Parents play a big role in helping their kids learn contentment. We live in a marketing-saturated nation and much of it is aimed at kids. The desire for the next thing is quietly planted in their hearts and minds they barely stand a chance at fighting it off. They have no clue where it even originated.
Since we don’t have a television in our home – it’s always something of a novelty when we’re at a family member’s home or motel. I’m amazed at the number of commercials and the power of them. It’s no wonder people aren’t content.
Then there is social media – some of which doesn’t impact children as much – but impacts the way families interact with their kids and the expectations they place on themselves to provide at a certain level.
I just finished reading a great book that every parent ought to read: Smart Money, Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze.
This idea of contentment plays out in many ways including the value we place on things. It’s not always what we say as parents, it’s how we live it that gets passed down to our kids.
More stuff can never make you happy.
Your life worth isn’t based on what you own.
When what you have doesn’t feel like enough, jealousy and comparison creep in and produce anxiety and a host of other issues. That’s why contentment is so important.
Here are some “cures” the books suggests:
Be thankful. Model thankfulness in your own life and practice it as a family. Pray before meals. Be thankful to others. Be thankful to God.
The best way to help your children understand blessings is to give them a perspective of life. Don’t shelter your children from seeing what happens when a family is torn apart by runaway desires of stuff. When discontent reigns, nothing else matters. It’s also good for your kids to serve others and to experience what life is like for hurting people.
Give money away and teach your kids to do it too. Let them be a part of the process. Tithe your income at church. Give to people in need. Support missionaries and hurting kids. Giving reminds our hearts where money really stands with us – as a tool and a blessing.
Love your child unconditionally. Help them see that “things” can’t and won’t fill the gap. Time is more important than things. Show children God’s love in the best ways you know how.
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