Raising Grateful Kids
*This post contains affiliate links- I received a copy of this book because I was on the launch team, all opinions are my own*
I meant to do my review at the end of January, but time creeps up on us- here’s a great book to read, and it also checks off the “Book for a Better You” Category of my Advanced Reading Challenge!
Kristen Welch’s Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World is a modern day handbook that every parent needs to have in their back pocket.
Welch gives us a list of tools to help deal with the entitlement epidemic that is running rampant in today’s youth. As if raising children isn’t hard enough, with the addition of modern technology thrown in, it has become almost impossible to raise our little ones to be grateful.
She reminds us that gratefulness starts with us, the parents. We want bigger houses, nicer cars, and more things for less work. How can we possibly raise our children to be thankful for what they already have, when we are constantly wanting something better? “Entitlement didn’t start with my kids. It began with me. I entitled them because I was entitled.” I am just as guilty as anyone; wanting a Pinterest worthy home, the best schools for my child, the nicest car, prettier clothes, more, more, more. “Parents who want to raise more grateful kids need to start by living more grateful lives.”
“It’s our duty to give our kids what they need- food, shelter, and love- and oftentimes, we are able to give them much more than that.” We try to buy our children’s obedience. We bribe them to get them to do what we want. We give them things in place of our time. “Our kids don’t need more stuff or more freedom; they just need more of us.”
She shows us that one way to give our children (and us) a new view on life, is to give ourselves some perspective. Volunteer, help someone in need. Someone who doesn’t have as much as we do. “When we have everything, we are thankful for nothing. When we have nothing, we are thankful for everything.” By seeing that some people don’t even have their most basic needs being met, reminds us to be thankful for all that we have. “One of the best lessons for our family was learning how people live in other parts of the world.”
In our technological world, and all of the advertisements for things that we just “HAVE to have”, it has become even harder to raise our children to not want EVERYTHING. And the attitudes of characters on television teach our kids the worst kind of entitled behaviors. “Think about how much TV has changed in the last few years. What used to be taboo is now prime-time viewing in our living rooms.”
She recommends taking technology out of the equation. “It’s hard to teach kids to be different from the world if we look just like it. It’s time to take back our living rooms, tune out media, and turn off technology.” While I will never be able to let go of our television and technology completely, I agree wholeheartedly with her reasoning. Our children are being bombarded with images and ideals, sometimes without us even realizing it. The other day I put a movie on for my child, walked out of the room, and heard a commercial for impotence come on. ON A CHILDREN’S MOVIE- cue all the questions! We have to be careful with how they are filling their little minds.
Welch’s’ writing is relatable and transparent. She lets us take a peek into her life, so that we may see what we need to change in ours. She is raising her children beside us, learning to parent right along with us- this isn’t someone who raised children 30 years ago. It’s relevant because she’s in the trenches with us.
I am so thankful I found this Raising Grateful Kids. It has become a reference I can turn to, even in rearing my 3 year old. The end of each chapter gives us practical ways to put what she’s saying to use. Parenting is hard, and we can always use a little help. This book is a must-read this year, if you’re a parent and if you’re thinking about becoming one.
I also made a Printable to go along with the book earlier this year.
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