How Do You Teach Gratitude?

How Do You Teach Gratitude?

Like many parents, I always kind of hoped that my kids would absorb decent human values through osmosis.

That just by being around average, decent people who enact and embody basic human decency on a daily basis – like me and Mom and Buried! – they’d eventually become imbued with those intangible qualities we expect good people t have.

But if my 7-year-old’s lack of gratitude is any indication, it hasn’t been working.

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Threats and Bribes

Threats and Bribes

Disciplining your kids is hard.

It requires nuance. You can’t yell all the time, because it loses its effectiveness after a while. You can’t spank ever because you were spanked by your parents when it was acceptable and are now you are totally insane and probably in jail. You need to develop tricks. Time-outs, good cop/bad cop, the Parent Voice, etc.

Most of the time, getting your kids to behave boils down to two strategies: threats and bribes.

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Scarier Movies

Scarier Movies

In a lot of ways, kids make Halloween more fun. But, like everything else, they also make it much, much worse.

For example, last night, as part of our month of scary movies, instead of watching something legit like Let The Right One In (the original FTW!) or The Conjuring, we watched Hocus Pocus. (Which was much scarier, for totally unintentional reasons.)

Because parenting.

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I Want To Lose My Temper

I Want To Lose My Temper

My wife and I have an ongoing disagreement. (Well, we have several, one of which is about whether Moulin Rouge is a good movie (it is not), but this one is about parenting.)

She thinks I yell too much. And I know I said this was a disagreement, but I don’t deny that she’s right. I do yell too much, especially lately.

Instead of losing my temper, I need to actually lose my temper.

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