The Prep Work
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I despised the book The Giving Tree growing up. It was too sad, it hurt my heart so greatly each time my mother or father read it to me. Why did the tree have to dwindle down to nothing? Now as an adult I have grown to understand the importance of that impact from the book and I hope that it helps to teach my children the significance of contentment. We have done this lesson once before, but A & K were so young, and this time I want to focus the less on on the Tree’s incredible giving heart and more on the discontent of the young boy.
All of this is inspired by the Get Wisdom! book which can be found here. These are 23 great lessons/discussions created with our little developing hearts in mind. I have been so excited to be inspired by these proverbs, and so thankful that I stumbled upon it in a mommy discussion feed on my Facebook. Contentment I believe has been the greatest challenge yet to attempt to teach to my young toddlers, though I believe at an age where the id says want, want/ give-me, give-me it’s difficult to understand sometimes just how to understand where enough may be enough. In this lesson I decided if Contentment=Satisfaction and Satisfaction+Happiness= Our Blessings then I will focus on our blessings to communicate Contentment.
First I reviewed key topics from the past two lessons in proverbs (These lessons can be found by clicking the highlighted links on each bullet point).
Switching the focus to the topic of today, I pulled out the Get Wisdom! book, along with a series of play foods such as plastic cookies, broccoli, pizza, asparagus, chicken, peas, etc. We then organized the foods into piles of what we liked and what we did not like. What made us happy to eat, what made us unhappy to eat.
I picked up the broccoli, “today you will not be allowed to have pizza, cookies, chicken, you can only eat broccoli. How does that make you feel?”
“What if I pointed out that broccoli is full of vitamins that will keep you healthy and help you grow? What if I prepared this broccoli for you, because I as your mom love you with all my heart and I want what is best for you? Then how does it make you feel?
Now I read through the Get Wisdom! book to discuss the definition and further thoughts on contentment.
To demonstrate the point we pulled out The Giving Tree, and discussed the feelings of all the characters as each scenario of give and take was read.
- When was the boy happy/content?
- When was he unhappy/discontent?
- Was the tree content?
- When was the tree discontent? Why?
- How does our discontent effect us and the people around us?
To focus on our own contentment we decided to create our own tree of blessings. I traced the girls’ hands and cut out leaf shapes of various sizes. I’d then ask:
- What makes you happy?
- Who makes you happy?
- Is there something you do that makes you happy?
- Is there somewhere we go that makes you happy?
With each answer I would repeat back what they said. “Your bed makes you happy? So your bed is a blessing.”
When the tree was complete I read off each tree’s blessings.
Further Points of Inspiration: