Thursday, April 19, 2012

Growing Grateful Kids

I've been reading this book, growing grateful kids,  over the past couple weeks.  I checked it out from the library, but it's been such a good read that I'll probably end up buying my own copy.


If you're a parent, you probably have a mental list of character traits that you want for your kids.  Everyone's list may be slightly different, but they probably included things like kindness, compassion, honest, hardworking, etc... 

For me, included in my top 5, would definitely be gratitude.  Gratitude is a biggie for me.  I would be so proud if my kids could grow up with a real sense of gratitude as they walk through life.  And more importantly, understand WHO is the ultimate giver of all gifts.  None of the things we receive are because we deserve them. 

I like this book because it's a an easy read, practical and oh so relatable!  Susie writes alot from personal experiences and at the end of each chapter she includes practical questions for us to think about as parents, ideas on how to teach it, and a prayer.  Lord knows our kids learn so much more from what we do, than what we say.  Oh boy!  This is more than a parenting book because it's been reminding ME of how I can better live out gratitude in MY own life. 

I just finished the chapter on restraint.  The message in this chapter has stuck with me.  Here's a short excerpt:

"When we oversaturate our kids with the latest and greatest trinkets and toys, we actually ruin our children.  When we bail our kids out so they don't have to struggle, we actually weaken them.  When we make excuses for our kids so that they don't have to feel bad about their behavior, we deceive them into thinking they don't need a Savior.  When we lay down the rules and then change them because they are not convenient to enforce at the moment, we confuse our children and diminish our own credibility...  it's not such a bad thing to let our kids wrestle through difficult circumstances or to go without something they want or to face their own character flaws."

I think the part that spoke to me the most is doing the hard things, even when it is inconvenient.  How many times have I given it at the grocery store or at restaurant, just to make things easier?  To a larger extent, this is why homeschooling can be a huge challenge.  Constantly teaching, redirecting, and reinforcing character lessons definitely cuts into my "to-dos" and can be extremely inconvenient.  But obviously oh so worth it.

Ok... this has turned into a much wordier most than I usually write, but I thought this was too good of a resource to not pass along.  Gratitude in today's world of over-indulgence is a special treasure to possess and to work towards.

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