This month I had the opportunity to read and advanced copy of Raising Grateful Kids In An Entitled World by Kristen Welch. Kristen is a mom and blogger at We Are That Family. I knew of Kristen but didn’t follow her blog very closely. However, when I heard the title of her new book I jumped at the chance to read it. Making sure my kids are grateful for what they have and the advantages that life has provided them is an ongoing battle for me.
As a mom, I feel like it is my job to make sure my boys don’t walk this earth feeling like they are entitled to everything that crosses their path. I want to make sure that they understand that just breathing air does not entitle them to all the gadgets and toys that line the shelves of every store we walk into. I don’t want them to grow up thinking that a mere swipe of a piece of plastic is all it takes to achieve their heart’s desire. It is a fine line we parents walk between providing for our children, giving them advantages and tools to succeed in life and spoiling them to the point where they expect the latest and best the second it hits the market.
Every time we obtain something new, update a piece of technology, send our boys to clubs and lessons; I’m highly conscious that they have so much more than most of the children their age…even though the whining and complaining about the lack of desired items would indicate otherwise. After the whining is over I try to explain again, for the one billionth time, that they are not the only child in 5th grade without a laptop. Our abundance coupled with my desire to provide a comfortable and enriching life for my family and I pretty much have an internal war waging inside my head at any given time of the day or night.
Raising Grateful Kids does an excellent job calling parents out on making their children the center of their lives. When we make children the focus of our families then we are teaching them to expect to have everything done for them, to be entertained all the time and to succeed without trying. We’re raising little egomaniacs by catering to their every need and setting them up for huge failure when its time to move out on their own. No wonder there are so many reports of college students not being able to take the pressure of normal course work or struggling to live on their own. College campuses are having to create new departments dedicated to dealing with overbearing parents and students who crumble at their first failure. Holy smokes, what will happen to the work force when these children become adults and have to actually contribute to society? I’m a little scared, to be honest. That’s why it’s up to parents like Kristen Welch to remind the rest of us that kids are not the center of the universe.
Right off the bat, Kristen admits that she doesn’t have all the answers. Raising Grateful Kids is an account of what happened when she discovered that her kids were becoming too entitled and what she did about it. She shares what is working for her and her struggle to provide a great life for her kids while still teaching them not to take it for granted.
If you’re thinking of purchasing this book and getting your parenting game on then I feel the need to let you know: this book is written for a Christian audience and all of her practices involve a Christ centered approach. This book could be an encouragement for Christian parents who need help with spoiled kids. Dear Husband and I are totally onboard with raising our family with Christian values but I will say that I felt this book to be a bit heavy handed at times. Chapter 2 turned me off because it felt exclusive but I think I’m a little too sensitive when it comes to books like this. I read them from two points of view; my own as a Christian as well as how it will read to a non-christian. Will it be well received for someone from a different faith? Will it be a witness to the love of Christ or will it be a turn off? Sometimes I take a different point of view to heart too much. More than likely a Jewish parent is not going to be strolling down the Christian authors aisle at B&N when searching for a parenting book.
After reading Raising Grateful Kids ‘m looking forward to finding ways to help my boys be more grateful for what they have. I want to take a look at our electronic usage and see if it is working for our family. Even though my oldest doesn’t have any social media accounts yet, I want to start the conversation of what that will look like when he does and what age he can start.
How does your family find appreciation and gratitude?