I have a game game I like to play with my kids when a strong case of the woe-is-me attitude hits. It’s called Tell Me 5 Things You are Grateful For. The first time we played it went something like this…
Me to my then 5 year old son: Tell me 3 things you are grateful for.
Him begrudgingly but trapped in a car seat so no choice but to play: Cake.
Me with uber enthusiasm: Oh, me too! Especially chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting and whipped mousse filling. That’s one, what else?
Him still a bit unsure: Ice cream.
Me, again with the enthusiasm turned up mega: Me too! Like, with hot fudge and whip cream and you take that first bite with the cold and the hot and the whip cream in the middle, hmmmm you are making me drool Pumpkin! What else?
Well, you get the idea, we continue this till smiles are all around and our outlook has improved. And I wish I could tell you that we do this all the time, but in fact I often forget. In fact, I even forget our nightly What We Are Thankful For Today habit my husband started with them…until one of my children remind me.
Generally I am so rushed and harried at the end of the day desperate just for a few moments peace that I forget to pursue peace and the One who gives it. Yes, I pray with them every night but often stories are left out and our “What I’m Thankful For” just sounds like too much time away from…me. Ouch!
So, imagin how I felt when I started reading How to Raise Grateful Kids in an Entitled World. It was like Kristen was reading my mail and it wasn’t pretty. Oh, and I have my list of who and what to blame my behaviors on and yep, I’m not on that list. Double ouch!
“Parents who want less entitled kids have to be less entitled themselves, and parents who want to raise more grateful kids need to start by living more grateful lives.” Kristen Welch from her book Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World
The buck stops with me. It’s my turn to play the 5 Things I’m Grateful For game. It’s my turn to pick up the habit of what I am thankful for. It’s my turn to point my kids to the goodness of God in
our MY life. It’s my turn to live my life in a way that shows my kids how great it really is…and isn’t that easier said then done.
I’ve had the chance this week to get away just the kids and I, while my husband packs up our house, and the slower pace has been wonderful. Cut off from most technology and less house to clean has given me the time to develop some some new habits and I am GRATEFUL for it! I know it’s not possible for most people to “run away from home” and start over again but here I am with that chance! No, it’s not been perfect. Yes, lots of bugs to work out. But…
5 Things I Am Grateful For TODAY
- More time for stories.
- More time for play.
- More time sitting together and being present with each other.
- Swimming with my kids.
- And the chance to recognize how wonderful these things are.