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How to Raise Grateful Kids in an Era of Thankless People

Time – Thomas Lickona

“On a Saturday afternoon, you take your three kids to a movie they’ve wanted to see, then to their favorite hamburger spot for dinner, followed by ice cream. When they get home, they want to watch a movie on Netflix. When you tell them you think they’ve had enough screen time for the day and you’d like them to do something else, they complain that they have nothing to do. What parents haven’t had an experience like this with their kids? It’s frustrating for at least three reasons: (1) when we do things for our children, it’s natural and reasonable to expect them to express thanks and disappointing when they don’t; (2) when they aren’t thankful but instead complain, that puts both us and them in a bad mood (since complaining almost always makes a person feel worse, not better); and (3) being ungrateful and complaining is inconsiderate, self-centered behavior — the opposite of kindness. Kindness means thinking of others and acting in ways that contribute to their happiness; complaining certainly doesn’t do that.” (more)

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