Teaching My Children to Be Grateful and Content

When thinking about the character you want to instill your children, the word 'content' is a tricky one. I want to teach them to be grateful and content when thinking about what they do or don't have. On the other hand, I never want them to look back on their lives and see that they were just content, never pushing their limits or trying anything new.

It has really been weighing heavily on my mind lately as I feel like I've been arguing against the grass is greener on the other side mentality more often than not lately. Really, the blame falls completely on the hubs and I as we've allowed our love of technology and gaming to trickle down to the kids, indulging their wants and whims.

We currently have four TV's, two desktops, one laptop, three kindles, an iPad, a Wii, a Nintendo 3DS, two Xbox 360's, an Xbox one and various classic Nintendo consoles tucked away. One would think that is more than enough for any family, but my kids (mostly the big kids) are constantly on the lookout for the next electronic that they think they just have to have.

On almost a daily basis we hear how much they need this computer, another Xbox One, XYZ game, so on and so on. They have become so freaking laser focused on what they don't have, that they are no longer appreciating and truly enjoying what they do have.

This didn't happen over night and I know I won't fix it quickly either. I do have plans though to get my kiddos back to the little sweethearts that were okay with only getting gifts on their birthdays and Christmas and rarely asked for unnecessary items.

I've already begun by having talks with them about how they will never be happy with what they have if you they can't learn to appreciate and be grateful for what they do have. We could run out and buy every game console ever made and and they would still want more if they can't learn to realize that what they have is in fact enough.

I'm going to continue with introducing them to the simplified gift list (want, need, wear and read) this season. I'm going to add to it to ease them into it and have it look something like this;

Something I Want...

Something I Need...

Something to Wear...

Something to Read...

Something to Watch...

Something to Play...

Something to Create...

Something to Do...

I'm REALLY hoping the simpflied wish list sinks in for my girls, at least Ema, as they both have over 300 items in their Amazon wish list right now. Three-FREAKING-hundred! How am I supposed to decipher what they really want from that list and what tiny fraction of it they would truly be grateful to have and not toss aside in a week?

I really want to sit them down and them journal or do a Friday free-write on what they are grateful for, but more Matt holds the weight of the world on his heart when he begins to think about these things and will be emotional mess for days if he really begins to analyze what he has compared to others.

It is a slippery slope of curbing nasty little habits that have popped up in our home while making sure their innocent little souls are kept in tact in the process. No one said parenting was easy and I damn sure don't expect fixing my mistake to go over like a fluffy unicorn. We'll get there though and hopefully in the end I will have raised children who grateful and content with what they have but never so content with their lives that they forget to live.

Do you feel like your kids are grateful for what they have or does it seem like they are always asking for more and more?