Family

Book Review: Raising Grateful Kids In An Entitled World by Kristen Welch

I somehow stumbled across this book online and just knew that I had to read it. Entitlement is a hot topic these days and raising three kids I’m trying hard to keep them from having that entitlement mentality. My husband and I both try to instill gratitude, hard work and pride of accomplishment into them. But my kids are pretty typical kids.

Just like any kid, my kids want what they see others have and don’t have a great grasp on the concept of money. We try to make certain they appreciate what they have, help out around the house and try to put others needs before their own. But like I said, they are typical kids. They complain, they forget to use good manners and they don’t embrace the word ‘No’ easily. In my head I thought ‘I’ll read this book and I’ll know how to fix this…fix them.’ Well I quickly learned it wasn’t them I needed to fix, it’s me!

I really try not to spoil my kids, they don’t get something because they want it. We take care of their needs, then they wait for holidays & birthdays for their wants. Other than that they can work & save for something they really want. And let’s be honest, they are 100% more selective when it’s their own money they’re forking out. We tend to both be pretty traditional people and our parenting reflects that. I expect my kids to work hard and always do their best at whatever they are doing. If they commit to a sport or class they can’t quit, they have to finish it through until the end even if they discover they don’t love it. They’re not going to be the best in everything and they don’t always get a reward or trophy. In the book Kristen Welch talks about American Idol tryouts and the masses of people that show up thinking (mostly because they weren’t told otherwise) that they are meant to be a singing star. This cracked me up! A few years ago my daughter desperately wanted to be in the school talent show. Oh my goodness I love that girl of mine so much. I love that she likes to make people laugh and isn’t scared to get up in front of a room full of people and be silly. But she wanted to be in the talent show just to be in it, she wasn’t really interested in showing off some amazing talent. My husband and I explained that singing and dancing on stage was not her calling. 😬 Sometime later a paper came home asking for kids to emcee the show….perfect, right up her alley! She’s articulate and loves the spotlight so this was a perfect fit for her and she did great! While I sat through that super, super, SUPER long talent show I quickly realized many other parents didn’t sit down and have that same talk with their kids about their calling. 😳

But as I read through this book I realized I sometimes take the easy path, the clean, less noisy path. Sometimes it seems easier to give in to the little things instead of dealing with complaining and poor attitudes. I often don’t even realize I do it. One kid asks for something at the grocery store so I say yes and then have to say yes to the other 2 so I don’t have to hear about it. Or if I’m out with my youngest and she gets a treat I feel like I need to bring something home for the other two so they don’t feel left out. I mean except for the liquor store because that nice man gives me at least 3 lollipops every time he sees me, lol! But seriously …”when we give our kids everything they want or bend the rules to make them happy, we are failing to train them to face the ups and downs of life.” Amen!!

I learned so much about myself and my kids from this book. I need to be a better role model of gratitude. We tend to be more vocal in our complaints then in our appreciations, and I’m guilty. I need to say no even when it’s hard because “persevering when things aren’t easy is often when we find our greatest reward.”

If you are concerned about the culture we’re raising our kids in these days I really recommend reading this book. It’s also great to know we are all facing similar struggles and no two families are exactly the same, but we all want the same outcomes.

“Our job as parents is to raise our kids to be responsible adults so they can discern good from evil, beauty from ugliness, and truth from error.” πŸ™ŒπŸ»

~Elena

* Check out our giveaway post and help us pick out our next book!

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