Is Contentment a skill?
How to help our kids learn...
My middle daughter has been grounded for some time now. She continued to be dishonest and so the privileges she lost remained revoked.
Today she is free! She is officially UNGROUNDED and she has been anticipating this day!
She got to enjoy several of her privileges again today and all in all it's been a good day. We had a successful trip into town, the kids got to buy some things with their own money. We played in the backyard in the evening and enjoyed a delicious dinner together...
But my daughter expressed over and over this evening her discontent and disappointment in the day. That everything had not gone like she wanted or hoped. I tried to talk her through it. I tried to reminder that she did get to enjoy some of her privileges again and others she will get to in a day or two, but her heart was still sad.
As I thought over her discontentment this evening I recalled a Focus on the Family episode I'd been listening to. (CLICK HERE to listen to that: 23:50). Joshua Becker was their guest speaker and he was talking about meeting a man who was wondering why his kid, who had so much, always wanted the next thing and was never happy.
This was Joshua Becker's response:
"Maybe you have gotten so much stuff for your son that he hasn't had to LEARN contentment with what he has."
As I heard that I thought "WOW, isn't that the truth." I grew up very poor for American standards. It was by the grace of God and the kindness of others that we scraped by. I know that we had very little but we were very content with what we had, we always had enough and that was a gift.
Now that I'm grown, I always have what I need and almost always have enough for my wants as well. It's harder to be content. It's harder to be grateful when the possibility of the next thing is available...
And I think back to my daughter who thought today would somehow be magical because she's ungrounded. She had so much good go on in the day yet she was unable to feel it because she wanted more.
I know I tend to want to fulfill my children's every wish and dream. I want to give them everything their hearts desires... Then I realize, I need to leave more room for them to LEARN contentment. To not just go on to the next thing, or even next experience, but instead to find gratitude and peace in the now and all they've been blessed with.
This is a lesson for me to remember and keep in mind as I guide and give to my children.
How can you encourage contentment in your heart and in your children? For myself, being grateful and stopping the constant pursuit of more helps me. What helps you find peace where your at? I'd love to hear in the comments below.