[Re-Post] Teaching Our Children To Be Content.

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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By nature, I'm not a very content person. It's always been a battle for me. I've struggled with being content with the blessings I've been given throughout my life. I remember on Christmas Day, 30 years ago, I received every toy imaginable (at least it seemed that way). But, by the end of the day, I wanted what I did not receive under the tree. I must have driven my mom and dad crazy!

Contentment is something I struggle with. I’m always falling upon the conviction that I need to be more content, more satisfied with what I’ve been given. More than my own conviction, I’ve realized lately, that I want my children to be content.

Fortunately, I’m growing in this area. Over the past couple of years my attitude and heart are changing. I’ve learned what it means to be content. God is changing my heart. But, it’s a work in progress. I need to be reminded of the value of contentment nearly every day of my life.

Earlier this week we spent an evening with some great friends, having dinner at their house, and catching up. They have a beautiful house that sits on a canal that leads to a larger body of water in Southern Indiana. My wife and I dream of one day living in a house like theirs, on a lake or canal. When I walked out onto their back deck I immediately saw the canal. I’m one of those weirdos that stares at things like this. I stared at it for an awkwardly long period of time. A pontoon boat full of people even passed as I stood there. I stared at all of them too! I know, weird!

But through the course of the night I never found myself thinking, “Boy, if only I lived in this house! Then my life would be complete.” In fact, I never thought this. I rejoiced in the fact that I could be a guest of such great people in such a great home. That’s how I know I’m growing. Five or 6 years ago, this might not have been the case. That night, when we arrived home, I looked at my house, and breathed in deep. I’m thankful for the home that God has blessed us with. As my children ran from the van into our house, I breathed in again, thankful for their beautiful lives!

I want my children to be content with the life they’ve been given. I want them to see clearly the blessings they have! Through a lot of personal struggles, that have been very hard to over come, I’ve learned the value of contentment. When it comes to living by this and teaching this to my children, here’s what I’ve discovered:

Contentment is taught, when contentment is modeled!

If I want my children to be content with the amazing blessings they have been given, then I need to model this personally. They need to see me living contently.

We have to stop wanting what is “better!”

If I’m always wanting more or better, I can expect that they’ll want the same. If they see me discontent with the cell phone I have, or the car I drive, or the clothes I wear, they will not be content with anything they have either. We also need to help them understand that better is a mirage. It’s an illusion that we in the U.S. have bought into. New doesn’t equal better and better doesn’t mean it’s higher quality or even right.

Calculate, as a family, the blessings you’ve already been given. 

Add up what you have already. Do the math. And then, base your contentment on that! Not on what you do not have. You will never be content when you do that. When my children stomp their feet and scream, “But I want one!” I need to take advantage of that moment to show them what they (and we) already have! And then, I need to send them to time out for their bratty, awful behavior! 🙂

Contentment is an extremely hard thing to model and teach. But discontentment only causes you to be unhappy and spend lots of money. Besides, you’ll never truly reach any kind of goal with your family by living in discontentment. You’ll be driven by what you don’t have to such a degree that you’ll never experience the peace of what you do have!

Have you struggled with contentment lately? How are you overcoming? What else would you add to this list?

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.