Growing up my house was a comfortable one, meaning that we didn't go without, but we didn't have an abundance either. I learned the difference between needs and wants. When it came to my own children, I wanted to give them the world. All bets were off and I "needed" to give them everything they wanted. Fortunately, I didn't have the means to carry that out, and along the way I've been tempered by the lifestyle we have chosen to lead. Disaster averted.
In her new book, Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, Kristen Welch has really written a message of hope to us parents in the midst of realizing that we want to set the world at our children's feet, but we really shouldn't. My six children range in age from 22 to 6 years old and I've got to say that picking up a parenting book and gleaning something from it at this stage of my life is rare. Not that I've got it all together, mind you, I'm still in the midst of the battle. But I've learned a lot since i brought home my first baby 22 years ago and I'm still gaining insight on how to raise these rewards of the Lord. Kristen's book is refreshing for me because she is right there in the trenches as well. Still raising her children, and so she retains that perspective. Her insights are fresh and raw and still growing.
There were moments in the book that I remembered from past struggles and some that touched the place where I find myself now. Reminding myself to really stop and listen to my kids is probably my hardest struggle. Not that I don't hear them, they tend to have a way of making their voices audible to me. What I mean is shutting down my mommy sensors for a minute and stepping into my child's world and looking at the situation from his or her perspective.
Whether you are a new mommy or a veteran, this book is chock full of encouragement, hope, guidance and perspective. Grateful kids don't just happen, they must be shown through their parents how to live a life of gratitude. This book is an amazing tool for the journey.