One of the things that has been interesting this year as F has been in school is the way he has interacted with the things that his classmates have that he doesn’t. In most cases he has mentioned that “So and so has a __” more in a spirit of providing information than anything else. Some things have made him ask if we could acquire the desired object, and some have become things he fusses over wanting.
We have been trying to teach him two things: contentment with what he has and does, and an understanding of the difference between needs and wants as they relate to the family budget.
Contentment is by far the harder of the concepts.
Today he was looking at a book of Lego designs from the school library and telling me that he “needed” certain pieces in order to build the things in the book.
“F,” I said, ” that book is supposed to give you ideas about what you could make and the possibilities of the materials. You don’t have to make an exact copy of any of those things. We don’t have those pieces.”
“You could buy them.”
“Yes, I could, and maybe I will some day, but they’re not in the budget right now.”
“But if I don’t have them I can’t build anything.”
“That’s not true. You need to use the Lego book the way you use the Eiffel Tower book, to give you ideas. You need to be contented and thankful with the Legos you have and not let the things you don’t have limit your creativity.”
He’s not completely satisfied with that answer, but I think it’s an important concept. He needs to learn that not every desire is either necessary to fulfill or something that should be filled right away if it should be filled.
He also needs us to model contentment with our stuff and our circumstances. This is much harder than trying to teach him contentment! Although I don’t think he hears us actively complaining about things, I think he does often see his mother grumpy because things aren’t going her way or at least not the way they had been imagined or planned to go.
I remember as a child thinking it was so ridiculous how my parents would let a day of rain effect their mood as well as their plans, yet I find myself doing the same thing. Not a good example!
I want my children and myself to be able to rest knowing that our heavenly Father provides all that we need when we need it, beyond our ability to ask or imagine. Pray for me as I try to learn this myself and model it for them.