Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World
Kristen Welch

This study guide for Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled

World will help you go deeper in personally applying the

message of how to cultivate gratitude in your kids. Invite

others to join you—your spouse, other parents, or a church

group—or use this guide on your own for individual reflection.

While it is structured as a four-week study, feel free to

adapt it for a shorter or longer time to suit your needs. For

more resources, visit www.raisinggratefulkids.com.




1. What made the cowboy boot incident so impactful for

Kristen? What did she learn about herself and her child?

What do you think the child learned?


2. What memories of hard work do you have from your

own childhood? What qualities do these memories reveal

about yourself, your family’s priorities, and the way your

personal work ethic developed?


3. Would you agree with Kristen that our culture is

“obsessed” with happiness? How so? What elements

of wanting your children to be happy do you consider

positive or negative?


4. How do you see God working in your family? How do

you think faith might guide your choices as you seek to

cultivate a spirit of gratitude in your home?


Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World
Kristen Welch


5. Kristen reminds us that “anytime we step out of the

mainstream and try to turn our lives (or homes) around

and dare to go upstream, it’s hard.” What challenges

do you face as a parent as you try to cultivate a more

grateful family? What hopes, goals, and promises will

you keep in mind to encourage yourself to hang in

there when it gets tough?


Chapter 1: Wants vs. Needs

1. How would you complete the sentence: “What I want

most for my kids is ___________”?


2. Kristen confesses a time when she wanted something she

couldn’t yet have. Can you relate? What are some of your

own personal wants? How are they different from your



3. Think of a time when you as a child were truly grateful

for a gift or a special event, or when your hard work

earned a reward or a compliment. What happened and

how did it make you feel? Is there a way that experience

has influenced you as a parent?


4. What do your kids own (iPods, toys, computers) that are

beyond what you had at their age? How do you see these

possessions influencing your kids, for better or for worse?

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World
Kristen Welch

Chapter 2: Times Have Certainly Changed

1. We can’t ultimately control everything our kids are

exposed to as they’re growing up. Have you ever felt in

over your head when your kids ask about something

questionable they’ve seen on the news or in magazines,

or heard in school? How do you respond?


2. “I knew if we allowed [our daughter] to struggle with her

questions and gave her freedom to ask them, she would

become stronger in her beliefs in the end,” Kristen says.

Why was she initially afraid for her daughter to ask the

hard questions? What is a question you and your family

have struggled with, and what have you learned about

each other as you’ve worked through it?


3. “God often uses mistakes, wayward choices, and brokenness

to bring redemption.” How have you seen this to be

true in your own family? Do you find it difficult to trust

that it would be true for your children too?



Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World
Kristen Welch


Chapter 3: Seven Ways We Parents Miss the Boat

(and How to Get on Board)

1. What do you think of the comment that kids “don’t

question that they will receive a smartphone or a car

someday; they believe it is a right of childhood”? Have

you seen that to be true in your own community? Do you

believe that any “rights of childhood” exist, and if so, what

are they? How might your kids answer the same question?


2. Which of the “things parents do [that] they know they

shouldn’t” in this chapter do you resonate with most?

What are some of the reasons you have said no to your

kids’ “wants”? What was the result?


3. Describe a time when “fitting in” seemed to be all that

mattered to you or your kids. What does it mean to

you to “fit in?” Why do you think it is so important to

us? What are some things you would say are even more

important and why?


4. Although it is so hard to see our children struggle, what

might they lose long-term by always being rescued and

never experiencing failure or setbacks? Think of some of

your own best character qualities—perhaps they include

kindness, resilience, patience, or humor. How were those

qualities shaped or formed partly by the hard times in

your life?


Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World
Kristen Welch

Chapter 4: The Selfie Society

1. Describe a time when you felt special because you sensed

your parents were truly proud of you. Then think of

a time when you felt proud in the same way about

your own child’s character or decisions. Do the two

experiences have anything in common?


2. What is something you do even though you may not be

the best at it? What do you love about it? What do you

hope your kids learn from watching you do it?


3. What does it mean to you to have a “child-centered

home”? How have Kristen’s opinions on this topic changed

and why, and what happened in her family as a result?

What would you say is at the center of your own home?


Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World
Kristen Welch

Chapter 5: Making Smart Choices about Technology

1. How much access do your own kids have to technology?

Is it different from what their peers have? What platform

would you say is most important to your kids (TV,

smartphone, computer, social media) and how do you

feel about the amount of time they spend on it?


2. How can you be proactive in this area as your kids

continue to grow?


3. Why do you think Kristen says that the most important

thing we can teach our kids is self-control?



Chapter 6: Cultivating Obedience

1. Kristen believes that once we decide on and communicate

a consequence to our kids, we do more harm than good

if we back down. Have you found this to be true in your

own family? What are some of the hardest things about

standing firm? What are the benefits to doing it anyway?

Are there any risks or pitfalls?


2. How does your love and care for your children help you

to better understand God’s love and care for us?


Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World
Kristen Welch

3. How do you teach your kids about money? How do you

approach allowances, paying for chores, and instructing

your kids in saving and spending? Do you see any ways

you could use such moments to intentionally instill

values like hard work and sacrifice?


4. Do you agree with the statement: “It’s okay for our kids

not to be rewarded all the time”? Why or why not?


Chapter 7: Living Out God’s Love in Your Home

1. “Checking church off the list,” Kristen says, “or having

a Christian channel as a radio preset, or hanging a cross

in our home doesn’t make us followers of Jesus.” How

would you define a follower of Jesus? How does faith

play a role in your family life?


2. “Parents say much more to their kids by their lives than

by their words.” What do you see your life saying to your



3. Describe a time when you let a child make his or her own

choice about whether to participate in an activity. What

happened? How did you and the child ultimately feel about

the decision? What did the experience teach you both?



Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World
Kristen Welch


Chapter 8: Gratitude Is a Choice

1. What are some of the things you are most grateful for

in your own life? How might you say thank you to God

and others for those things today?


2. Do you feel your children understand the plight of others

around the world who have so much less than families do

in the West? What are some ways your family can bless

others through serving and giving together? (For ideas

to get you started, see Appendix C in this book or visit

www.raisinggratefulkids.com.) How could teaching your

children about helping others simultaneously cultivate a

grateful spirit?


Chapter 9: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

1. Can you identify an area in your own home right now

that needs some hard work and elbow grease? How

might you work together as a family to accomplish it?

In what parts could you invite a child to take charge

and own a leadership role?


2. How would you score on the “marshmallow test?” What

about your kids? What does this reveal about each of you?



Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World
Kristen Welch

3. Why do you think working for a goal makes the earned

reward even more special?


4. When do you see your family at its absolute best? What

do you appreciate about your family in those moments?


5. Kristen believes we were all created to ask the question,


What can I do that matters? After reading this book, how

would you answer that question on behalf of yourself

and your family?


Chapter 10: Dear Parents

1. What kind of atmosphere do you want to create and

cultivate in your home? What do you want your kids’

memories of growing up to be? What qualities do you

want your children to have as adults, and what are you

doing now to help them develop those?


2. “When you decide to push against a cultural norm,”

Kristen says, “there will be people in your life and

community, even your church, who will question you.”

From where do you anticipate pushback in your quest

to cultivate different values in your home? What will

encourage you and help you to stand strong?




Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World
Kristen Welch

3. What do you see as the key differences between times

when you give in to your kids vs. times when you choose

relationship over rules?


4. Kristen shares her dream for a grateful family in these


I would love for my kids to say one day they

are grateful for their lives because their dad and

I were grateful for ours. I want them to have

memories of me thanking God for all He’s done.

I want them to catch me writing thank-you

notes and being generous with my time and

money because God has been generous with me.

But most of all, I want my children to know

that we wanted them to resist the current of

our culture and choose a lifestyle of gratitude

because we love them deeply and completely.

As you finish reading this book, what are your biggest hopes

and prayers for your own? How has the countercultural

message of Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World

inspired, challenged, or emboldened you for the journey?