There’s nothing that triggers me worse than one of my kids acting entitled and ungrateful. Some of my least favorite phrases:
“Why do we have to eat (whatever’s for dinner)?”
“Why can’t I have the latest (iPhone, shoes)? Everyone else has them!”
“Our Wifi is so slow.”
Ugh and double ugh. Lack of gratitude definitely flips my lid and requires me to access my favorite calm-down strategies.
Many of us have worked very hard for many years to be able to afford our homes, the food on our table, the shoes on our feet, and the electronic devices we use, and we often appreciate those things even more because we know the sweat that went into earning them. But what about our kids?
In my interview with Richard Watts about his book “Entitlemania,” he said something that stuck with me – we can’t pass along our pride in what we’ve accomplished to our kids. They have to do something to earn their own pride. Most of us are not naturally grateful. We learn to be grateful when we have to wait for something, when we have to work for something, and when we’ve experience not having something.
When we’ve never had a headache, we aren’t grateful for not having one. It’s just human nature to not realize how great we have it until it’s not so great anymore.
But gratitude is so important to our well-being and something we need to cultivate in our families, so we need to be very intentional about growing gratitude in ourselves and our kids.
We can’t raise grateful kids by focusing on gratitude one day or one month of the year. There are important ways we prepare our kids to become more grateful.
In this episode of the podcast about Precursors to Gratitude, Sara Kuljis and I discuss four ways we can prepare our kids to become more grateful people:
• Avoid over-giving.
• Cultivate empathy.
• Model gratefulness.
• A vacation from things we take for granted like big meals and hot showers, such as in camping situations or while traveling, can help us to realize a greater appreciation for all we have.
More Gratitude Resources & Ideas
Ep. 63: Growing Gratitude with Sara Kuljis
A Grateful Family is a Happy Family: 5 Gratitude Practices
5 Ways to Create a Happy Thanksgiving
My Pinterest “Gratitude Board”
5 Ways to Avert Thanksgiving Disappointment
Raising Grateful, Not Entitled Kids
3 Reasons to Give Your Kid a WOW Today
Grateful Campers are Happy Campers
Learning to Enjoy the Little Things
Teaching Kids Gratitude Rather than Entitlement: Berkeley News/Christine Carter
Giving Thanks can Make you Happy, Harvard Health
The Science of Gratitude: More Benefits Than Expected; 26 Studies and Counting, Happier Human.com
7 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Gratitude That Will Motivate You To Give Thanks Year-Round, Forbes
30 Days of Gratitude, Writeshop.com