What I’m trying to teach my children

This is probably the start of a few posts I want to talk to you about. I love my children. I love them very much. And I’m taking the job of raising them very seriously. Before we do anything at all with them we think about the consequences. For instance, we avoid refined sugars with our children. But this winter for the first time we have decided to let Luther have the occasional cup of hot cocoa… after sled riding or on a movie night. This is something we thought long and hard about. I know my son and he loves chocolate; so we had to make sure this was something we felt we could do in moderation – without a temper-tantrum. So far, so good.

Greedy Veruka

I’m also very hot on manners. I will not let my son have anything until he says please and I insist he says thank you. Likewise, I make him greet people when we meet them and say goodbye as we leave.

But I’m finding our biggest challenge is teaching gratitude and humbleness. I personally feel that I am not the best at finding internal happiness and my cluttered house is proof. However, I acknowledge it (that’s the first step, right?) and I’m working on taming that internal beast. For instance: It was my goal in 2010 to buy no magazines (I do love a good house magazine). (I did end up buying one while stuck at a train station.) I’ve also stopped watching programs like Location Location Location and Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Even though I find the latter to be soul food it also makes me lust after their shiny new things and there’s no reason! I have a lovely house that could be a great house with a lot of work and time. So I’ve stopped. I don’t need anything around that makes me feel any sort of dissatisfaction for my life.

Now this desire for the biggest and the best, the shiny new toy with all the bells and whistles, the “new new new” is something I desperately don’t want my children to have. I want them to appreciate what they have, to be genuinely thankful for new things and to have a complete understanding of how fortunate they are.

This is a particularly difficult thing to impress on them at Christmas time. My children are infinitely blessed; more than most. So how can I try and make Christmas a celebration about family and friends and community and not about STUFF? It’s certainly something I’m struggling with. I’ll put up some more posts about what we’re doing and relevant articles/videos. Please let me know if you have any suggestions!!