Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dancing Through The Seasons - Week 4

Photo Courtesy of Dana Leigh Photography

"I want, I need, I must have"
Helping our daughters to be content

Recently on our drive home from a play date, "Mooki" was in the back seat sulking.  Our dear friends, whose house we had just left, had made a decision to let their 8 year old daughter have a cell phone. "Mooki" was in her "I want, I need, I must have" mode.  "Mommy, I really want a cell phone too", she said.  I responded with "No honey, there is no need for you to have your own phone yet", then came the, "That's not fair, ALL my friends have phones". (Uh...not quite)

It would have been so easy for me to put my foot down and say, "I said NO and that is the end of this conversation, do not bring it up again", but I didn't do that.  I really tried to listen to her, ask lots of questions, and get to the root issues going on in her heart.  As our conversation continued, she finally admitted feeling jealous.  I was able to validate her, be understanding of how she was feeling, and also use that moment to teach contentment. 

  Why do they believe their little friends seem to have "way cooler" toys, "way cuter" clothes, and "way more" dolls?  Even us mom's can battle those thoughts too (I'll be addressing this more next week!).  It's so vital that we examine our own hearts and see if there are jealous thoughts in there.  If so, we need to confess those areas to the Lord and seek contentment.  We have to be that example to our girls.   

Why does the grass always seem greener on the other side? 

Courtesy of Google Image

I truly believe one of the greatest ways to help our kids combat discontentment, is to teach them about the importance of and give them opportunities to serve, love, embrace, share and put others first. The joy that comes through blessing others brings about true contentment!

I was reading in my Bible recently out of Exodus 35 & 36.  Moses had asked the Israelites to give of their personal belongings to help build the Lords Sanctuary.  Exodus 35:29 says, "So the people of Israel—every man and woman who was eager to help in the work the LORD had given them through Moses—brought their gifts and gave them freely to the LORD."  After the people had brought their materials, Bezalel, the craftsman chosen to do the work came to Moses and in Exodus 36:5 said, “The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job the LORD has commanded us to do!” They went above and beyond for the Lord. 

My desire is for my girls to have an eagerness to give, and not just give the bare minimum, but to go above and beyond for the Lord.  Almost a year ago "Mooki" began begging for an American Girl doll (which cost $100).   I helped her come up with a plan to earn the money.  She ended up earning $200+ by making and selling small bags. When we arrived at the American Girl doll store, "Mookie" turned to "Lover Girl" and announced that she was also buying her a doll! I was one proud mama in that moment. What an awesome act of kindness, generosity, and an eagerness to give!

I'm sure I am going to have many more, "I want, I need, I must have" conversations with my girls.  In the long run though, I pray my girls grow up to be women of influence for the things of God and to have huge impact in this world! 

Courtesy of Google Image

Things we do to help instill contentment:
  • Avoid commercial media that targets kids
  • Stay far away from toy stores!
  • Request "already used" gifts at their birthdays
  • Declutter their "stuff" a few times a year.
  • Host an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Party!

  • Visit a local elderly care center at Christmas.
  • Donate money to World Vision during the relief efforts in Haiti, per their request.
  • Express thankfulness often.
  • Learn about other cultures and their needs.
  • Talk about missions and other service projects (with plans to do more of these things as they get older).
  • Practice putting one another first in daily life.

  Other Resources:

Dancing Through The Seasons - Week 1
Dancing Through The Season - Week 2
Dancing Through The Seasons - Week 3

Coming up next week: 
"It's a bird! It's a plane! Wait it's Supermom"
(learning to have a standard of grace NOT perfection in your parenting)

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Photo courtesty of Dana Leigh Photography


  1. Wow, this couldn't have come at a better time! Our oldest daughter has her 4th birthday coming up soon and has been obsessing over this pony that she wants and I've been worrying about this exact thing! This was really helpful. I so look forward to reading your blog each week. It seems to hit perfectly with what we're going through every time! Thanks for writing!

    1. Megan, thanks so much for sharing! Glad it encouraged you!

  2. Great words, Andrea. Thank you for the reminder to get to the heart of the issues with our kids, rather than squash their wants/needs/desires right away. I'm learning to be a better mom with your help!