Monday, January 25, 2016

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, by Kristen Welch

I try to be grateful.  But there's too much entitlement culture in me; it leaks out.  Now I'm trying to raise my kids to be grateful, but I'm afraid culture is more entitled today than when I was a kid.  To help me and other entitled parents get their heads on straight, Kristen Welch has written Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World: How One Family Learned That Saying No Can Lead to Life's Biggest Yes.

Welch, author, blogger, and, most importantly, mother, compiles excellent wisdom on parenting.  She states up front that she's no psychologist, but between her own experiences and her sources, she puts together a worthwhile set of guidelines.

Of course it all starts with the parents: "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."  We all want our kids to be happy and safe, but "when we try to protect our kids from unhappiness, we make life down the road harder for them.  It can be summed up in one word--entitlement."

As it turns out, "Sometimes the best way to help our kids is to not help them."  They can learn to help themselves.  Another element of that is that we can help them learn to help others.  We need all the help we can get with that, because "When we focus all our time and attention on our own needs, it's really hard to see the needs of other people."  Welch points out that those who focus on other people are happier in the long run.

As I said, Welch is a blogger, and many of her sources are other bloggers.  So as you might expect, she has not written an academic treatise or psychology-based parenting manual.  What she gives us is practical wisdom, gleaned from a variety of families' experiences.  She is not shy about sharing her own family's mishaps and habits.  With her honesty, she encourages the rest of us to stop and think about the values we are instilling in our children.

Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the electronic review copy!

2016 Reading Challenge: A book about parenting

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