Monday, August 20, 2018

Book Review - Raising Grateful Children

I picked up this book after having seen it recommended by a few of the bloggers I follow.  I like a good child rearing book, and appreciate ones that are Christian focused.

I will start with the caveat that I almost put the book down after reading the first chapter because of the author's right-wing views that I do not agree with.  She basically said she is "uncomfortable" with Caitlyn Jenner and same-sex couples being portrayed on TV and movies and that is mostly why they limit their children's screen time.  I also love that almost the next phrase was about how Jesus said to love everyone.  I decided however to keep reading and see what I could learn from the book, and avoid some confirmation bias, but also take her advice with a grain of salt.

Although we are not going to start a charity in Africa, like the author's family did, I did find some useful lessons in the book.  I should say that I don't feel like my children are ungrateful (at least not yet), but I thought I would get ahead of the game and see what sort of practices we could implement in our house and try to avoid any overt ungratefulness if possible. Right now E is pretty  sheltered and he's only just starting to realize that other families do different things than we do, but his awareness of what he gets vs. what other people get (in both directions) will only increase exponentially. 

I liked that at the end of each chapter, she summarizes some tips categorized by toddlers, grade school kids, and teenagers, and then some things for parents to do.  Certainly I can do better at being ungrateful myself so it was good to see what practices I could implement in my own life, not just for the kids.    There are things like make cookies for a neighbour, give away your old clothes and toys to people who need them, show them how you are grateful for things so they can model this behaviour.  

Although the right-wing conservative views are not something I can get on board with, I do appreciate the Christian values that she talked about.  I do think that it is important to bring God and Jesus to the centre of your house instead of having it as an after thought.  To me, if you know that God will never leave you and will love you always, then it doesn't matter what you make mistakes, we still have God's grace.  I want my children to know that too, particularly if I forget to grant them my own grace.  One other thing was to remind me to pray for my children, but I think also to let them know you are praying for them, and to teach them how to pray.  

I don't know if I would recommend this to everyone, but if you like to read a lot, especially about parenting, and don't mind the Christian focus, then pick it up and see what you think.

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