What My Kids Hear a Lot: “Let’s thank God for what we have, not wish for what we don’t.”

There seems to be a theme of grand wishes this summer.  I’ve been hearing more than the usual sprinkling of petitions such as…
“Can we play longer?”   (Even though they’ve been playing all afternoon.)
“Can so and so spend the night?”  (Even though they are seeing each other all week at a day camp.)
“Can we go to Chick-fil-a?” (Even though we went the day before.)
And my personal favorite (read sarcastically), my son’s obsession with “Can we go to Hawaii?” (Even though we take great family vacations on the mainland.)
I cringe when the begging is followed by “Puhleeeeeeeaaaaase?!?!”

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind my children politely asking for things.  However, they must learn appropriateness of when asking is reasonable versus when it means excess.  The line was getting crossed often enough that I had to come up with a strategy to tackle it from two directions:  from the heart and from the practical side. 

From the heart –
“Let’s thank God for what we have, rather than wish for what we don’t!” has become my phrase of the season.  Depending on the situation, I change up the wording to fit.  For example, at the end of a playdate, when there is begging for the friends to come home with us, I’ll remind them, “Let’s thank God for the two hours we just spent with our friends rather than wishing for more.” 

As I was looking for verses to fit this situation, I found a gem under the “See Also” verses on the topic of “Thankfulness” in Parenting with Scripture.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.   Colossians 2:6-7

I love the phrase and imagery of “overflowing with thankfulness.”  If our hearts are brimming full with gratefulness, it’s hard to beg for more. 

From the practical side –
At first, I just tackled things from the heart.  I knew they understood the principle, but as time when on, I could tell that they needed tools to help them learn appropriateness.  Using the “heart principles” to help them understand the “why” behind these guidelines, I laid out the following…
– They may not ask for more time with friends when a playdate is over.
– There will be a limit of one sleepover a week during the summer.
– If we have already had a drive-through meal within the last week, they may not ask for it.
– We can dream of and discuss exotic vacations (who doesn’t?) but they may not ask for them.



Monday 29 July, 2013  |  Copyright ©2013, Kara Durbin read more>>

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