Monday, January 25, 2016

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World Book Review

Its been a very long time since I had read a parenting book, or a book about families, or teens or anything like that. I wasn't quite sure where this book would fit for our family personally because I have a student in college, and then two juniors in High School. I am so thankful for so much of what was said. The real truth behind so much of what we are seeing in the world today. Sometimes I think we are fortunate to at times have less than some, even in the midst of having so much more than most of the world. My children understand American Struggle. They live without central heat and air, in Texas. They live with the real possibility of having to miss things in life because there truly is no money, not even the $10 needed for choir dues at times. They are also able to learn so much, how to work hard, how to save their own money for things like Mission Trips and Church camp. They learn what is truly important the good lunch in their bag at school or the Mc D's they would love to stop and get. 
One thing in our family that we truly focus on is service. I always want them to see what it takes to run a community. How they can help others, how they can serve at school and church and even in the world. While they may do without a lot of what their friends have they truly see how much they have daily to make life better through their acts of service. It helps them be compassionate, loving, caring, responsible young adults. 

There have been so many times were I am sure I am messing it all up. I feel bad when they get so little at Christmas, or when we can't take a single vacation in the summer because home repairs have taken everything extra. Then I think of what they do have, a parent that works from home quilting and sometimes subbing so that I can be the volunteer at the field trip, so that I can take them to and from school most days instead of them having to ride a bus with kids that make them uncomfortable. How many conversations we have in the car going to so many volunteer days and church events/activities. There isn't much I don't love about our life, despite some hard ships. 

One really important thing that I learned that I am failing my husband in is having a child centered home. I hadn't really thought about that before. I put the kids above nearly everything. My daughters school schedule pretty much trumps my plans with my husband. After reading this book I felt pretty convicted. I realized that the reason that I don't go on anniversary dates or a get away is that I am too worried they won't get what they need done. It really made me evaluate and for once we actually left with school in progress, with my daughters schedule full to the brim. Our son even called after dropping him off at college and said that classes didn't start until Tuesday, he had nothing to do. We were both tempted to go get him but then we stuck to our plan- time for us.
I love this- I think we do a really good job in this area, however I know with friends its hard to always know what they see otherwise. This is probably my second favorite point among all the great real life stories and ideas. For us our kids just have $10 non internet phones, even our child in college. We just decided that its all they truly needed and our phone bill could not be the same amount as our food or utilities bills. We do have the rights to their passwords on any device and I check text messages and such at random. While that may not work for every family it has worked great for us.
I really recommend this book to anyone with children, or even grandchildren. It helps you truly look at the inner makings of your family. There are ideas at the end of each chapter that are age appropriate, to meet you at the stage or stages that you are right now, also potentially to help you be thinking about the next stage. It helps you realize how much we forget and take for granted in America. We have so much and can give back so much. Kristen has a wonderful Blog you can follow at We are that family, she is also on Facebook, right now you can get her book through various online sources such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc. There is a really low preorder price of $10. If you purchase it and read it come back and let me know what you think. I am thankful that it refocused us on looking at the every day parts of life we need to be Grateful for in the midst of chaos that often strikes.

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Pleasant words are as a honeycomb: sweet to the soul and health to the bones. Proverbs 16:24