Though it seems that we may live in a society and culture that encourages a sense of entitlement; as parents we can still do whatever we can to raise a child who is grateful. But, in spite of our best efforts, nearly every child (it seems) will go through an ungrateful stage. That doesn’t necessarily indicate that they will be an ungrateful child forever or grow up feeling entitled to everything.
It’s just a part of life.
The good news is that when it comes to disciplining these children, it CAN be done. Better yet, it’s probably easier than you think. Here are several strategies to consider when it comes to effectively disciplining an ungrateful child.
5 Ways to Effectively Discipline an Ungrateful Child
Point Out the Ungrateful Attitude
Remember that young children especially, don’t realize that they’re being ungrateful. You have to point the issue out to them. Once your child has been properly disciplined, talk about some of the things to be grateful for.
Explain that not everyone is lucky enough to have these things and that it’s not right to take them for granted. Expand on the subject every now and then, just as a gentle reminder.
Set the example yourself by having an attitude of gratitude. It’s not going to go very far, after all, if you aren’t grateful.
You are also teaching them to appreciate what they have.
Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth EntitlementWhen More is Not Enough: How to stop giving your kids what they want and give them what they needToo Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent AgeThe Entitlement-Free Child: Raising Confident and Responsible Kids in aRaising Children Of EntitlementYou’ll Thank Me Later – A Guide to Nurturing Gratitude in Our Children (And Why That Matters)
Activities and Ideas to Teach Gratitude and Kindness to Kids
- 12 Kindness Acts for Kids from The Educator’s Spin on It
- Thankfulness & Gratitude Activities for Kids from True Aim Education
- Montessori Inspired Gratitude Activities from Living Montessori Now
- Paper Bag Gratitude Tree from No Time for Flash Cards
- Gratitude Yoga from Kids Yoga Stories
- Bear Says Thanks Sensory Bin from Little Bins for Little Hands
- The Gratitude Game with Pick Up Sticks from Teach Beside Me
- Gratitude Conversation Starters from Creative Family Fun
- Gratitude Stones from Fireflies and Mudpies
- DIY Personalized Gratitude Journals from The Chaos and the Clutter
Make a Deal
Don’t beat yourself up for making a “deal” with your child every once in a while. For example, if he (or she) persists in asking you if he can read a book for thirty minutes after bedtime, tell him that you’re willing to make a compromise. Set a timer for 15 minutes instead.
This way, everybody is happy- and it could go a long way when it comes to reclaiming the joy in motherhood.
Stand Your Ground
In the event your child won’t do as you say when disciplined, stand your ground. If you sound like a “broken record” it’s okay. Really, it is. Sometimes it’s the only thing that works. There’s nothing wrong with being sympathetic and listening to what he has to say. However, if the discussion comes to the point of standstill, don’t be afraid to firmly end it and walk away.
It’s important to treat your child with respect, even during your most stressful moments. Exhibiting stress allows him to take advantage of the situation and makes things worse instead of better.
Allow Privileges When Earned
At least for the majority of time, it’s best to only allow privileges when earned. For example, when a child does chores or helps out around the house. This way, children learn that they need to follow the rules in order to participate in activities and get rewarded with some of the things they ask for.
Always reinforce positive behavior as well.
This makes children feel good and reminds them that they’re on the right track.
Giving children toys or other gifts in an effort to get them to act less ungratefully just doesn’t work. In fact, it causes more serious problems.
Focus on Helping Others
When you focus more on helping others, you’ll probably find that your child’s self-centered attitude will improve. Of course, this won’t happen overnight. But, the more helpful children become, the more their outlook on gratefulness changes. As an added benefit, helping others fosters kindness and empathy as well.
You can start with one of these 28 random acts of kindness.
Both of these attributes will follow your child to adulthood, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.
It also goes a long way when it comes to raising a kid who’s responsible.
A Thankful Heart Is a Happy Heart: A Gratitude Journal for KidsGratitude SoupGratitude Journal for KidsMy First Gratitude Journal: A Write-in, Draw-in Gratitude Journal for KidsGratitude Journal for Kids: Gratitude Journal To Write In To Release AnxietyMy First Gratitude Journal (Draw and Write Gratitude Journal and Coloring Book for Kids) (Volume 3)Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World: How One Family Learned That Saying No Can Lead to Life’s Biggest YesLearn To Express My Gratitude- Journal For Kids: A write in draw in gratitude journal for kidsMy First Gratitude Journal: A Write-in, Draw-in Gratitude Journal for KidsGratitude Journal for Kids: 30 Days of GratitudeAwesome Kids Jam-Packed Journal! Gratitude Journal for KidsGratitude Journal and Activity Book Volume 1: A Family Fun Activity BookGratitude is My Attitude. A Gratitude Journal for Children With Inspirational QuotesKids Gratitude Journal: Live With an Attitude of GratitudeThe Habit Gratitude Blueprint For Busy Parents & Families: The #1 SECRET To Teaching Kids To Be Grateful & The Exciting NEW Step-By-Step System For Actually Doing It In Just 21Days!Kids’ Random Acts of Kindness (Random Acts of Kindness Series)Gratitude Journal for Kids: 52 Weeks of Gratitude365 Day Gratitude Journal For Children: Gratitude Journal for Kids, Teens and All Children
Child development experts tell us that ungrateful children typically don’t grow up to be exceedingly selfish or greedy.
It’s something that most kids grow out of by the age of 8 or 9. So, there’s no need to panic. The best thing to do is to stay as calm as possible when these situations arise.
Be firm and the crisis will pass.
Want more strategies and support?
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