We’ve done our share of home improvements over the years. Each one always brought hope for our home to be a place of comfort and invitation for our family. We also had to protect our investment over the years which required maintenance type projects like a new roof or siding or windows.
I love watching the home improvement shows but something funny begins to stir in me after a while – – discontent. If not careful, I can begin to look around and see what room should be painted a different color, flooring should be switched out or worse yet, bathroom should be redone. And truly, nothing needs to be improved at our home at this time.
In her book, Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, Kristen Welch hits it on the head:
And as uncomfortable as it sounds, parents who want less-entitled kids have to be less entitled themselves, and parents who want to raise more grateful kids need to start by living more grateful lives. (page 11)
Media has increasingly made it difficult to be content with what we have, where we are, and who we are. Commercials drive us to get the next new product in the hopes of being able to be successful and achieve our dreams. Along with eroding our contentment, we are driven to get it quickly, now.
My children are grown adults, now raising their own children. I pray we, as their parents, raised them to work hard and to be grateful for what they have been given. But only time will truly tell if they learned the lesson and are able to resist the pull which surrounds them.
Kristen readily admits she is not a child psychologist but a parent facing the same challenges as us all. You may not agree with everything she shares as she surely goes against the “norm”, which will require courage, but you will be left to think about yourself and parenting. Your eyes will be opened to the slow erosion occurring not only in children but in our own hearts as well. She addresses topics such as:
- wants vs. needs
- changing times
- technology and setting boundaries
- cultivating obedience in our children
- disciplining with love and grace
- developing gratitude
- ways to implement change (in ourselves and our children)
At the end of each chapter, she makes suggestions which she breaks down into age appropriate stages – toddlers/preschoolers, elementary, tweens /teens, and parents. These suggestions will assist parents in making the small changes, along each stage of life, to continually teach our children to embrace gratitude. These can be tweaked to suit your own family and children. She also includes:
- a cell phone contract between parent and child
- a Christian parent manifesto
- a list of recommended resources
This is a must read book for every parent to inspire us to save our families from becoming selfish and self-centered. We can turn the hearts of our children back towards God and gratitude.Â May we start with changing ourselves first. This book makes for an excellent small group study as there also is a discussion guide.
** I was provided this book by the author and Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.