How often do you hear your children asking for a mobile phone/tablet/new trainers or other highly-desired items?
How do you respond? Do you ever ask them to consider why they feel they "need" it, or to consider the difference between a want and a need? It could stem from a need to fit in with their peers, to be liked, and to be accepted by others, which are all vital to our sense of self. So if you are feeling the pressure but feel that they are too young or not yet able to take responsibility for these status symbols, how do you teach them to understand?
Each time I feel that my children are asking for something they don't need but want, in order to fulfil their sense of self, I remind them of an analogy I developed with them: see your life as being like a big, best quality chocolate bar, wrapped in shiny paper.
You carefully take off the layer and look at the beautiful, complete bar of chocolate. Then you decide how you would like to eat it.
Which would be better: to pick up the chocolate, bite into it and eat the whole lot, and then feel full, sick, and sad that it is all gone?
Or enjoy a small square at a time, savouring each mouthful, experiencing it piece by piece and happily admiring the taste, smell, feel and sight?
So do you want everything right now - to consume what you have - and then get to a point where you are left wanting more?
Or would you like to enjoy your life piece by piece, moment by moment, taking in the scenery, sights, emotions, experiences and the beauty of life, savouring each moment and evolving into the person you are?
Live in the moment, and enjoy each and every day!
Photo:Nikki Harman - Chocolate from Chococo, Swanage