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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“Not All Men” Is Meaningless and Counterproductive

“Not All Men” Is Meaningless and Counterproductive

One night in college, a friend summoned me to her room.

I’d been interested in her for some time – I wanted to be “more than friends” – but up to that point, things had remained chaste. It was late, we’d both been out separately, doing whatever it is we’d been doing, and when I got to her room, she was clearly drunk.

Twenty years later, I still remember how I felt that night.

This is why “NotAllMen” doesn’t matter…

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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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