No school-Homeschool

Without much warning, our kids just became home school students- just. like. that. In light of this crazy and novel virus- COVID-19, our entire county has cancelled school for just over 2 weeks. They were one of the first to do so, but it seems the rest of the country is following suite as we work to limit exposure and large groups. I have so much to say about the situation as a whole but I want to document here the homeschool experience we have accidentally found ourselves in. I made no secret of my wish to homeschool when Sydney and Eli were little. It was not a shared dream for Ben and me, and being a co-bread winner, it wasn’t in the cards for us. So, I may be a little excited to get to play school for a minute! 😂

Our amazing teachers quickly put together some optional learning activities that the kiddos can access through their google classrooms. They have access to so many amazing online resources that I had never heard of before we started public school last year. I will post links soon.

The kids have a book that was in my car from our recent trip to Louisville/Nashville that has each state and random information about that state. They’ve been quizzing me while I drive all week about each state’s nickname (for the record, I do best when it’s college football related — Volunteer state, Buckeye state, Tarheel state—- I got you! Ha!). I asked Ben to pick 3 states (it made me laugh that before he chose, he said “We aren’t trying to to here now, right?”). He picked Vermont, Maine, and Indiana. I then gathered the fun book from the car, as well as several other kid books about the states. I had them list the state name, it’s abbreviation, the capitol, and three fun facts about the state or things they would want to do there. While we were rounding up books, we also found a large floor puzzle of the 50 states as well. So while Eli distracted himself with the puzzle, Sydney and Liam got to work.

They had fun and we learned some pretty fun things about three states that don’t normally get a ton of attention! We will be taking on all 50 states as we navigate the next two weeks. Maybe we will cross over this lesson into math and keep a tally grid of how many Coronavirus cases in each state. I’m kidding. Ish.

Want to join our make believe homeschool adventure? Today, in addition to adding more states, we are focusing on being an encourager during a stressful time. I’m letting the kids decide on a way to encourage our community helpers while they continue to work to make our community safe. And we will be painting rocks to leave throughout the community (probably after this blows over- don’t want to accidentally share germs via rocks. Geez.). My favorite verse is 1 Thessalonians 5:11- therefore, let us encourage one another and build each other up. That’s our goal today. Happy Saturday, friends!

Brave

“Thanks Chasidy– you are brave as usual.” I read this comment and it’s taken me all day to process it. (Maybe that’s because I have the flu and my brain isn’t working 100%).

But, brave. That’s not an adjective that I can ever remember being used to describe me. It’s definitely not something I feel on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, I have, over the last few years, had to constantly remind myself that FEAR does not come from the Lord, and therefore should not motivate my decisions. And since brave is being prepared to face danger or discomfort without fear, it appears I have made a little progress.

I don’t think I am brave. I think I am convicted and passionate about being a voice for the marginalized. Speaking up for the poor, those without families, and those who have been told they are less-than due to the colour of their skin. (Please excuse my spellcheck- my phone thinks I’m British and automatic changes favourite, colour, etc). Often times I am terrified (insert: opposite of brave) to post something that I know without doubt goes against what my family or friends think. But bigger than that fear is the face of that beautiful child with brown skin who should never feel less capable to attend medical school than my own beautiful child with white (heck, lighter shade of brown,skin) based on their skin colour or designated race. They are BOTH beautiful children of God, created in His image, and one no more or less worthy to attend any school they want, play any sport they want, or insert a bazillion other opportunities little kids should have. So I don’t think I lack fear, but I have decided that the passion to speak up for those whose voices are not being heard is way bigger than the fear of what someone else may think.

I feel so unqualified. For starters, I’m very white. From a small town in south Georgia where things are still quite segregated (churches, teams, neighborhoods). I’m not a fan of international travel. I have anxiety about large and dangerous crowds. Yet, I think back to people God used throughout the Bible and they were never qualified. As a matter of fact, some of their lists of unqualifications looked worse than mine. Yet, God used them for really, really big things. They didn’t have to be qualified. They just had to be willing to check their fear at the door, and do what He asked. I don’t think God has chosen me to lead a movement or anything huge. I do believe He has put the burden on my heart to be a part of the movements that stands up to a group of white people and says “I know you don’t think you are racist. But you are. The words you are saying are hurtful and racist. They aren’t welcome.” To be a part of a movement that helps those who don’t know where their next meal will come from. And to stand up for a generation of children, both in our community and overseas, that the world has tossed to the side and deemed unworthy and unimportant.

So, maybe I am brave. I am at least brave enough to tell my fear where to go while I am busy making it known that all of these live among us and they are welcome here and could use our help. I am not a marcher. See above about anxiety around large, potentially dangerous crowds. But I am a sharer. A connector. And an advocator. And I will continue to use these skills and gifts until they really is justice for all.

http://amzn.to/2DO3rpu Affiliate link for an amazing book on Amazon. If you use it, our family gets a small comission!)

Stockpile, what?

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Earlier this week, I stumbled upon a company called Stockpile.  Within a few seconds, I had bought my kiddos stock in Facebook, NERF, and Disney, for a total of $60.  My kids were so excited.  I was so excited.  Ben set out to do his research (you know, he likes to calculate his excitement!)  You can purchase as little as $5 at a time.  Your kids can have a shared account with you.  You can buy gift cards to give, well, as gifts.

The site is user friendly, and I am so excited about the opportunity is going to give us to teach our kiddos about investing.  Who cares if we are investing in Build-A-Bear, American Girl, or NERF?  If they are excited about learning to invest, and how to make their money grow, sign me up for the stock in whatever they want!  (Not going to lie, the fact that Sydney chose Facebook made my momma heart pretty darn happy!)

I absolutely hate giving my kids trinket type toys.  They’re cheap.  They break.  They get lost.  I hate giving them an allowance, because they only make enough to buy said stupid trinket toys.  I am pretty excited about letting them earn money to invest.  Win for me.  Win for them.  Take your loss stupid dollar store toys!

I wrote to the company and asked to be able to give my amazing readers something if they try out Stockpile, and they said yes!  If you use Our Stockpile Link you get a $5 credit to spend on any stock you choose!  Obviously, this is for adults as well, but when you’ve got options like Disney, NERF, Amazon, Apple, Snapchat, Hershey’s, and Nike, I was a little excited for the kiddos.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think, and what you used your $5 to buy!  🙂 🙂

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(Disclaimer:  This post contains our family’s affiliate link  You get $5 for signing up using our link, and we get $5 credit in Stockpile as well.  Again, win/win!)

Adoption Advocacy

First of all, Chasidy, how is a blog post about adoption advocacy on your ADHD blog?  Good question, and I thought you might wonder about that.  So, our goal is to #crushthecookiecutter, and although we are all about breaking the mold for expectations of and perceptions about ADHD (and mental health in general), we are about being a voice for the marginalized.  Being an advocate for those who need a loud voice to shout for them.

For the month of December, another adoption advocate was looking for someone to be an “advocacy angel” to the more than 300 orphans in China with Down Syndrome.  I said yes to advocate for Timmy.  And Liam.  And Shelbie.  Many times, when a child doesn’t match the criteria prospective adoptive parents have given, and therefore aren’t matched with families, they get put on a “shared list.”  This means that there aren’t any one agency working to match them, which can be a good thing, because any agency can help your family bring them home (pro), but also not a good thing, because they can literally fall through the cracks and get very overlooked/forgotten (con).

Just today, I had a precious 3-4 year old little girl in my class at church.  It was obvious that she had Down Syndrome, based on the classic physical features that come with the syndrome.  She was precious.  SO smart.  SO sweet.  And basically stole my heart this morning.  As we were singing and dancing, my mind kept going back to the three kiddos I have been advocating for this month.  They also have Down Syndrome.  But they don’t have moms and dads fighting for them to help make sure they reach their fullest potential, like this beautiful girl.

All three of the children I am advocating for the month of December are on the shared list for China.  There is a website called Reece’s Rainbow where many of these children, especially ones with Down’s Syndrome, are posted.  Two of the three of my kiddos were not, which is already a disadvantage to them.  Just by being her advocate and letting someone know that Shelbie nor Liam had a profile on this amazing site has gotten Shelbie listed and available for families to see.

I would like to tell you what I know about each of these kiddos, as well as share the link to their profiles.  All 3 have grants towards their adoptions, so the families that move forward with their adoptions will likely start with around $5000 to help fund their international adoption.  Even if you don’t feel like international adoption is in your near, or ever, future, but you want to help, making a donation to one of these children is incredibly helpful, as it helps take away one of the barriers from their future family stepping forward.  We all know the cost is daunting, and having thousands of dollars already available for a child’s adoption is so very helpful.

Timmy- 6 years old

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Timmy was born in July 2011.  He has spent his whole life either with a foster family or in an orphanage in China.  He was born with a congenital heart defect, which has been surgically corrected.  There is over $6000 available in grants for his adoption.  There are two precious videos on his profile at Reece’s Rainbow that show just how adorable (and smart!) he is!  Timmy <<<—- link to his profile where you may view his story, donate towards his adoption, or see his videos.  He is a sweet boy who needs a mommy and daddy.  Let’s help make this the last Christmas this sweet guy spends without a family.

Shelby- 3 1/2 years old

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How very cute is this girl?!  She is not going to just give a smile to anyone.  It looks like she is going to play hard to get and make you work for that smile!  One of her nannies described her as “cute and chubby,” and I think they’re spot on with that one.  She also has a $5000 grant towards her adoption.  Shelbie  <<<———–  Click here to see sweet Shelbie’s profile, donate towards her adoption, or to request more info about pursuing adoption for her.

Liam- 3 years old

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I agreed to advocate for one more China baby this Christmas season because 1) How cute is he?? 2) His name is Liam and 3) He needs a mommy! Liam was born in Summer 2014.   He has been in an orphanage since he was about 8 months old.  He does not have a Reece’s Rainbow profile at this time, but you can request more info about Liam by emailing info@holtinternational.org .  He has a $3000 grant through their agency.  They also have a video of him as well.  This little man is so absolutely adorable.

 

It’s really easy to go to sleep at night when you hear statistics about millions of orphans in the world without families.  Not my monkeys.  Not my circus.  Right?  BUT, when these sweet little people have names, faces, and stories, it is so much harder to go to bed at night without thinking about their sweet little faces.  Timmy, Shelby, and Liam need someone to care about them.  Not the orphan crisis, but them.  They need a family to celebrate the great days and hug them on the sad days.  They need someone to tell them that they are loved and treasured.  How can you help?  You can share their stories.  You can donate towards their adoptions through Reece’s Rainbow.  You can pray for them and their future families.  You can consider adding one of them or a beautiful child like them to your family.

Whirlwind

I sat in a small group 3 years ago.  It wasn’t our first small group, and it wouldn’t be our last.  We sat in a circle (because in our church, we believe circles are better than rows!), and introduced ourselves.  We were supposed to tell everyone who we were, what we did, and how we had come to the church that currently brought everyone into our living room.  I remember telling this group that I didn’t know what I was supposed to do soon, but I felt like God was “swirling in my heart.”  Stirring it to do something really big.  But I had no idea what that something would look like.  I told them I felt like I was in waiting mode.  I was just waiting to see what that something was supposed to be, and I was ready.  I’m sure this very group that I was looney.  Probably because people don’t usually share this part of their story.  They wait until that swirling has turned into a really successful insert successful venture here,and then they share their previous struggle.  I had no idea what this BIG THING would look like.  To be honest, fast forward three years, I still don’t have a concrete answer.  I certainly thought  by now, I would know.

For several months, I think I tried to CREATE what this swirling was supposed to mean.  Apartment ministries?  That sounds fantastic and fun– and off me and the kiddos went to look at apartments in Peachtree City.  My level-headed husband called us looney for that one and said heck-to-tha-no.  I really felt like whatever this big thing entailed, it would involve us leaving the house we live in, whether that meant to travel near or far.  Were we willing to give up all of the things that make us cozy and comfortable to follow His call?  I felt like we were.  Level-headed-hubby agreed- but not to go to Peachtree City apartments.  I created several crazy ideas– none very personal to me, but I felt like I had to do SOMETHING.  Basically all of that craziness led to nothing more than a few days of looking at several silly ideas, and I decided that although my heart was swirling with God preparing me for something really BIG, it was not time for action.  It was time for acknowledging that HE controlled my steps and my plans, and I needed to chill out and wait for HIM.  So, in the meantime, we joined in with some amazing, already existing not-for-profits and walked along side them.

I still haven’t gotten an amazing vision or a confirmation of any type that I know what this was about.  But I can say that over the last year, God has taken my heart for orphans and adoption to a new level of brokenness.  The kind of brokenness that takes someone to a ledge and says, “Ok rational person, take this leap, and you will find the REALLY BIG you had been feeling.”  A leap into the unknown.  A leap into the messy.  A leap into the territory that will leave most of your friends and family thinking you’ve lost it and not wiling to come alongside you because of their own fear.

I’m afraid we’re to the part of my story where I know what I’m supposed to do, or at least mostly, and I’m in the “Actually God, that looks kind of messy.  Can I do this instead?  Isn’t it a GREAT idea?” phase.  There aren’t a lot of people cheering us off the ledge.

There isn’t much point to this post other than to document our mundane story over the last few years.  I have a feeling this is the calm before the storm!

 

 

The Ledge

There is a ledge, and I fear I am standing on it.  Standing so close to the edge, where my toes curl around it, and I lean slightly forward looking over it.  What happens when I jump?  As a logical component of a type A, successful married couple, looking over this ledge is irresponsible.  No, this ledge has nothing to do with infidelity.  I don’t think it violates any of our vows.  But I’m afraid, my husband’s vow to love me in sickness and in health may soon be in question- as maybe I’ve lost it?  I feel like I stand on this ledge, where if I take a few, heck, several, steps backwards, I am on very solid ground– the ground we’ve spent our whole lives working towards.  I am an advanced practice nurse with a great job, at a company I have worked for almost my whole adult life.  I have 3 beautiful, smart kiddos, enrolled in a wonderful private Christian school.  I am married to my best friend, my lifelong love, my high school sweetheart.  I have my parents nearby who are amazing and support all of our steps.

Yet, I have seen what my eyes cannot unsee.  Not only are there kids who need families, there are children living in this world, my world, who are being deprived of basic rights- like food, water, dignity.  The right to have a clean diaper.  The right to be considered human, despite a disability that makes them a little different.  Different, not unhuman.  As my 4 year old falls asleep next to me every night, often holding my hand, and I hear his sweet, steady breaths, my heart breaks.  How can mommas and daddies buy the lie that because their child isn’t “perfect” physically that they aren’t perfect?  How can they be so convinced of this life, and so scared of what people will think, that they are willing to relinquish their very child, their perfect creation, to a life without love, without nutrition or hydration, without hope?  When I promise this same 4 year old that “Mommy’s and Daddy’s always come back,” my heart again breaks, as I know that for him this is true, but it is not true for all the little boys.

So, I stand on this ledge, looking over at the horror not very far from our own cozy world.  Beyond this ledge is a world of orphanages, housing hundreds if not thousands of children, who are deemed unwanted, unloved, and a burden to the country they live in.  There are orphans living in villages, where they are the heads of household because their own parents have died, of AIDs, poverty, or Ebola.  You saw the news about the hundreds striken with Ebola in West Africa.  I have looked into the sad faces of the children on adoption waiting children sites who were left as orphans as a result.

God has definitely used Stacey Gagnon, founder of LostSparrows, to say the words my heart is feeling.  On her blog at lostsparrows.org, she says “I admit the orphan crisis is completely overwhelming, the numbers are astounding. It’s an ocean-sized problem and we are standing on the shore unsure what to do. But I know the answer. The answer is seeing ‘the one’.  

The ‘one’ is the child sitting in an orphanage without a family.

The ‘one’ is the family being told that their child is broken and deformed and they should not take the baby home.

The ‘one’ is the mama who went against the doctor’s recommendation and brought home the special needs baby and now is floundering without support.

Because when we look at the whole, we lose sight of the ‘one’ and we are overwhelmed. When we don’t see the ‘one’, we see an issue that grows everyday. And we want to say things like, “I didn’t cause this”, “This is not in my backyard”, or “I don’t think I can help”. We say these things because it helps us to not think about the orphan. A child sitting without touch, without love, and without family.”

I’m afraid that being able to see “the one” is what has led me to this ledge.  I understand that although I didn’t cause this crisis, it’s not in my backyard, and it’s going to be so very hard to help make a difference, I CAN actually make a difference.  So can YOU.  In so many ways.  I don’t actually know what jumping off this ledge is going to look like for me or for my family.  But I do know that I’m not afraid of it.  I know that God has led me to this ledge, and he will guide my steps through it all.

Will this look like adoption for our family?  Will this look like leaving everything we know to go help overseas?  Will this look like being a voice for these children who otherwise are forgotten?  Will this look like supporting the heck out of mommas who are making huge differences?  We will see.  For now, I will continue to stand on the edge, and lean ever so far forward.

Minnie Me Boutique is Born

22366617_1985574118322543_2677580445054456771_nOver the last month of so, my personal Facebook page has taken a new direction.  My newsfeed is suddenly filled with fundraising efforts for amazing families scattered across the United States— California, Colorado, and here in Georgia, bringing kiddos home from Jamaica, Colombia, and Bulgaria.  This isn’t a bad thing at all.  However, I thought it would be more efficient to give it it’s own space.

Minnie Me Boutique is going to be my vehicle for fundraising for adopting families.  It will allow me to help multiple families at a time raise funds, without blowing up my friends newsfeeds in the process.  Minnie Me Boutique exists to provide women and their littlest loves sweet, cute clothes and accessories, while supporting families bringing children home to their forever families.  Our ministry will benefit both domestic and international adoptions, as we believe that all children deserve families.  The way this model will work is that I will be able to order the clothing at wholesale cost, and the profit margin will be donated to either 1) the family designated by the purchaser OR 2) if no specific family is mentioned, to the family our ministry is currently focusing on/closest to needing the funds (homestudy, close to travel, etc.).

This ministry will evolve as we go, but for now, we will focus on Christmas clothes (pajamas, dresses, etc.), baby items, and mom and me matching items.  Even if you don’t know any of these families, or don’t have any plans to adopt a child, please consider supporting us in this venture.  Your purchases will help families make orphans a son or daughter.  Often, these are families who could no way afford the 20-40,000 it costs to bring home a child.  But, God can use your small purchase to help reach this seemingly unreachable goal and bring home a precious child to their forever families.  As you prepare to purchase Christmas pjs, dresses, new baby gifts, I beg you to consider purchasing through us.

To say thank you doesn’t seem like enough.  My heart is overflowing with excitement to start this ministry.

Please check out our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/minniemeb .  Share with your friends!

 

 

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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This made me actually laugh out loud this morning. This was my sweet Liam before getting on the log jamboree at Six Flags this weekend– poor baby! These were his questions in line, through tears— “Do you get in the water first or straight into the boat? What if the boat tips over? What if the water is dirty? What if your cell phone gets wet?” I laughed so hard (in my head) at him and his flight of ideas/possibilities! For the record, he loved it and none of his what ifs happened (except the water probably was dirty..)!

Poor baby, it definitely comes honest for him.  He has overcome so many of his (irrational) fears in the last few years, and I am so incredibly proud of him.  Often times as a mom, you feel like “Am I doing this right?”  When it comes to Liam and his anxiety, we have won a lot of battles.  He was terrified to take a bath (literally stood in the bathtub until he was 18 months or older), terrified of elevators, terrified of automatically closing doors, terrified of being left, terrified of doctor’s offices, terrified of haircuts, and the list goes on and on.  This sweet boy has overcome every single one of these fears, and is even riding “big kid” rides at Six Flags.

Just like ADHD, anxiety is so crazy real.  And I tell my patients “It’s all in your head, but only because your brain lives in your head!”  Anxiety is not something that you can just not experience.  But, it does not have to keep you from enjoying life either.  A book that I read recently, kind of retrospective to Liam’s most anxious days, but LOVED is called How to Parent Your Anxious Toddler.  My bff said “It basically says what all you said to do, but it gives it a name.”  HA!  Thanks, Jenna.  There are some fantastic strategies for dealing with anxiety (for toddlers and big people too!) as well as helping to understand how fears that seem so irrational to you, can make so much sense to a person with anxiety.  If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you add it to your “To Read” stack.  Click the picture of the book to purchase this book from Amazon:

(Above is my Affiliate link with Amazon.  Although I absolutely love this book, and have recommended it to a million and one friends and patients already, if you use this link to purchase it, I get a small commission for my recommendation.   If you don’t want to contribute to my Help Chasidy Stay at Home with her Kiddos fund, feel free to go to Amazon a different way, but BUY THIS BOOK!) :):)

How do we get here?

Lately, I’ve had several messages asking, “How do I start?”  “I know my kiddo needs help, but I don’t know where to start.”  These are very good questions, and since several of you have asked, I bet there are several with the same question who are afraid to send that message.

The answer is quite simple.  To your pediatrician/family doctor.  The same one who told you that your child was “absolutely perfect” during their last well child check.  You see, we get 30 minutes total to evaluate your child’s vaccine status, growth and development, school performance, behavior concerns, nutrition, and answer the many questions you’ve come up with over the course of the last year.  If you don’t bring up behavior/attention concerns, we aren’t going to bring it up either.  Most kiddos are pretty bouncy in the 4×4 exam room and have a lot to say, so if you don’t bring it up, neither will we.  This is another reason why waiting for your kiddos well visit to discuss behavior concerns is not the best idea either.  There’s a lot to cover during that visit.  The best thing to do is to schedule a visit with your pediatrician to spend your appointment slot discussing your concerns about your child.  It is really way more important than “Oh, by the way,” as the doctor is walking out of the door.

There are forms that both parents and your child’s teacher should complete.  These ask questions about your child like “Can they sit still in a chair when staying seated is expected?”, “Do they talk nonstop?,” “Do they have trouble staying in their own space?” among many, many other questions.  It is a requirement to have multiple people who interact with the child in multiple environments to complete the forms to make sure that the issue is actually with the CHILD and not with one particular PARENT or a specific ENVIRONMENT.  These forms are returned to the physician to review, and then the parents have a follow up appointment with the physician to discuss the results of the forms.  So, it’s actually entirely possible to THINK that your child has ADHD and be told that, in fact, there is an issue with x, y, or z, which could be a parenting style, a learning disability, or many other things.

After a formal diagnosis is made, treatment options are then discussed.  I feel that this is the step that most parents are most fearful of, and why most people hold out and wait until the last possible moment to get a formal diagnosis.  Remember, you are the parent, and in this country, you have the right to choose the treatment plan for your child.  READ:  An ADHD diagnosis does NOT mean that you immediately have to give your child medication.  Also READ:  Medication is not the enemy and it is not failure on your part or your child’s.  (That conversation deserves its own post.)  Both behavior modification therapy AND medication are both recommended in conjunction by the American Academy of Pediatrics.   Pediatricians are well aware of your reservations (the last momma in their office was also terrified) and will help you work through the best option for you and your kiddo.  Here is a link to the CDC that discusses behavior therapy for kids and their parents, classroom modification, medications, and parenting tips.  It is a great starting place.

I’ve heard many parents and patients say that they don’t want their child to have a “label.”  In fact, it’s not a label, it’s a diagnosis.  My experience with this was quite different with my kiddos.  Instead of the proper label/diagnosis of “ADHD,” they were receiving labels they didn’t deserve like “bad kid” or “kid that won’t stay in their seat.”  Following their diagnosis, there were teachers who were a lot more willing to help them and work with them, rather than place judgmental and “mean” labels on them.

As you guys know, this is a huge passion of mine, and I am more than happy to answer any questions about our experience with diagnosis and treatment.  Since I am not your kiddos’ doctor, I won’t recommend any treatment for them.  I will tell you what has worked for us, but the specific treatment plan for your kiddo is a decision to be made between parents and pediatrician.

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World

After a particularly trying day with Sydney (centered around phrases like “But I want this…” “Everyone has….” “My life is terrible!”), I haphazardly typed in “entitled” “kids” in Amazon hoping for a large selection of parenting books about raising kids who aren’t materialistic or entitled or flat out spoiled brats based on their materialism and entitlement.  I was a bit disappointed by the lack of volume returned by my search, but this title by Kristen Welch was definitely everything I was looking for.

Here is a link to purchase the book from Amazon– just click on book:

You will often find me making excuses for my children’s behavior.  The reason why they plowed through a group of unsuspecting children, or the reason that they didn’t finish a particular worksheet, or complete a task I asked them to do. Over and over.  Those things make sense (due to their ADHD) and are a part of their make-up and need a little lots and lots of grace most of the time.   One thing you will never find me excusing or enabling is entitlement.  It is definitely a heart issue, and a trap so easy to find ourselves caught in.  Especially in the USA, in 2017.  It’s the norm, as a matter of fact.  Author of Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, Kristen Welch, describes this book as an encouragement to parents swimming upstream in a society that demands we do what is culturally accepted.  Having all of the things.  All of the time.  With all the upgrades— that’s what is culturally accepted.  Is having things wrong?  Absolutely not.  However, when saying no to any of the things or upgrades is deemed wrong by your kiddos or your peers or your parents, that’s when we have trouble.  Entitlement has entered the equation.   How do you combat entitlement?  With gratitude.  By being thankful for the things and people we do have in our lives.

As a parent, it’s incredibly tempting to give your kids everything they want.  Because, we can.  And it makes them happy.  For fifteen seconds.  Until they see someone else with the upgraded version.  You can buy your kid the absolute nicest car in the school parking lot.  And I guarantee you, by the end of that same school year, they no longer have the nicest car in the parking lot.  That’s the problem with stuff.  There’s always something better right around the corner.   Kristen states in the book, “Contentment is our aim because it doesn’t fluctuate with our circumstances,” (p. 14).  Raising kiddos who are happy because they are happy, not because of having the newest item, car, clothing, is a beautiful thing.

I shared on Facebook that I planned to read this book, and would be leading a bible study for other moms if anyone wanted to join me.  I was both floored and encouraged by the positive response.  One of the lies that keeps everyone trying to Keep up with the Joneses’ is that it’s what everyone else is doing.  I am so excited to join together with women from all over the country, that I have connections with via nursing school, previous or current jobs, high school, or kiddos’ school, and encourage one another to raise grateful kids in an entitled world.  It’s not too late to join us… if you want to join, order your book and join our Facebook group @ Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World- Crush the Cookie Cutter.