Tonight Andrew and I read from his Bible about the Prodigal Son. About mid-story Andrew chimes in with, “Oh this is the one about the brother.” “Well, yes, there is a brother in the story,” I said. “But isn’t it cool how the son comes back home after being gone so long from his family?” “Yeah, but he (pointing at the picture of the older brother) gets angry and says ‘I follow all the rules. Why don’t you give me a party, Dad?’ And Mom, he is upset because the brother gets… and the dad gives… and he gets…” At this point, I realize, this is a good night to talk about jealousy and contentment.
So how do you teach a child about contentment in a world full of I WANTS and GIVE ME THESE… Ya know, I am really unsure.
As apart of the nightly routinue, we do a little reflection time about the story. Tonight was “Talk about a time when you were jealous. Ask God to help you loves those people.” So Andrew and I talk about it for a minute and he swears he has never been jealous. EVER. And he remembers everything, so he must not ever be jealous of anyone.
But the mommy in me won’t leave it alone. Because there are plenty of times he has been jealous… He is jealous of his older friends. Ben, in particular. He has a DS. AND he can watch and play Ben 10. He is jealous of his younger friends. Jacob, in particular. Not only did he just get a new brother AND he got out of school earlier than Andrew did because he was in preschool. But he also has a Buzz Light Year whose wings can pop out at the push of a button. (Andrew is still very bitter at Santa for not getting his present right… but I will leave that for another day.) He was jealous of his father and a few guys in our youth group just a short week ago when they got to go see HIS Nana and Papa and play with all his Missouri toys and he didn’t.
But, nope, my kid’s not jealous. 🙂
After discussion this for awhile, we decide that both Mommy and Andrew can be jealous at times. And Jesus is the only one who can help us with that, so we pray… “Jesus help us not be jealous. To love people even when they have cool stuff and get to do stuff we want to do. And help us to like the stuff You give us. Amen.”
So, really, back to the question I asked before, how do you teach your kids to be content with what they have in the world we live in??