts instead of “shoulds.” Our hope is that parents will read the book and feel equipped with the confidence and tools to move forward and make their lives awesome…on their own terms.

Me: How does this kind of parenting benefit our kids?

Christine: A big part of minimalist parenting involves shifting the reigns to the kids; to give them freedom to explore and develop their own interests, and to have them become a part of the family system by taking on responsibility. Why? Because if parents keep bending over backwards to do everything for their kids, kids will never develop their own flexibility! Kids need to explore and learn and grow and make their own periodic mistakes in order to become resourceful and figure out how to problem solve. They’ll become more resilient to life’s challenges, while also developing the essential life skills needed to be functional when it’s time to leave the nest.

Me: How does this kind of parenting benefit us, as parents?

Christine: Having kids help with chores, spending less time chauffeuring your kids around, raising resourceful and creative kids, feeling less burdened by social/emotional shoulds, feeling less freaked out when you confront your family calendar, not tripping over so much clutter, making space for self-care…does that all sound awesome? Those are just some of the benefits that you can derive from minimalist parenting!

Me: How did you decide, with all the pressures in the current parenting culture, that minimalist was the way to go?

Christine: As initially overwhelmed parents, we both eventually started experimenting with bucking the trend: letting go of perfection, learning how to say no, taking things down several notches, and following our kids’ leads more. Over the years we heard from our readers that they were wrestling with the same issues and found relief when we shared about do-less strategies. The response to the book has been amazing; everyone is overwhelmed and wants to identify ways to tweak their existing formula to reduce the crazy. It’s been such an honor to help people through that journey.

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Me: Tell me about the Minimalist Parenting benefit for women in Ethiopia.

Christine: We created this benefit to honor the one year anniversary of our trip to Ethiopia with ONE Moms. During the month of October, we’re donating 100% of royalties on all copies ofMinimalist Parenting sold through the tracking link http://bit.ly/helpwomenatrisk to Women At Risk, an organization that helps Ethiopian women lift themselves out of prostitution by providing them with practical support, job training, and viable employment. We met some of the incredible women who have benefited from this program during our site visit to the amazing fashionABLE.

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photo by Karen Walrond

To help the cause, simply order the book via this link. Buy copies for yourself, friends or family, to donate to your local library or wherever! We’re also thrilled that our publisher, Bibliomotion, is stepping up and matching our donation on the first 100 copies sold as part of this fundraiser. Thanks in advance for being part of this effort with us!

Thanks, Christine! And readers, you can also enter for a chance to win your own copy of the book. Leave a comment below answering the question: what area of your life would you like to simplify?














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