I was fortunate to be chosen this past fall to participate in the book launch group for Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch of We Are THAT Family. I received an advance version of the book to read over the holiday season. It gave me a lot to think about, and I can't wait to have my paper copy (that I purchased with my own money) in my hands this week! The official launch is tomorrow!
Raising Grateful Kids has been an interesting read for me for several reasons, but mostly because my husband and I have already made some counter-cultural choices - and this book addresses how gratefulness has become counter-cultural and entitlement the norm.
Eight years ago, my husband and I started working hard to become debt free, living off of what we earned and not relying on credit. From there, we have learned so many lessons (and are still learning them!) about wants v. needs, enough v. excess, and being content in our circumstances. We haven't always made the right choices, and of course - for better or for worse - we are role models for our children. As he and I learn, change, and make different choices, we are teaching new lessons to our children and ourselves. It is not always easy - we have made sweeping lifestyle changes over the years - but we are so much happier because we live a bit differently. Because we have more content in our circumstances, not the circumstances which society says we should create for ourselves.
Of course entitlement hasn't entirely disappeared from our family. Remember that I mentioned I got the book just before the holidays? I may have seen some moments of entitlement in our home in the last couple of months. I also saw many, many links to articles online around this same topic, so I know we aren't the only folks who deal with these issues. But more than that, I've seen examples in our culture that encourage entitled behavior. How can we fight that? Maybe you have the entitlement handled, and are simply trying to encourage gratefulness - I know we could definitely do this more in our home. Either way, I think you might find Kristen's book to be a helpful and interesting read.
Kristen addresses gratefulness and entitlement across several different topics, including wants and needs, technology, and the normalization of that which was previously taboo. Whether I found confirmation from her words or encouragement to change, each chapter gave me plenty to consider. There were definitely portions that I needed to read and ponder
before I was able to move ahead in the book. There were some moments
when I had to "agree to disagree", but I think that's the mark of a good read -
not simply blind agreement with everything written. Another important note, especially since I have know way of knowing how far this post may go, is that this book, while written from a Christian perspective, can be helpful no matter your level of spirituality. Entitlement and gratefulness affect each of us.
We've been snowed/iced in for a few days here. We've cooked, eaten, played outdoors, played card games, played video games, done chores, read books, watched tv, and more. We have watched the entire season of Fixer Upper with the kids and oohed and aahed over the cool, beautiful, or funky updates that we loved. We voted on which house families should select and why. We all enjoyed a show together - and then the "wants" came for a visit. So then we had a discussion about appreciating the home we have, and perhaps ways we could make it work better for us that didn't require many thousands of dollars (which don't happen to be in our budget). You see, teaching gratefulness isn't a one-time lesson. I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to read Kristen's book and participate in this book launch - and to have a little more encouragement to continue living against the grain when the "wants" tried to settle in again.
Buy a copy - raisinggratefulkids.com
Learn more about the author - wearethatfamily.com
Read what others think:
Life in Lape Haven
Let Every Heart
Cranberry Tea Time
(and more to come, I'm sure!)