So little did I think that with my little blog that a handful of my facebook friends read I would be chosen to be part of the launch team for a new book by Kristen Welch (of wearethatfamily.com ) – Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World. I even filled out the form at the very last day! I’ve only been reading her blog for a couple months but I have come to appreciate her insights.
So the book – it’s a bit of an emotional read, but I think it’s an important one. Kristen shares many stories from her parenting experiences, and those of others. Also included are some polls she conducted and research studies from others. There is also plenty of scripture to support her ideas!
I most appreciated the chapter on technology, as it convicted me about my own overuse of my phone. Also because this era of technology is a new parenting world. Even I can remember a time before computers (barely!) but my kids will have so much more technology than we ever did.
The other best chapter was the last one – “Dear Parents” – where she gets real about the challenge of this undertaking. One of the series on her blog has been “Parenting upstream in a go-with-the-flow world” which described it well. She boils it all down to what all parenting goals boil down to: What you want them to be like, you have to model. But of course, there are a lot more practical details on how to do that in the book, including ideas for each age group at the end of each chapter.
I also loved her focus on service and perspective, drawn from her experience with travel and starting a non-profit.
I did have a bit of a hard time relating to some of the examples for a few reasons. I think our current financial position has forced us to be more content. I can remember thinking that I would never ever live in an apartment when I had kids – I would own a home for sure. And now here we are, in a 2-bedroom rental, after living in a 1-bedroom until Leland was 18 months old, and I think that if we could live in a townhouse that would pretty much be my dream home. God has been gracious in changing my heart on my sense of entitlement (at least in some areas) as we have learned what we can actually afford.
Much of the book is also more for future reference for me – my kids are only 1 and 3; their little desires are quite simple and so far they are happy with simple. Sure they get itching for “something new”, especially around birthdays and Christmas when people are a bit too generous, but they also say “thank you” often (well, “ks” from Elliot) and even unprompted.
My only other area of differing opinion is that I definitely lean in more gentle parenting style than Kristen, but I was able to take the information and fit it into my ideas about parenting. Some of it is just semantics, like in the chapter against a child-centered home. I can also see how attachment parenting might look too child-centered but could still be more family-centered (and even better – Christ-centered). Because again, I only have littles, and let’s face it – they tend to be the focus and their needs tend to influence the rest of the family. That’s why I am sitting here finally typing this review while they are sleeping!
Overall it was a good and important read and I’ve been blessed to be part of the group previewing the book. Check it out!
Where to buy:
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