Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tuesday Talk

Hey Friends!

It's TUESDAY TALK!  If you're new here, that means once a month, Fancy Ashley and I invite you to join us to chat about anything and everything.





Today, I wanna chat about something a little more serious.


HOW DO WE RAISE GRATEFUL KIDS?

I'll be the first to tell you...this parenting gig is not easy.  We want our kiddos to be kind, loving, tough on the court but respectful to others, honest, nice to everyone, inviting to the kiddo who is playing alone, the kid who will stand up for someone being bullied, and the list goes on and on.  Our expectations are high for our kiddos.  Right?  So I completely get the fact that they're gonna fail.  They're kids.  They're supposed to mess up and with our correction, get it the next time.   But just this past week one of my kiddos had a "moment" that just screamed, "SO UNGRATEFUL" to me.  Now I'm not going to share the story here in hopes that one day he/she realizes they let way too much of their ungratefulness {and I'd also like to include the word, CRAZY, here} show, are a tad bit embarrassed, and will be thrilled to know their mama didn't share it online.  

The point is we had a super non-grateful moment in our house and it got me thinking about how we as parents can be doing this better.  How can I be including things into our daily life that helps them realize they have so much to be thankful for?

I'd like to add that I completely get they're just kids and we all have moments.  I, myself, have bratty moments, but it just sparked this in my head and heart.

PLEASE help a mama out!  What are things you've done in your family?  What are things you've seen other families do?  Have you read any books you'd recommend?  Do you have any recommendations?  

Every month when we have Tuesday Talk, I look forward to the more interactive format we have.  I THANK YOU for making that possible.  And I'm hoping you give us all some great ideas for how to work on teaching our kiddos to be more grateful.

Thank you!

XO


44 comments:

Holly said...

Oh what a great topic! Can't wait to read the suggestions! Wish I had a life-changing tip for you but all we really do is point out how grateful we should all be- we point to the small things and remind our kids to be grateful- to say thank you and to celebrate the joy in little victories.

Katie said...

The book Are My Kids on Track by Sissy Goff and David Thomas, is not just about gratitude but about all spiritual, emotional and physical milestones and definitely does address gratitude vs entitlement etc in several chapters. I can not recommend this book enough. The authors are child and family counselors and believers and do an amazing job of equipping parents to do our best during this challenging season in our culture. They actually even recorded a podcast with the same title that is equally as helpful as the book, just not as thorough. You can follow them on Instagram at raisingboysandgirls. I know I sound like I am their publicist but I don’t even know them... just really incredible wisdom and insight from some very knowledgeable people!

Cindy McFarland said...

As a mama of 4 too (although now almost grown - 23, 21, 18, and 12 years old), I want to reassure you that the fact that you are focusing on encouraging a grateful heart now is a sure sign they will grow into grateful adults <3. The key is to stay on top of it in a low key kinda way. They are just kiddos, so they will have days when this will be easier for them to understand and days when they just. don't. get. it :-) One thing that worked for us was to make sure they all had real chores that helped them understand the concept of work. I made sure they were age appropriate, but they were real work none the less. For example, going to get the mail or running clothes up stairs for me is not a "chore". That's being kind to mama!! A chore would be mowing the yard, loading the dishwasher, doing their own laundry, etc. When they were little (5-10 years oldish)- it was dusting the living room, putting all the shoes back in closets, emptying trash cans in everyone's rooms, etc. Hope this helps and LOVE your blog <3

Shannon Gray said...

OH, how I wish I had some tips, but this is something we struggle with, too. Thank you for sharing this and I look forward to reading the tips!

Lauren Morris said...

My girls are younger than the age requirements, so these activities are on my list for when they are a little older - preparing a meal for the people staying at our local Ronald McDonald house, volunteering at Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine and helping at the local humane shelter to walk and play with the dogs.

Bethany @ Our 4 Sons Plus 1...Super Cute Girly Girl said...

I struggle with this, too. I'll have to come back and read all the comments!

Cheryl said...

I listened to a great podcast from the God Centered mom podcast on Entitlement. It was really helpful. It was the April 2nd episode.

Sarita @ it's my girls' world said...

For birthday parties, i dont let them open their presents all at once. I let them open one each day after to appreciate each present. I also make them write thank you notes for presents or things like sponsorships for events. Little things make a huge difference. Can’t waif to read all the ideas.

Shannon Molenburg said...

What a great topic! I think all families have those cringe worthy moments and even as adults, I have them myself!

My mom was great about making sure my brother and I participated in some sort of volunteer/community service activity (outside of sports, music, dance, etc). We helped out with Meals On Wheels, visited nursing homes, writing cards to shut-ins, and did lots of service projects through church. I don't have kids but with my nephews, I always tell them, "You get what you get and you don't through a fit"- a gentle reminder to be content with what you are given. I try now to practice daily gratitude and every morning when I wake up, I text my friend what I am grateful for. That's been a good habit to get into. You may already be doing this with your kids. Best wishes Erika :) - Shannon @slayitagainshan.com

Leslie said...

Great book resource -- raising grateful kids in an entitled world by Kristen Welch.

Narci said...

Looking forward to reading these tips! This is definitely on my heart too! Thank you for hosting!

Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said...

I almost called you yesterday to tell you about a moment we had last night! Call me this morning and I'll share. :)

Mix and Match Mama said...

This is such a good topic! Andrew and I cannot wait until our kids are old enough for an overseas mission trip. I can't wait to come back and read other people's suggestions!

Erin | Chasing Sweet and Simple said...

I read the book Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World and really liked it/got some good ideas!

Elizabeth said...

My kids are still babies but my daughter (2 going on 8) says her “Thank you” Prayers every night and sometimes she says it all by herself and sometimes we help her with her list but we include - comfy bed, food to eat, toys to play with, clothes to wear, House, etc and we follow it up with a little conversation about how not everyone has toys and not everyone has food. Whenever we see a homeless man/woman while driving she will was “what is that guy/lady doing Mommy” and I will tell her that person doesn’t have a house, food, etc like we do. When we donate I share with her why we are doing it.

Bethany from CuteCapsuleLife said...

I could sure use some answers on this one too, this seems like a daily struggle at our house.

Bethany | www.CuteCapsuleLife.com | Simply Share Friday Linkup

Andrea said...

I don’t have any great tips, but we do make our kids tithe off birthday money or other gift money they receive. They are only 6 and 3 but I think making them tithe when they are little makes it much easier when they are older.

Also, One of my favorite quotes from our pastor is “the fastest way to have ungrateful and entitled kids is to give them everything they ask for”!!

Beth Miller said...

The BEST thing you can do is to model thankfulness in your every day life! Show grace and gratitude always! Serve others without complaint. I read "Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World" years ago, and it was one of the best books I ever read. Yes, they are kids and will mess up, but we can't let those little moments slip by without some education and redirection. It's an ongoing battle, and it takes a village!

Brooke Bennett said...

I joined a group that serves meals to homeless in our area. We do it about 1-2 times a month and my 8 and 10 year old are really enjoying it. I think it has been an eye opening experience. I want for my kids to be comfortable and have everything thing they need, they just need a reminder that not everyone lives like we do. I started this after a not so great conference with my daughter’s teacher at the first of the school year.

Angela Jernigan said...

I believe any bad behavior should be corrected with scripture! I have found it's the only way to change a child's heart, and that's what we are after. I want mine to have a right heart, not just "act right" to avoid the discipline. There is a book called Instruction In Righteousness that is invaluable. It has every behavior problem you could think of listed, and then tells you where to go in the Bible to find correction for that behavior. It made such an impression on my kids when they saw that their behavior was not just "ugly" or "bad", but God said it is actually sinful. The key is to change their heart, not just their behavior!
Good luck mom! Keep on keeping on!

Shelly @ The Queen in Between said...

I think emulating gratefulness is the biggest key...all kids are going to go through these kinds of stages and will need reminding. We also started volunteering at a really young age....my kids have seen first hand the needs of others and it opens up the door for more conversations about how grateful we should be for even the simplest things like milk in the fridge. I always love when I ask my kids to help around the house with something and they say "how much are you going to pay me"...umm...I let you liver here..FOR FREE!

Shelly | The Queen in Between

Robin said...

Had a conversation with one of our kiddos about this last night!! I had just been on our church’s women’s retreat and one of the things taught (almost as a side not but it was pure gold) was how what was the very first thing Satan did in the garden? Tempted Eve to focus on the only thing she was not allowed to have; this change of focus led her down the path of choosing to disobey God, but it started out with feeling like God was holding out on her which is ultimately the root of entitlement right? This was encouraging to me as it’s literally the enemy’s oldest trick in the book, but it’s also sobering in that choosing to focus on what we don’t have, can lead us down a path that isn’t pretty and can make us more vulnerable to listening to the voice of the enemy and believing that God is holding out on us. When I talked to my 7 year old about this, he was so encouraged that someone else felt like him too (Eve, me, and all of humankind!), and we talked about the way to fight this - with praise (Psalm 8). When we remember who God is and what He’s done for us, our focus shifts back to the Lord and what we have rather than what we don’t have in the moment.

I love so many of the other comments above about doing chores and serving others which are vital pieces of the process, but it’s also an opportunity to have heart conversations that lead back to the Gospel: why are you feeling like this/what does this really show in your heart - these always point us back to our need for Jesus which lead to praise and a changed heart in the end! I’m in the trenches with you girl and trying to let the Lord work this out in my own life too!

Dustie Day said...

Such a great topic - I can't wait to read all of the comments. I also loved the book "Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World". I feel like I need to read it every few months!

stefanyag said...

We've taken our kids (age 7-14) to volunteer at the Houston Food Bank (we are Houstonians) and this changed our kids' perspectives REALLY quick.

stefanyag said...

We took our kids (age 7-14) and volunteered at the local food bank. This changed their perspective REALLY quick!

Laura said...

We struggle with this to but I think my biggest recommendation is exposure to those who have less. We live in a world where we all see folks who have more (or at least seem to) but volunteering/donating/etc to those with less helps them realize that not everyone gets ____ or goes _____. We took our son to Haiti the first time when he was just 7. Maybe he was too young to help a lot but he truly gets now that there are kids the same size as him who don't live like him. At 12 now he gets as excited about a week with no A/C on the mission field as he does about an all-inclusive resort.

The Stantons said...

Before I answer.....Girlfriend! We all have been there!! But...I think you are spot on with kids are kids....they are learning and developing everyday. Sometimes, I forget that my 8 year old doesn’t have the 40+ years on experiences that I have and should be more “whatever” (greatful, compassionate....tidy). I am always calm and send the kiddo off to “compose themselves”. I simply say...”we don’t act like that. Go compose yourself and let me know when you are ready to talk”. Then, I carry on with whatever i was doing. I also occasionally send brother or sister in to “help” after a while. Again....I calmly say “your brother is coming in to help you come up with an idea on how to......”insert issue”. Most of the time, I have success,

Rachel Dean said...

My mom always made sure I said thank you and wrote thank you notes and really let people know I appreciated the kind things they did for me. I know I have many flaws, but this is one area that I do really well in and I'm so grateful that she instilled this in me!

allison mullins said...

One thing that we started this year (I feel like the Lord gave me this idea one night over Christmas break❤️) is to have our kids as an active participant in money we give. Every year we always give money to someone or something that touches our hearts and we feel led to give. The Lord has been good to us, and it gives us great joy to bless others. This has always been something personal and between my husband and myself. It hit me one night that we need to train our children better to have giving hearts. So we decided to give each of our 4 children $500 to give away. They have this entire calendar year to do it. They can do it however they choose. A little here and there or one lump sum to someone or something. We told them they need to come and pitch their case to my husband and I and we will help them get the money where it needs to go—but it is THEIR money to give away. We are praying about it as a family for God to give them the eyes to see needs of those around them. It’s been really cool to see them looking outward rather than inward. My oldest (a 6th grader) has come to us recently telling us he wants to give $100 of his money to a fundraiser at his school for a student battling cancer. I think it’s soo cool that his heart was touched to want to do this for another student. (Mind you this same 6th grader was NOT on board with this from the start. Wanted to keep the money for himself to use on a family vacation). We are all a work in progress aren’t we? ❤️

Jes said...

This is a great conversation starter Erica. I'm a 34 year old woman and often think back to a single moment on my 10th(ish) birthday when I had such an ungrateful/bratty moment of ungratefulness. I fixated on the ONE thing I didn't get for my birthday and it made my mom cry. Not just shed a tear or two, she broke down! Told me how hard and how much she works to give me everything I want and desire... and yes, while I didn't live in the biggest house in the neighborhood, or was able to be on the elite sports teams, or had designer clothes- I ALWAYS had enough. It changed my heart, forever. I sincerely began appreciating her and my dad more and how lucky I really was. I think sometimes everyone feels they need to keep it together but it's when we fall apart and show how vulnerable we are- empathy happens.

V @ X-tremely V said...

I need all the help I can get in this area! X will be so sweet, polite, etc. but then out of nowhere he has these moments that make me want to hide under table! lol!

Melanie Smith said...

No kids here, but I teach the children's Sunday school class at my church. Every Sunday when they come to class, they write down one thing they are grateful for that day or week, and they put it into their own grateful jar. At the end of the year, they will go back through their jar and see all of the things they were grateful for this year.

Last year they had prayer journals. Like with the slips of paper, they would write a prayer when they got to class. At the end of the year, we went through the journals and they could see everything they prayed for that year.

Just a thought.

Katie Oman said...

Oh my goodness, this post couldn't have come at a better time. My 8 year old 'had the worst day ever' yesterday because he is one of the ONLY (not true) kids in our neighborhood who doesn't have a phone or a dog and I 'never' buy him Pokemon. I felt like I hate a super ungrateful child at this moment too. I am excited to look at all the comments.
www.omanmoments.com

Kelly Henderson said...

We take every opportunity to remind our kids not everyone has all the things they have. Not all kids have two parent homes or even homes for that matter.

Our kids go to Catholic school where they are somewhat sheltered from seeing people less fortunate than them. Fortunately, our daughter's high school does a "day of caring" where they spread out all over the city to help in the community. Our son is now a Boy Scout and they do a ton of community service. In addition we had family volunteer opportunities. In our community we have a program for the homeless called "Room In The Inn" where you actually dine with guests. It's a wonderful opportunity for your older kids to really understand the current homeless. If you are like us, you live in the suburbs and your kids are rarely exposed to homeless people.

And then there is always a reminder to said child by taking away things. Our kids are 11 and 14, this works quite well for them! I also don't hesitate to call it out when they are being bratty. It happens to ALL OF US including Mom and Dad. I recently had a moment myself and my teenager called me out. She was right, we all need a reminder at times.

Aly Werner said...

This is something that I constantley think about as well with raising 2 little boys (7 AND 4). There are times that I have just felt like a complete failure because we are really working hard on instilling grateful hearts in them and then they do something that just screams "UNGRATEFUL"! So frustrating! I started something in January though that I absolutely love and now that we are in the habit of doing it every night at dinner I can see that it is helping and the boys love it....We keep a Mason jar on the dining room table that has 5 different colored popsicle sticks in it. Each stick says something different (Person, place, food, thing, anything) As we eat dinner each night we take turns passing the jar around and whatever stick you pull out is what you have to tell us something you are grateful for. It's better than just thinking of something each night on your own b/c the words on the sticks at least give the kids an idea to be thinking about. It's simple but I'm seeing that it's effective (as as effective as it can be with little ones!) Hope this helps!

Katie W. said...

Oh my gosh I love this topic! I'm a new mom and wish that mom bloggers spent more time talking about things like this. Thanks for shining a light on a topic that every mom can relate to. My goal as a mom is to raise kind, grateful children who can become kind, hardworking adults. No ideas yet since I'm a new mom, but I'm loving the ones suggested above.

Julia @ Capturing Jewels said...

This is such an important topic, especially in todays world of kids. And something I have been starting with my 2 year olds is simply good manners being a natural reaction. thank you, excuse me, miss etc..

Bridget Banta said...

This is an area we are working on in our family. I believe it is life skill and one we can all improve daily. I was given the book "Growing Grateful Kids" by Susie Larson. Oh man- so many practical things. It is one of those books you read, think, ponder, pray about and mark all up as a reference. Blessings to you!

Kathy Lang said...

Erika, this is such an important topic, and while I don’t have children at home any longer, I do think about this topic and my two granddaughters. I came across a really encouraging video today on Facebook that I thought you would like. I really thought it addresses this topic in a unique way.
https://www.facebook.com/wearethatfamily/videos/10156219138568934/

Emily said...

I don’t have kiddos yet, but when I was in middle school my dad took me on a missions trip to Mexico. It completely changed my outlook on life and made me so grateful for what I have. It also opened my eyes and heart to those less fortunate or even those who live in different circumstances. So grateful for those experiences. It also gave me the opportunity to see God in different but very real ways.

Unknown said...

GREAT idea!!

Europafox said...

I have read all the ladies comments and found them really helpful and inspiring! It was a great topic Erika! The only way we have tried to encourage gratefulness is in being open with our son about the world and others less fortunate ( we sponsor a boy in Rwanda his age who is an orphan, who writes to us which is a real eye opener for our son), plus to live a simple life where he doesn't always get what he wants and he understands the sacrifices we make to provide for him, plus understanding the value of money and ... having this reinforced by the values of the wider family. Our son knows about Jesus' message and life of giving everything up and basically being possessionless, and about it being easier for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle etc so he is pretty unmaterialistic which helps, although he certainly still has his grumpy hormonal tween moments! Joanne.

Natasha said...

We do two things:

1) Every night we go around the dinner table and say what we are thankful for from our day. It helps us focus on all the good things which have happened that day. And it helps us realize that even on the worst days, there is always something to be thankful for.

2) For birthday parties, ever since our kids turned three, we do "toonie parties." Canada has a $2 coin so we ask every guest yo bring at least two toonies. The first toonie goes towards a charity of the child's choice and the second one goes towards a group gift of the child's choice. Over the kids our kids have picked things which have been meaningful to them over the past year and donated their birthday money towards that. Even some of their friends have started doing it which I love!

Sara said...

I'm so glad I went back to read this post. Could not have come at a more perfect time. We had an "ungrateful moment" at our house over the weekend and I just thought to myself...I'm failing at this. WHY is he not grateful for all he has?? I have to be doing something wrong. These comments are so great! So many good ideas!!