How many times a day do we use the word enough? Even when we do, we probably aren’t realizing that we are actually teaching one of the most important skills a parent can give to a child.
We don’t need to buy milk today. We have enough at home. We have enough time to stop at the park before picking up Dad. There are enough cupcakes for everyone to have one. No thanks. I’ve had enough. Come sit with us. We have enough room here. Look, you have enough cars for both of you to be able to play. That’s enough chips to eat for now. Do you have enough glue to make that project stick? There isn’t enough snow to go sledding.
Learning about the concept of enough is passed on naturally in casual interactions, through hundreds of repetitions. These conversations provide our children with a yardstick – a gentle, subtle measure of what enough in our lives feels like.
Think of the concept of enough on a continuum. At one end there is too little, not enough, insufficiency. At the other end there is too much, over-indulgence. In the middle lies enough, sufficiency.
So why does understanding how much is enough even matter?
It matters because the ability to appreciate those occasions when we have extra, when we have more than enough, when we have abundance, absolutely depends upon our awareness, recognition, and knowledge of how much is really sufficient.
Abundance is different than over-indulgence. Abundance means having those extras that make life more fun, exciting and interesting. It is having extra to share with friends and family. It is being able to enjoy something that you want in addition to what you need.
Spending one day at the fair with treats galore is an example of abundance. But without this understanding of how much is already enough, this special day might go unrecognized and unappreciated. Rather than feeling delighted and satisfied, it may leave a child disappointed, still looking and expecting more.
Enough for now.
But if this perks your interest, look for Family Resources 2-hour class coming in the Spring, based on the book, How Much is Enough? by Jean Illsley Clark.