Am I Raising Selfish Brats?

Teenage girl with long dark hair and long sleeve white sweater is balancing a large pile of gifts in her arms. Gifts are varied colors of boxes and bows.

I’m getting a little irritated with the attitudes in my house this holiday season.

Things that were once fun surprises are now expectations. And the words coming out of their mouths sound much more demanding and self-serving than grateful.

– Do we have to go out to eat there?! Can’t we got to Chipotle? 

– Today’s advent activity is stuffing Christmas cards?! That’s not fun.

– I thought of something else for my Christmas list…

Time To Rein In The Attitudes

I feel like it’s time to rein things in around here.

Not that there’s a lot of time for that, with basketball practice and church play rehearsal and…oh yeah, my job and annoyingly recurring need to shower and eat food.

But I need to make time.

Because the solution to selfishness is gratitude, and grateful kids see gratitude modeled by parents.

Gulp. No pressure.

Raising grateful kids is good for society, but I also want my kids to be grateful because they deserve all of the benefits that come with it!

Science proves that gratitude improves every area of life! (So I guess I selfishly want my kids to be more grateful? I think that might be an endless loop.)

New research out of Stanford shows that COVID not only increased anxiety and depression in teens, but it may have aged their brains by several years. That’s so disheartening.

Ways To Balance Gifts & Gratitude

I looked back at a post I wrote about raising grateful kids in a season of selfishness, and tangible ways we can help our kids be more grateful hit me differently since my kids are a bit older now. They all still apply, but I can use them in different ways now.

– Getting my kids more involved in the thank you gifts for teachers or others that would be easier to just do on my own

– Asking the kids to help me make a meal for a friend who is recovering from a serious illness

– Involving my kids in ordering hoodies for Star House, a drop-in center for youth 14-24 experiencing homelessness, and asking them to watch the video to see the real kids these hoodies help.

– Talking to them about the many ways we can help others during the holidays and then letting them take the lead

If you’re seeing some selfishness in your house this holiday season, you’re not alone.

The question is what we do about it.

Infographic titled "What It Means To SERVE." Each letter of SERVE is defined: share, encourage, respond, volunteer, enrich. Each definition includes different ways to serve others.
We love this infographic as a reminder that organized volunteering is only one of many ways to serve others.

READ MORE >>> 117 Ideas for Volunteering With Your Family

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