Kids That Whine About What They Don’t Have Should Meet Kids Around the World
Have your kids ever been sitting in the middle of a huge pile of toys, watching one of their 83 DVD’s, after they just got done playing on one of their game systems while they waited for the batteries in their Nintendo DS to charge so they can go on the Internet from their computer to get game codes, and whined “I’m bored, there’s nothing to do!”
In that moment, have you wanted to yell, “When I was a kid we played with sticks and rocks and we liked it!”
Kids have the craziest ability to find a way of whining about what they don’t have in the middle of enjoying the things they have been blessed with. We’ve all seen it. While swimming at a friend’s house they lament the fact they don’t have their own swimming pool. While riding the neighbor’s go-kart they complain about not owning one. While playing dress up at a slumber party they whine about not having more shoes.
But there are two very important things I want to point out when it comes to whining and complaining in our kids.
First, they might have picked the habit up from us! How many times have we, as parents, whined about not having a new 178 inch HD LED Super Slim flat screen television? How often do we complain about our 5 year old car and “wish we had the latest model”? Do our kids complain about not having a pool because they hear us complain about it?
As parents our kids will pick up on the things we say and the attitudes we exhibit. If they notice us complaining all the time there is a very good chance they will become complainers as well. If they see us constantly wishing we had more things, bigger things, or newer things, they will no doubt adopt the same attitude. Our example to them will go a very long way in developing their attitude. And, attitude is the second thing.
Another point to make here is that our response to their whining and complaining makes a difference. If we indulge their whining and allow it to go unchallenged or corrected we can be sure it will only become a part of their personality. Instead we need to present an attitude of thanks by setting an example and reminding them of all they have to be thankful for.
There’s a phrase repeated over and over again in the Bible. It says: “O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good and His mercy endures forever.”
You can find this phrase in I Chron. 16:34, Psa. 106:1, 107:1, 118:1, 118: 29, 136:1, 2, and 3; just to name a few places. And this doesn’t include all the other verses that talk about giving thanks and being thankful.
What is obvious here is that we are to give thanks and be thankful for what God has given us instead of complaining about the things He has not given us. Comparatively speaking we are some of the wealthiest people in the world.
Maybe that doesn’t sound right to you, but let me assure you it is. Recent studies have shown that if you make at least $30,000 a year you make more than 83% of the world. And if you make at least $50,000 you make more than 95% of the world. The average person around the world makes less than $3 per day. Could you live on $3 per day?
The reality is that we are so incredibly blessed that anything less than gratitude and thanks is truly sinful. Not only do we have more food in our house than most people will see in a week, but we have clothes galore, shoes for every day of the week, and water. These are things most of the world would give anything to have, but they don’t have it.
I have watched 8 year old boys walk down the street holding their 4 year old sister’s hand begging for food because they are homeless. I’ve seen families of 6 people living in tents no bigger than any camping tent because that is their home. I’ve seen men go to work with no shoes or lunch hoping to earn $2 to buy bread for their family. And I’ve seen some of the biggest smiles come from these same people.
Being thankful really has nothing to do with the things you have or don’t have. It has to do with understanding how blessed you are to be alive, healthy, and forgiven by a God that has every right to send us to hell. Understanding these principles will result in a heart that overflows with thanks for every blessing we enjoy daily.
To truly help your kids understand how to be thankful they need to first see it in your life. You have to show them what it means to be thankful for God’s many blessings. Then, you ought to show them what other kids don’t have so they can see for themselves just how good they have it.
After all, there’s more to life than mayo on a sandwich.
For more on this issue check out this article.