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Monday, June 3, 2013

Being Intentional in Teaching Contentment

My daughter has very simple needs. Feed her, read to her and play with her and she's happy. We have been trying to make sure she doesn't become materialistic. We generally don't always buy her toys (she has A LOT of toys as gifts) and if she really wants something (like she wanted a bicycle) then she needs to work for it. (she has an ice candy business). 

For her birthday around three months ago she wanted fake glasses. I told her that she had money to spend and she's free to buy them. She chose a pair that costs 75 pesos which were not very cute in my opinion. She was very happy with it though so I let her be. 

Around a week after her purchase I came upon a store which sold the cutest fake glasses for kids and so I wanted to buy her one.  I then told myself "What are you doing Olivia? Your daughter was so happy with one pair of super inexpensive glasses and here you go getting her another one? Why? What value will that bring to her?" I realize that if I buy her another pair, I am training her not to be happy with one thing. Why would I want to do that?

I have since then stopped myself from buying her more things. Sometimes though, I fail the test. Take what happened to us two weeks ago for example. I found out that Andrea's one and only headband (which she lovingly chose) broke. When I say it broke I mean that the flower decoration fell off leaving one thin green band. I looked at it and said "Don't worry honey, we'll go and get you a new one when we go to the mall"

It was an insanely stupid statement. First, she wasn't worrying. She wasn't even sad. She was perfectly content. Why am I offering to buy her something when she didn't even ask for it?

Then what she said blew me away, "Why mom? This one still works. See, I can still wear it." 

I was so happy that my daughter knows the meaning of being simple and of not needing things to be happy. I think I have to be more intentional in teaching MYSELF contentment.

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