It was Friday night, and every single toy we owned was splayed across our living room floor.
We were doing some serious decluttering, organizing, and purging, and needed a full view of the playing field in order to do the job right. The mountain of toys was ridiculous.
My son, quickly bored by the task at hand, lounged on the couch and watched the rest of us in action. “You know,” I said, exasperated and hoping to make a point, “There are some kids that don’t have any toys. They just have to play with sticks and rocks.”
“Really?” he responded. He sounded genuinely shocked and I was hopeful my short-tempered quip had really had an impact.
Then his eyes wandered back to the television, his attention captivated by a colorful commercial. As soon as it ended he piped up: “Mom? I want to go on Disney cruise. When can we go?”
I collapsed on the couch in frustration that he just didn’t get it. At that moment, I knew we had a problem.
Honestly, I thought I had this gratitude thing down. Since he was young, we’ve talked about gratefulness. Every night we’d talk about what he was grateful for that day. And though the fruits of my efforts were mixed, I persisted. I hoped it would pay off eventually, and excused the entitled attitude because he was “young.”
But when does “too young” become “old enough?”
I’ll tell you when. Today.
Now there’s a brand-new, must-read book for parents looking to help their kids really get it. Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World helps parents look at themselves and their parenting in a radical, life-changing way and gives great strategies on how to cultivate true, heart-felt gratitude in their kids.
Parents, it’s an uphill battle in a culture so focused on stuff and more and busy. But it’s a battle worth fighting to launch real, compassionate adults into the world.
I’ve realized I can’t continue doing the same thing over and over and over and expect it to magically “take” one day. I realized I can’t safely and sweetly just ask my son to identify things he’s grateful for and really get gratitude.
I’ve learned the process is messier. Harder. Heart-breaking. Intentional. Sacrificial. As parents we have to dig in, evaluate ourselves, break our kids’ hearts, and let the hurt of the world break ours.
And then we can start to watch the entitlement turn to gratitude, and out of gratitude is born compassion.
And if we think about it, isn’t that what we all really want for our children?
Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch is currently available on Amazon and other retail outlets. Get your copy now to help you lead your children’s hearts toward real, authentic gratitude!
**I was given a free advance copy of this book, but received no compensation for this review. All opinions are genuinely mine.**