It’s one of my commitments every year, while I’m in the small kid stage of parenting to read a parenting book. I have tended to satisfy this goal of mine through general books that “somehow relate” to parenting, but I have felt the need now that our kids are a little older to actually read some parenting books that are more specific and targeted towards parents with our kids’ ages in mind.
So before 2016 came to a close, I got in a parenting book by reading Kristen Welch’s Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World. Genre-wise, this is a mom blogger book. The author is a blogger and she quotes a lot of bloggers. But it’s well done and is rich in illustrations that resonate well if you have kids in the same age brackets. Where we are at in parenting fit the insights of the book to a tee.
Each chapter covers some significant area for parenting in today’s world. And by today’s world – the context is primarily western and more or less affluent. Living in Manila, our kids are spared from some of the materialism and excess discussed in the book. But in other ways, being westerners living in a developing nation we have more resources and can live comfortably compared to many others. Entitlement can grow even in the developing world.
Topics include discipline, setting limits, social media best practices for parenting, financial systems to promote stewardship and selflessness, and how to cultivate servant’s hearts among others. Each chapter includes some suggestions and best practices for developing children organized by different age groups – there were a lot of helpful ideas in them.
Our kids are just starting to learn to use the internet, but we’ve been holding them off from social media. But it was just helpful to get a primer on social media issues and dangers and possible parameters to help us empower and protect our kids. This was one of the more helpful chapters for me to listen to.
But in general – the message is consistent and clear and helpful, that for kids to abandon entitlement, parents must abandon it first. And I couldn’t agree with that more. We just don’t often assess our own hearts first and realize how we often are the source of some of the problems we are frustrated by. This value of the book is how it can help parents check their own hearts first and then think through how best come alongside children in a way that is helping them learn to live in reality and with a grateful and others focused, serving posture.
It gave me some new conviction to engage some things I have been getting softer on without realizing it. I’m refreshed and motivated to be as intentional as needed to guard against entitlement and to help our kids grow and develop into people who can love and serve in the true reality of this world – and not in an escapist or fantasy world that they are expecting to rescue them from challenge or struggle.
It’s a pretty fun read with a lot of humor in it, but the substance is solid.