The Voluntary Life: 282 The Fear That Motivates Me (Sample Hour Interview)

3 March 2017

282 The Fear That Motivates Me (Sample Hour Interview)

This episode is from a conversation I had recently on The Sample Hour podcast with the host, Drew Sample. We had a wide ranging discussion covering options for living a job free life, productivity, minimalism as a parent, and motivation— including the fear that motivates me.

Show Notes:
Listen To Episode 282


  1. Children don't benefit much from having a huge number of toys, but they benefit greatly from having a lot of time from their parents. So it sounds like you guys are totally on the right track.

    The type of toy makes a big difference. The best toys are ones that the child can explore, exercise their imagination with, learn from, and develop their own abilities with. Some of the toys that we got great value from in the first five years included wooden building blocks, a two-octave keyboard with child-sized keys, and a set of paints together with lots of large pieces of paper (and a set of old clothes, and a place where making a mess was not a problem, such as in an old shed or even in the empty bathtub).

    Best of all were the improvised toys. Any large cardboard box that could be cut into shapes, coloured in, etc. Old enough furniture that we could let the children jump on it like a trampoline, pull the cushions off and pile them up to make houses and tunnels. Sheets that could be taken into the garden to make dens. Old tyres that could be tied up into trees for swings. Furniture that can be moved around to make obstacle courses. These toys show children that you can create new things; that you aren't limited to a set of options in life that have been defined by others.

    I was also interested that you are using a child-carrier rather than a pram. I think that's a great option. It gives the baby contact (and eye-contact) with their carer, plus warmth, and a sensation of the breathing and the heartbeat of the adult.

    When the baby gets too heavy for a front carrier, a backpack-style child carrier is a great option, which can be used until the age of about four. The child loves being up high, able to see all the same things that the adult sees. With both heads at the same height, the child can chat away with the adult, about what you can both see, or about whatever pops into each other's heads. I have such fond memories of these chats with my children when they were in the backpack as toddlers, and I'm sure these conversations helped enormously with my children's intellectual development. On occasions when the children were in a pram or stroller, this interaction just didn't happen.

    1. Thanks for this feedback Roger! I included it in episode 283


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