"But then I won't have ANYTHING to play with!"
As soon as I give my daughter something...her sister wants it.
I got a brightly colored clipboard for teacher appreciation day and I thought, "My girls would love playing with this! I'll give it to one of them." I decided it should be Bethany's (our youngest) because usually it's our oldest that gets more treats and privileges.
As soon as I gave the fancy clipboard to Bethany, Ava's face got discontentedly sad.
"What will I play with?"
"I'll NEVER get to have a fun toy?"
"I don't have anything to hold?"
When my daughter realizes that she doesn't have something she would like, she doesn't just want it. She wants it enough to have the mood of her whole day change.
Here's what I said to try to help:
"It's hard for us, isn't it? It's hard for us when we realize that we don't have something we would like. Sometimes we get sad because we wish, SO BAD, that we could have it. It's strange isn't it? It seems like, as soon as we realize that we don't have what somebody else has, we forget about all the things we DO have. We forget about all the special toys that we love to play with. We forget about all the treats that people have given us. We feel like we need the ONE THING we don't have.
It's even MORE sad that we forget all the things that Jesus has done for us. He's given us sooo many treats and kindness. He gives us the food we need. He gives us a house. He gives us a family. He gives us clean water to drink. He says he will never stop loving us. He has redeemed our lives from the pit that we got ourselves into. He crowns us with love and kindness. He says he will never stop doing good to us.
But we forget it all. As soon as we realize that we don't have what someone else has...we get sad. We feel like we are missing something soooo important.
Ava...Daddy needs God's help. Mommy needs God's help. ...and you need God's help. We need God to help us remember all the good things that he's given us. 'Jesus...could you please help us not to forget? When we don't have something that someone else has...could you help us remember? Help us remember all the good that you've given us.'"