Growing Grateful Kids with Susie Larson (and a giveaway!)

Hi all! Oh….I am excited to introduce you to a friend of mine.

We have been speaking at Hearts at Home conferences together for years (and I get to see her at the national conference this coming weekend. YEAH!)

Author and speaker Susie Larson is a gem. She has a passion for God and compassion for people. Her messages and books have helped countless women to “do life” and do it well.

Susie’s new book Growing Grateful Kids has just released and I’ve invited her to share a little bit about this great resource. And I am inviting you to leave a comment today. You may just win a copy of this insightful and helpful book!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

My husband and I have been married 25 years and have three grown sons (all in their early twenties). Our oldest son Jake works on the business side of the Christian music industry. Our middle son Luke is married to his beautiful wife Kristen; he works full time at a bank and part time as a worship pastor. Our youngest son Jordan is studying to become a surgical nurse. My husband Kevin is a commercial construction manager by day and manages my ministry by night (and weekends). Bless his heart. ? I am an author, speaker, and an on-call radio host for Christian talk radio. Together, Kevin and I serve as advocates for justice on behalf of modern day slaves and human trafficking victims.

Tell us about your new book, Growing Grateful Kids: Teaching Them to Appreciate an Extraordinary God in Ordinary Places.

Even when economic times are tight, our children enjoy an abundance of material possessions. Yet, amidst all this wealth, discontentment and competition seem to be on the rise. Instead of teaching children virtues such as gratefulness and patience, many parents are bending over backwards to get their children the latest and greatest item – or feeling guilty when they can’t. In spite of the currents of materialism and entitlement that flow so strong, it is possible to raise children who are simply grateful. Though teaching perspective and gratitude to our children is critical, it is not difficult.

Why did you want to write this book?

To be completely honest, I never wanted to write a book on parenting. I wanted to protect my kids’ privacy and give them time and space to become the men God wants them to be. But in the last few years, I have been especially burdened with the level of selfishness, entitlement and disrespect I see among children today. Furthermore, moms seem more stressed than ever. When I asked my sons their thoughts on writing this book, without pausing they all said, “Do it, mom; that book needs to be written!” I think I wrote a book that not only equips young moms to raise humble, grateful world-changers, but also one that nourishes the soul of the reader and encourages her personally.

Throughout the book you remind the reader that we cannot impart what we do not possess. Can you explain?

If we never deal with our own fears, insecurities, and hang ups, but we try to teach our children to believe in their divine value, over time, our words will not ring true to them. First God wants to do His work in us before He does it through us. They say that lessons are more often caught than taught. If we parent from a place of conviction and real freedom, our children will be affected by what we teach them.

One of your chapters is titled, “Take Time to Play.” How does taking time to play teach our kids to be grateful?

To me, taking time to play says a lot about the level of faith we possess.

If our children hear us confess that we love and serve a BIG God and yet they see us striving and straining through life, they will come to believe that more is on our shoulders than on God’s. If we can trust God enough to step away from our busy-important lives, to make a fort in the basement, or play a game with our children – even in the most desperate of economic situations – we will give our children a sense of much needed security and that all is well in their world.

What do you want readers to take away from this book?

To answer this question (I hope you don’t mind), I would like to share an endorsement from one of my sample readers. She expressed my deepest desire for my reader:

“Growing Grateful Kids is such a great source of conviction, encouragement, and inspiration to spur me on to finishing this parenting race well and not sputter out along the way. This book compels me to submit my own character to the refining of the Holy Spirit that I may be equipped to impart those lessons onto my children. Thank you, Susie, for taking the time, for submitting in obedience, and writing this down for a generation in desperate need of this kind of parenting book!” –Gail Miller

This is a Hearts at Home book. What is Hearts at Home?

Hearts at Home is an organization that encourages, educates, and equips women in the profession of motherhood. Hearts at Home encourages moms through annual conferences, our extensive website (, a free bi-weekly electronic newsletter, a radio program, and an entire line of books designed to meet the needs of moms all over the world!

Any closing thoughts?

I am very excited about the message in this book. It is my prayer that every one who reads it will be nourished, encouraged, and equipped to parent from a place of fullness, conviction, and confidence. Raising grateful, confident kids will be one of the most heroic, important things you do in your lifetime. God’s blessings to you!

Now for the giveaway…

If you would like to win a copy of Susie’s new book, leave a comment today on any aspect of gratefulness. Is it hard for you to be grateful? Your kids? Why is greed easier than gratefulness?When has someone’s thankfulness (or lack thereof) stood out to you? Why would you like this book?

Do tell…..

The post will be left up until Wednesday when the winner will be announced.

Grateful for YOU!!!!!

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  1. I am very grateful for my husband and my 2 sons. Recently, I almost lost them. Sometimes it takes a moment like that for you to be Truly grateful.

    My boys are 11 and almost 16. I was a stay at hom mom for 12 years and I loved every minute of it! That’s not to say it wasn’t trying at times nor that my boys or I am perfect – no sir! But I love them to death and enjoyed getting to be with them and nurture them. I now work part time as a church secretary, but my schedule allows me to still partake in their activities and spend a lot of time with them.

    We just need to remember to be grateful and teach our children to do the same. God has blessed us with so much…if we just take the time to notice and praise Him for it. = )

  2. So anxious to get my hands on this book. Just commented to my mom that we are still saying, “What do you say?” to our 9 and 11 year old. it is so easy in today’s society to be self-centered.

    I am amazed at the thankfulness that I have seen at our church. I have been in the church music ministry for a while. Currently, I am in charge of scheduling music and playing the piano. This is truly not a chore. I love being able to serve God in this area of my life. What amazes me…the people of our church. Thank yous abound on a weekly basis. In fact, small gifts have been given as a thank you.

    Our desire as a family is to train our children to be grateful…from big to little things.

  3. Oh, how we need all this not only for children, but adults too myself, included. We need to all be grateful. thank-you I am anxious to read it even if I don’t win. I want to give it to my children for their children.

  4. I so need to take time to build a fort, go on a wildflower hunt or play in the land of stuffed animals! Susie’s words struck a chord with me when she talked about how hard we as parents are striving. I pray that I can cultivate gratefulness within my own life so that it will overflow into my daughter’s. Thank you for this interview.

  5. This looks like a great book. I try to teach my kids to be appreciative of the things that they have. And have always had them send thank you cards also.

  6. What a great topic to address – hoping I get a chance to read the book. I was challenged in a Bible Study last night about how wrong thinking patterns can be passed on to our children. I think this might be the case with gratefulness. We have come to expect so many “things” from our affluent lifestyle here in the U.S. We are so blessed yet take so much for granted. Susie is exactly right that we must start with ourselves as parents and our relationship with our Savior. We absolutely cannot give them what we do not have ourselves. A heart of gratitude can certainly be passed on to our children through the way we live and the attitude we have.

  7. Thanks for sharing this new book! My husband and I try so hard to teach our children to have a thankful heart. We live in an affluent suburb where everyone seems to have everything. And those middle school years are upon us too. The book sounds like a great read!

  8. I just had the “you need to be more grateful/thankful” conversation with my sons – and not just when they receive material things. After reading this post, and if lessons are caught more than taught, maybe my husband and I should look at how grateful and thankful we are and the message we are sending to our boys.

  9. Gratefulness related to allowing people to be themselves is hard for me – I like to “fix people”. =) I want this book to give as a gift to either my sister-in-law who is expecting her first baby (and my first nephew!!) or to a friend who is about to have her second little girl! I’d love to give them a little parenting “happy” just because they’re in my life!

  10. It is so difficult to live “in” this world and not be “of” the world. Everything around us screams, “You deserve it!”, “What about me?”, and “Take care of number one!”
    I am grateful to be home with my children, so I can be the buffer zone when they come in contact with that kind of attitude. I am grateful to be a servant leader in our church so I can be a model for my children. As we all know, they imitate what they see!

  11. What am i grateful for? I am grateful to God for the cleaning job i have.. but it is difficult to be grateful in some times because i have a degree.. Hopefully, i’ll find a real job soon..

    Regarding the book, I am not yet a mother nor married yet, but would love one day to grow children that later will become men and women after God’s own heart.. I think i will recommend this book to my friends and my sister.. Thanks a lot!

  12. My husband and I just finished taking Growing Kids God’s Way and in that study we learned so many things about our family. I have always wanted my children to be grateful for everything. Everything is a gift and they should appreciate what they are given.

  13. I try to instill in my boys that they need to be grateful for everything they have but they are constantly wanting more, mainly unneccesary material possessions. This book sounds like one I need to read! Thanks.

  14. I am grateful for everything I have, the part that makes it hard is when I see those who appear to have more time. I have plenty, for what God has given me to do, of course… that is a whole other subject. But when I hear people talking about watching a movie, or going to the park, or whatever, I fell that little gnawing of discontent, and forget that I am to be grateful for all that I have, and I need to teach my kiddos that! Thanks for the reminder.

  15. After traveling to Kenya and reading about Haiti, I have been overwhelmed lately with the comforts of my own life that I take for granted. I am trying to instill in my 3 children an attitude of appreciation for all the little things as well as the big things. I want all of us to focus on a long list of things to be thankful for instead of a long list of our own “needs.”

  16. This book sound very interesting! My children and their friends have so many material possessions that they take for granted. I don’t think they appreciate just how fortunate they are to have so many blessings and opportunities. Looking forward to reading the ideas suggested in the book.

  17. I feel like my children are very ungrateful at times. They have so many material possessions and yet they don’t appreciate them, they don’t appreciate the care they get from their parents and grandparents. I would love to read this book and see how I can facilitate a change toward gratefulness.

  18. This book sounds great. It is a struggle balancing blessing our children with good things and yet teaching them not to require or expect them. A sense of entitlement does greep in quickly when children always get what they want. I’d love to get some ideas and encouragement.

  19. Wow. This book sounds really interesting. I feel that we make our children earn the things they have and express to them how we are thankful for God’s blessings on us but somehow that message is not reaching them and I feel I am raising ungrateful children. Looks like a good read for me!

  20. As a mother of a 9 yr. old daughter, I know all about the struggles of trying to shield her from the “all about me society” Tania wrote about. Yes, unfortunately it’s inevitable that she will be bombarded by this, but I strongly feel that I can/should do my part to model being grateful. Her dad and I believe it’s important that we work for what we get….not “handed” to us. I know that I do take things for granted but we’re working on thanking God for His plentiful blessings!

  21. It is sad that we live in a society of “It’s all about me”, and there are so many people who live this way. I was raised to be thankful for everything, and like Abi and Kimberly said, I too sent and still send thank you notes out to people. This is something that my children (ages 10 and 12) do too.
    I would love to read Susie’s book “Growing Grateful Kids” and then pass it on to my sister who has two little ones, ages 2 & 3.

  22. Growing up, my mom taught us we had a week after receiving something (material or not…maybe it was a sleepover at a friend’s house) to tell them of our thankfulness. I can’t wait to instill this same gratitude to my own kids. Even now some act surprised to receive a thank-you note after a dinner in their home. I’m utterly grateful for the chance to be out of the kitchen for a meal, so why would I not tell them that in the written word? We live in a materialistic society. Parents play a crucial role in teaching (through word and deed) thankfulness, gratefulness to their children. With Easter coming quickly, we think of the ultimate gift – Jesus Christ for our sins. How can we not be thankful?

  23. I grew up sending thank you notes and have taught my daughters to do so. We need people to be more appreciative of what others do for them.

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  24. I think greed is easier for some people because all they want, they want for themselves. We live in a very selfish world. Why should people want to give and take away from their life.

    However, I find happiness in being able to do for others. I know I am grateful for what others have dine for me, so I try to pass along to others in return.

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