What About Him?
Gather everyone around the table (after dinner?) and pass out paper and pencils or crayons. Instruct kids to draw a picture…while looking at the person’s picture on their right (to illustrate the idea that it is often looking at others that we are not happy with our life).
What was hard about drawing your picture? (I couldn’t pay attention and enjoy drawing my picture because I was looking at theirs.)
Why is it easy to be envious when we look at what others have or what good things happen to them? (We can’t appreciate what we have because we are looking at and wishing we could have what others have; someone has something better or newer or cooler; etc.)
Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes as an older man looking back with regrets about life. When Solomon looked at some things that happen in life, he saw things that didn’t seem right and created his dissatisfaction. There are some things in life that don’t seem fair, but being thankful for what we have can bring joy instead of discontentment
Bring a snack that your kids will like and give some to each child. Give all a fair amount, but make sure that one gets quite a bit more than the others. (They will quickly point out that someone else got more—“that’s not fair.”)
Why weren’t you happy with the snack I gave you? (You gave him more; I want more; I didn’t get enough; etc.)
Things changed when you thought someone else had more. Comparing what you have with what others have is not good. You can never know what God is doing in someone else’s life. He is a loving God and He will give you what is best for you. He is kind and generous. Even though King Solomon had tons of money, it was never enough. If we aren’t thankful, no matter how much or what we have will never be enough. We always want something more, something different.
Three Good Things
Complaining can become a habit, so help kids learn to be content by making a new rule:
For every complaint, they must say 3 good things.
Why do we always have mashed potatoes? I don’t like lumpy potatoes.
3 good things…
- I’m glad we have peas. They’re my favorite.
- I’m happy that we have food to eat.
- I’m glad that Mom makes us dinner.
We can always find something for which to be thankful!