In the fourth episode of Growing Pains Season 2, we talk to Dr. Aparna Sundar, a mum to two children, a certified KonMari consultant, and a Montessori Parenting Coach. We wanted to find out: how do you learn to let go? Here’s what Aparna had to say on minimalist living, decluttering as a family, and managing feelings and expectations.
About our guest – Dr. Aparna Sundar
Dr. Aparna Sundar is a lady of many hats – doctor turned KonMari Consultant and most recently Montessori Parenting Coach, and not forgetting mum to two kids. Her mission? To help parents create peaceful family connections in their ideal homes. It’s fair to say you’re in safe hands when it comes to picking up a thing or two from Aparna (she was trained by Marie Kondo, no less, and is Singapore’s First Platinum Certified KonMari Consultant!). We were keen to get the lowdown and her top tips on how practical minimalist living really is with kids and how to get started…
Key points we covered in this episode to take a listen to…
02:00 – First up, Aparna shares where her minimalist living came from and how it was actually her husband who was a minimalist when they first met (think five tops and five pants only kinda guy). It was becoming a parent that really accelerated this transition, though. Aparna reflects that often, the more stuff we have at home, the more stuff we have vying for our attention – rather than us just taking the time to focus on what’s important: the child.
14:00 – Ange asks whether Aparna has had any moments when she’s had to compromise her lifestyle choices for the kids. Aparna reflects on a current situation with her son and video games and how they approached this as a family to work out how to meet in the middle.
22:50 – Aparna shares her approach to decluttering the home and how this should be a regular activity and not a one-off event. Also, involve the kids! “It’s not something we just do once a year, but we talk about it in little moments every single day. For instance, we’re all involved in tidying up at the end of the day”. We do a bigger declutter every six months to coincide with school breaks, for instance.
31:00 – We ask for Aparna’s advice when it comes to birthdays and gift giving. How can we avoid being overwhelmed with new things, especially when family and friends are buying gifts? Aparna suggests opting for activities and experiences instead but also not taking a purist approach. If others want to buy gifts for the kids, then that’s ok. Just because we do it one way, it doesn’t mean that it’s the only way. It’s good for kids to see all approaches in life.
Want to know more? Check out these resources…
Feeling inspired? Check out Aparna’s article on the site on her top five tips for kickstarting your minimalist lifestyle.
Looking for more info on doing your bit to live a greener life with the family? We spoke to Elly, a self-professed green geek and the Founder of Bright Green – a sustainability consultancy based in Singapore, to give us her insights on going green with a baby.
If you’re on board with Aparna’s alternatives for gift-giving (we’re talking experiences and dining with the kids), then head on over to our list of top family attractions that are sure to be a hit for a birthday surprise, as well as our fam-friendly dining guide. Also, check out the Love Language quiz to help you gain a better understanding of your kids’ preferences (and your own!).
Watch this space for Episode 5, dropping soon!