Sometimes, when we look around at our friends and the lives they are leading and the things they have, we may think, ‘I wish that was me’. It is very easy to be envious of what others have and think that the grass is greener on the other side. But, it isn’t always.
Deep down, we know that. We know that you don’t need to have what others have to be happy. And we know that what we see from the outside looking in, is not always the truth.
Helping Children Recognise What They Do Have
Children don’t look at life through the same lens as adults. This generation of children is being brought up in a high-tech online world. They see what their friends are receiving in terms of the latest gadgets and games, for example. They are always wanting the latest thing because their friends have them and may feel left out if they don’t have it.
And it’s not just tech or new possessions that they are after. They may want to be more popular within their peer group. They might look at other families where parents are still married or siblings get along and wish their family was the same. Perhaps they envy the adventures of their friends or want to get the same grades as them but can’t quite manage it.
Water the Grass!
Parents need to encourage their child to take a step back and reflect on what they do have. Get them to think about non-material things like:
- What is great about their family?
- What are they excelling in or have special skills at?
- What does popular mean and why do they need to be popular?
- Which good friends do they already have?
- Don’t they have everything they need to be loved or happy? They have a roof over their head, food on the table and a safe, secure home.
Children need to be satisfied with their life. So, get them talking about what they do have, then write it all down. The grass is greener when we water it, so teach children to recognise and nurture the good stuff they have. Keep the list handy to remind them and add to it when something new pops up.
Their list may be different from their friends but that’s because they are different people. Sometimes the grass seems greener on the other side, but it rarely is. Children may not be seeing the full picture of someone else’s life, so they should focus on the good in their own life.