Book Review: Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World

I had hoped to get this review up a week ago, but at last here it is… I have lingered in this book.  I posted this photo a few weeks back when I was first digging into the reading and it got quite the reaction on Facebook.  Apparently there are many of us parents struggling with the sense of entitlement that seems to reign in our current culture.

Raising Grateful Kids

You all know my kids are older — millenials, most of them.  And that word “entitlement” is one my husband and I use often — not necessarily referring to our own kids but more to their peers, their generation.

noun: entitlement; plural noun: entitlements
  1. the fact of having a right to something.
    “full entitlement to fees and maintenance should be offered”
    synonyms: right, prerogative, claim; More

    “their entitlement to benefits”
    1. the amount to which a person has a right.
      “annual leave entitlement”
      synonyms: right, prerogative, claim; More

      “their entitlement to benefits”
    2. the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
      “no wonder your kids have a sense of entitlement


    I think most often we think of that last definition when we discuss entitlement among young people.  And truthfully I would never have said my own kids possessed that belief that they were “inherently deserving of privileges.”  But as I read through Kristen’s book, I was convicted.  Not to mention, I was given a bit of come-uppance from those same great kids a few weeks back.  Ugh.  They all have loving, sweet, generous hearts — but gratitude was lacking and self-centeredness creeping in.

    I want them all to have grateful hearts… not just the superficial thankfulness, but a deep-seeded gratitude for ALL the blessings — and the heartaches in life.  Because God uses those to shape us, too, doesn’t he?   But if I’m continuing the honesty train here, my own heart didn’t become fully thankful until several years ago.  And I realize maybe I missed the boat on some things in the raising grateful kids department.  But you know what?  It’s not too late.

    As we’re continuing to “raise” — mostly advise and mentor — these young adults, we still have opportunity to turn that entitlement tide around.   It’s as important at this stage for them recognize entitlement and its damaging effects on individual souls and His Kingdom in others as in themselves.  And that’s where we come in… advising, gently steering, and tough loving.  And this book is a wonderful blue print for our efforts.

    I mentioned above that I have lingered in these pages  — not because it’ s a difficult read, but more because it’s so rich in content that is front and center in our home.  Its chapters address the challenges of swimming upstream in today’s “I deserve” culture with concrete suggested actions at the end to help address those challenges in your own home.  How do you give your children perspective on wants vs. needs?  What role does Scripture play? Technology do’s and don’ts?  When do we rescue them and when do we let them face consequences? How can we support them in standing up to peer pressure to go with the flow? Kristen breaks these actions down based on the ages/stages of your children.  Because those actions look different for parents of toddlers than they do for parents of teenagers.

    For those of you parenting Little Ones — this book is for YOU.  For those of you parenting school age children — this book is for YOU.  And for those of us parenting teens/millenials — this book is for US.  It’s not easy being counter-culture — it’s hard work, it makes us (and our kids) “different”, and it is painful when we want to fix everything for our kids but know that’s not what’s best for them.

    Kristen’s writing style is down-to-earth, highly relate-able and anything but preachy.  She and her family are walking this same walk, learning from mistakes, and forging upstream with purpose.  My copy is dog-eared, highlighted, marked up.  And will be kept handy for those discouraging moments that always seem come during this parenting journey.

    One of my favorite take-aways?  Walk the walk as parents.  Model the behavior and the heart you want your children to emulate. Even in their 20’s, our kids are watching us.   And it may take years for them to absorb and fully appreciate that we’re swimming upstream for His glory and His Kingdom.  But we’re sowing seeds and living authentically.  And that’s a great example to set for this next generation.

    Click HERE to snag your copy… and read some of the other reviews.  This book is needed and it’s a blessing.

    To read my review of Kristen’s first book, Rhinestone Jesus, click HERE.  Read Kristen’s blog, We Are THAT Family for more on real-life parenting, faith, and inspiration.

    *This post contains affiliate links.

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