We've been having some issues with contentment in my house lately. It seems Anne is constantly wanted something beyond reach. If I give her the pink cup, she wants the purple one. If I give her fruit for a snack, she wants crackers. And on and on.
I've stood firm, reminding her to be thankful and content with what is given her, but the situation is usually still filled with whining and complaining. This is often followed by timeout or having the object completely taken away from her.
While I feel I'm being consistent as far as the parenting stuff goes, I'm getting weary. The idea of contentment just isn't sticking. So I went to the Word to get some more answers.
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." 1 Timothy 6:6-10
Another good verse (I think this one might be my next Monday Memory verse):
"Keep your lives free from the love of money and you will be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
So apart from the verses, I starting brainstorming practical, tangible ideas of how to instill this in Anne. Since my girl loves her jewelery, I came up with this "Being content is charming" necklace.
Here's a little tutorial if you'd like to make one.
- watercolors and brush
- Sharpie permanent pen (It's important that it's permanent so it won't run when painted over.)
- hole punch
- jewelry rings (to attach charms)
- white card stock
- colored paper or scrap book paper
- an old necklace (We used one from Anne's dress-up bin.)
- laminator, clear contact paper or clear packing tape
STEP ONE: Glue a small square piece of scrapbook paper to the back of a matching square piece of the white card stock.
STEP THREE: Part of being content is being thankful for what you have. Anne and thought of things to be thankful for and I used the Sharpie to draw little pictures that represented those items. (You can write the name of the item underneath (but we ended up just using the picture part for the charms.) Things on Anne's list: family, uncles, pizza, pink books, Jesus, the mountains....
STEP FOUR: Have your child paint over the items with watercolors. Let the paper dry completely.
STEP FIVE: Laminate your pieces. This helps with wear-and-tear of the charms and also makes them sturdier. If you you are using clear contact paper or packing tape, it is probably best to cut out each charm and then cover each piece separately. You will also need to laminate/cover the square verse card that you created in steps one and two. I have one of those non-heat laminaters, we just ran the whole sheet through at once.