Books Magazine

Raising Grateful Kids…

By Akklemm @AnakaliaKlemm

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World: How One Family Learned That Saying No Can Lead to Life’s Biggest Yes by Kristen Welch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When I first finished reading the book, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to approach a review. There were snippets and pages here and there where I shared snapshots of a page with friends. They were GOOD and I said as much. But the whole of the book was underwhelming and not useful for my household.
I’m a Christian who lives not far from the area the author lives, yet I still could not relate to many of her examples. There are beautiful truths peppered throughout a series of disjointed stories about her children, but I find much of the advice is for a very specific target market. I have not struggled with what high-end preschool to send my children to (we homeschool and I homeschooled as a destitute single mother as well). I have never been in a position to decide whether my eight-year-old needs a smartphone, buying a $1000 device for an elementary student would never occur to me because I couldn’t even buy those sorts of things for myself. I’m also blessed, I suppose, to have a tween who has never asked me for a three-hundred-dollar purse. If she did ask such a thing, it would likely be sarcasm and we would both laugh at the absurdity. We’ve lived in a world of hand-me-downs and used everything and have always been quite content to do so. We save when we have something we have decided is a big-ticket item and a luxury, we’re aware big-ticket means different things in different households. I read the book because it was recommended and we do have gratefulness and entitlement issues here and there, but more when it comes to things like making something bigger and grander (within the budget) just because you got a good deal or managed to do it yourself at no cost. Ie: Just because you can do something for free or make it happen with your own hard work, should you? This book didn’t help with that, it’s still focused back on the getting your kids to work for what they have, that’s not our struggle.
I am not the target market. I’m sure it’s very helpful for people in the target market, but I feel that the target is relatively small and limited to very affluent neighborhoods. (Of course, they need self-help books too!) We’re currently middle class, living in an upper-middle-class neighborhood with no debt but our mortgage, I grew up fairly well off, and still every example in this book is too rich for my blood. Trips to Kenya, to serve, which is beautiful, but hopping on planes to other countries isn’t exactly something my family is in a position to struggle about. Giving their fourteen-year-old the power to choose where they spin their time while in Europe for a few days is an awesome idea if I were ever in a position to leave the country. We’re pretty pleased to be able to fill up our gas tank without pinching pennies… once upon a time, I couldn’t do that.
She does a good job reminding parents that gratefulness starts with the parent. Me longing for a larger yard one day is a slap in the face to those who don’t have yards at all, my kids hear the desire for more in us when we’re chasing the next thing. It all must be balanced with saving for the desires we have and not done in a spirit of crapping on the things we just got.
Additional aside: a lot of people on Goodreads are complaining about the shock of it being a Christian book. Their surprise took me by surprise. My copy is printed by a Christian publishing house, states clearly on the back jacket about the author’s desire to raise her children to follow God, and at no point in time was I ever given the impression (from marketing alone) that this was anything other than a Christian/Parenting book (also stated clearly above the bar code). Therefore, I was not surprised by her beliefs being clearly presented in the early chapters. She was writing for Christian parents. As Christian parents we do teach our children not to murder, to care for those less fortunate, to assist and serve where there are needs and we can help, and that we were made as God intended. Some readers are bothered by this. That particular stance had no bearing on me not giving the book 5 stars.
View all my reviews

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog