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I don't think it can be taught unless by example. You can take two kids, or adults for that matter and put them in the same situation and one will be content, the other will look for that green grass on the other side of the street. A lot of it is personality differences etc.
I guess we have to show our children how excited we are and happy to be where we are and happy with what we have. Hopefully it rubs off.
By practicing what you preach. If your child is fairly young, you should teach him contentment like a prayer, by saying god loves people who are grateful to what they have so you should say thank you to everything in your life, your bed for giving you a good nights sleep, your parents, your friends and tell him that when you focus on the good side of a bad situation the bad side of it will soon disappear and not even bother you. Beside, you have to learn to be grateful and content too, if you are that way your child will automatically learn it.
Most people I know are always unhappy, they set such high standards for themselves that neither can they achieve them nor enjoy the fruits of what they have achieved. Most of us are programmed to focus on the lack of a situation and not the good part, this takes away from us a large part of what we call living life.
Everyone should be grateful for what they have coz the universe loves it,the more u show it gratitude the more reasons it'll give you to be grateful
Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I think you have some great insight. I do know many people who are such perfectionists that they find it hard to enjoy their own incredible talents. Guess I should start practicing gratitude now...
The only way to teach this is by example. If you are a contented parent, live in the moment, don't dwell on the past, but look forward to what the future will bring, they will grow up knowing that this is how to achieve happiness and fulfillment.
It's not really enough to just be calm all the time. Calmness isn't contentedness. What I mean is that I'm quite an excitable sort of person, and express my joy and sense of humour very openly, and am very often not calm! But I am contented, with myself and my life, and my future too. It's about not being afraid, and it's also about talking as much as possible, so that no one has secret fears that they feel they cannot share.
Now that I think about it, contentment is a whole-of-life issue. If something in one's life is out of balance, it can affect whether or not that person is contented. So I would try to teach my children that contentment can come and go, but that it is important not to despair when it leaves them for a little while because it will return if they take steps to help themselves find it again. It's quite an abstract term really, 'contentment'. I've had it for a long time now, but it took me a very long time to find it.
Self-confidence is key to contentment, and parents can do an awful lot to help children find that through positive reinforcement. My eldest child has been bullied at school, on and off, for four years. But he has tremendous self-confidence, because I have always talked to him about how special he is, how talented, how kind, how worthwhile - and how brave and strong he is for dealing with the bullying so maturely.
Leading by example is a great answer, but kids don't always see that example when their emotions are wrapped inside the issue. So, when we engage them, the teaching begins. I would say when a teachable moment presents, jump on it! Teaching contentment should come early on. For example, if your child does not get recognized by a coach for a great effort. Instead of disputing this in front of your child, at that very moment you should acknowledge that effort without pointing out that the coach overlooked it. Point out how good it made you feel and place the focus on the accomplishment rather than the lack of recognition. Stress that hard work pays off and the greatest pay off is when you reach a personal goal you set for yourself. Now, if being over-looked is an ongoing issue, by all means adress it, but don't make it top priority. The top priority should be to affirm your child.
I agree that leading through example is the best way to teach contentment. Showing your children the importance of being thankful for the little things in life, and avoiding constant wishing for bigger, "better" things will help them to learn to be thankful for what they do have. I think there has to be a balance, because you do want your children to learn to dream big, but valuing each day as it comes is what makes life worth living.
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