I want my kids to be grateful, not entitled. Happy with what they are given, not whiny and demanding. Willing to work hard for the things they need or want in life. I think most parents would agree with these goals. Really, I do NOT want to raise kids who are lacking character, work ethic, and integrity.
However, recently I've had some experiences that opened my eyes to the facts: I am on the path to doing just that. It was easy for me to make excuses - "our kids don't have [list of latest technology] so we're good" or, "they don't have too many fancy toys, they're not spoiled," but in the little things? Oh, the choices. SO many choices, and I was shrugging it off as no big deal.
So this week? I've been reducing their choices. And you know what? Positive results, LESS complaining. This is happy. Everyone is happier. And hopefully, I'll stick to the course.
The thing is, even though I am the mom, and the authority, and realize that this is healthy, I STILL want my kids to be *happy* and so I tend to over-do the little choices. The desire for happy kids is not a problem, but ten million choices of what we are eating for lunch does not need to be part of their lives. When I do this, or any other host of choices, I make life harder for myself, and ironically, it tends to produce LESS grateful children. Or at least, that's how it works here.
It's good to do parenting checks. It's good to evaluate where we are helping our kids become better people, and where we are enabling ingratitude or laziness. Sometimes fresh ideas come from observing other parents, sometimes from self evaluation, and sometimes tough changes need to happen.
PLEASE NOTE - I know there's no formula for great kids - I know it's all about God's work and God's grace - but sometimes, it's also important to listen to Him and what He tells me to do! And then obey that!!
What do you do to make sure you are consistent at following through with changes?