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»


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


Book Review coming, but first…..

I just finished reading ‘Raising Grateful Kids In An Entitled World’ the other day and it was just so good! I’ll do a little review early next week but for now I wanted to share my little ‘aha moment’ I had.

Two days ago my son came off the school bus and I could tell he was upset about something. He usually isn’t super emotional at school and he rarely has issues with other students. Long story short I asked what happened and apparently he fell off the playscape at recess and landed pretty hard on something. He was hurt and began to cry at recess in front of other students. Two little girls in his grade, instead of maybe checking on him or telling an aide, decided to point at him and laugh. I’m pretty sure he was more upset at the laughing part than the actual injury at this point. I’m not one of those parents that calls the teacher every time a kids a jerk, I mean kids can be jerks. My husband and I usually talk things through with the kids and want them to learn how to handle & respond to different situations. (Not saying we wouldn’t call the school or teacher if the issue was big enough to warrant it)

At this point I did something I rarely do, I said “I bet a milkshake would make it feel a little better, just you and me.” He of course said yes and got his shoes back on to go. As we are about to leave my oldest asks where we’re going. I explain your brother had a bad day and is a little upset, so I’m taking him for a treat. She immediately started with ‘it’s not fair’ and ‘you didn’t do that for me last time I was upset.’ I got angry and explained how we do things for her all the time that we don’t do for the others but at that point she stormed off. So the two of us got in the car and chatted our way to McDonald’s. It’s in those one on one moments that my kids personalities really shine through and they are just themselves instead of 1 of 3 fighting for attention whichever way they can get it. And when he isn’t trying to taunt his sisters, he’s a pretty amazing little person.

When we got to the drive thru I’ll be honest, this mommy struggled! Should I bring something back for all 3 kids? Is it unfair if I don’t? Do I really want to deal with complaining when I get home if I don’t? AND there it hit me! I’m the first one to tell my kids ‘DO not say it’s not fair’, ‘life isn’t fair’, ‘you don’t just get something because you want it or someone else has it!’ So as hard as that moment was we still drove away with one free coffee for me (McDonald’s app thank you) and one medium sized strawberry milkshake for my little guy. Nothing else.

When we pulled in the driveway my daughter was outside riding her skateboard and I got out of the car ready to hear it. But the first thing she did when I walked passed her was not at all what I had expected. ” I’m sorry mommy.” πŸ’–



Mommy moments…

We’ve all been there, one of those moments where your heart feels so full and you don’t know how you are so Blessed!

I always remind myself that the kids all go through stages and they will pass. While you’re in them it feels like there’s no end in sight but after the fact they just mark a period of time. Like now we often refer to ‘the stage where Bella wouldn’t wear anything with tags’ or ‘the stage Bella would have terrible fits anytime we left the house and she needed to put socks on’ or ‘the stage when we felt like we would still be wiping our sons butt in high school😲.’ Parenting is hard! These days my son is my toughest by far. He has severe middle child syndrome and besides being the middle child he’s sandwiched in between two girls. I’m told he’s delightful everywhere else, but at home he’s mouthy, defiant and seriously argues about everything.

When my oldest started school I would write lunchbox notes daily. She loved every one of them and would make sure to tell me if I’d forgotten. She got herself a little sandwich bag to keep them all together in her lunchbox. So years later…….I still try my best to do them as often as possible until she gets too cool and asks me to stop. I make 2 lunches every morning, so of course I do the same for my son. He on the other hand never comments on my lunchbox notes. I put his in a sandwich bag and keep them in the lunchbox pocket as well.

Today I pick my kids up from school and as they get in my oldest says “mommy did you hear C.J. was crying at school.” I of course hadn’t and asked what happened. He tells me he left lunch and realized his bag of notes was no longer in his lunchbox. At this point he’s getting choked up telling me how he was worried they were thrown in the garbage and was in the hall crying. So he went back to look for them. I mean this little rascal who often brings me to tears with his attitude is now crying because he thought he had forever lost his little bag of lunchbox notes! Lunchbox notes that he never even acknowledges… my heart about burst. I teared up listening to his little voice cracking as he’s telling me how they were gone. Needless to say when he got to the lunchroom the bag of notes was there on the floor and are now back safely in his camo lunchbox.

Parenting is hard friends! But they are listening, watching, paying attention….some stages are harder then others and you’ll cry, you’ll vent to your husband & girlfriends and you’ll pray hard. But this too shall pass and along the way there will be little signs that we are on the right path…so I’ll keep on writing my lunchbox notes πŸ’–