My one word for 2016 is GRATITUDE. It’s no surprise that I signed up to receive a pre-release of Kristen Welch’s book, “Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World”.
I want my kids to be a lot of things. I want them to be happy, caring, healthy, successful, and basically not be jerks.
But gratitude is at the top of the list. Because carrying gratitude in one’s heart will make them all of the above and then some.
I am halfway through Kristen’s book but I couldn’t wait to share a few notes I have taken so far.
On resisting the urge to fix our kids’ problems:
“Lack of planning on your part does not make an emergency on my part.” Kristen Welch
Have you heard this one: “Mom, I forgot! I need a poster board for school tomorrow!” (In a moment of weakness I run to the Dollar Store at 8 p.m. for poster board, and stock up for such emergencies.)
Or, how about this one: “Mom, I have to make a dish for Food Experience tomorrow and we have nothing in the house I can use!” (Figure it our kid. It’s 8:30 p.m. Mama is tired.)
Or, how about this doosey: “Mooooom! I need to make this exotic African dish to share with the class. I need plantains and anise.” (Sorry again. Target doesn’t carry plantains. Pick something else.)
As tempting as it may be, fixing our kids problems deprives them of learning valuable life-long problem-solving skills. That doesn’t mean we don’t help our kids, it means we don’t fix their problems for them. We help them figure it out. Because who has time to search 5 different stores for plantains?
On resisting the urge to give our kids stuff just because their friends have it (whatever “it” may be).
“We cannot make our parenting choices based on what others are doing. We have to purpose our lives with intention or we will end up being just like everyone else, caught in a trap in our culture that demands we fit in.” Kristen Welch
My teenage daughter cracked her cell phone screen a few months ago. It was an accident. She wasn’t being neglectful. She had a protective case on the phone. Yet, it was damaged. In her teenage-instant-gratification-way she wanted the screen fixed right away. I could have run out to fix it, but what was that teaching her?
Here’s the deal, in life we have to make choices. One day she will move out of our house. She will be supporting herself and making tough financial choices. Is it in the budget to fix the screen this week? Is the crack that big of a deal? Can it wait a few weeks or months? I remember making tough financial choices as a broke art student. Buying the cheaper version of foods so I could afford art supplies.
Not allowing my kids to think ahead financially does them no favors. It may be a cracked screen today, the latest tech gadget tomorrow, or must have designer shoes the next. The demands will be endless if I allow it.
On not being afraid our kids will be unhappy sometimes.
“You know that feeling you get when you’re about to knowingly make your kids mad? I hate that, but I am compelled to do it anyway.” Kristen Welch
Like Kristen, I cancelled our cable package with the sole purpose of getting rid of the mouthly-know-it-all-kids-with-no-parents-in-sight sitcoms, also called the Disney Channel. (Seriously, Disney. What the heck?)
Oh, there was some begging, maybe a little crying, but they got over it. Experiencing life’s little disappointments will equip them to handle real disappointments later in life. Basically, I did them a favor.
Raising grateful kids in an entitled world isn’t easy, or for wimps.
Do you want more gratitude in your home? Do you see your kids as ungrateful? Are you struggling with being the “mean parent” because you say no? Get over it, then put this book on your 2016 reading list!
Kristen’s book is officially released later this month. Pre-order your book and start raising grateful kids who will grow to be happy, grateful adults today.