How being “mean” parents can raise grateful kids

Does access to everything they need create ungrateful kids? You bet it does! Because they don’t even know the difference between wanting and needing, it creates a bit of a problem for us parents. Before it gets to the stick-in-the-mud level, here are things you can do to introduce a bit of gratitude in your kids and take away from being entitled brats –

1. Stop saying yes…be confident enough to say “No.”

Saying “no” to our kids can be hard.  Especially when they are throwing an epic tantrum on the supermarket floor because they want that ice cream bar.  Or when they threaten to make your life a living misery if you don’t let them stay out past curfew.  But by saying “yes” in those situations, you become a passive parent and relinquish control to your immature child.

Set your limits, make them clear, and then stick to them.  No matter how adorable those big puppy eyes are;).

2. Stop feeling guilty that you can’t give them everything.

Kids don’t need every single new toy, or need to participate in every single activity.  We all want our children to be happy, and to have bounteous opportunities, but no parent can physically, financially, or emotionally sustain it all.  You will not ruin your kids by not giving them the latest video game consul or private jiu-jitsu lessons.

3. Stop playing the bigger and better game.

Resist that nagging feeling that you need to do things bigger or better than…last year, or the neighbor next door, etc.  Just because you got your kids a trampoline for Christmas last year, doesn’t mean you have to get them something even better this year.  Just because you threw an amazing birthday party last year, doesn’t mean you are required to out-do yourself this year.

4.  Stop complaining…start voicing your own gratitude.

I once found myself cursing our old washing machine to an avid audience of two impressionable preschoolers.

This old piece of junk!” I exclaimed.

Later, I heard my own words regurgitated while they were playing.  “What a piece of junk!” my daughter exclaimed.  I realized that if I want them to be grateful, I need to start voicing my own gratitude more openly and freely.  Instead of cursing that moribund washing machine, I should have expressed how grateful I was that we had one, and didn’t have to wash our clothes by hand.

Say “Thank-you” whenever you get the chance.  To fast-food cashiers, to your spouse, to your children.

5. Stop placing importance on things…instead, focus on people and experiences.

Things are just that…things.  Inanimate objects with no life and no soul.  Instead of placing so much importance on having the most state-of-the-art television, or vehicle, let your children know that what really matters cannot be bought.

Spending more time with family and friends, experiencing life, instead of focusing on things will instill a gratitude that objects will not.

This post is taken from here

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