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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.

All children, at some point, will go through an ungrateful stage. Here are a few discipline tips for how to effectively discipline an ungrateful child.

At some point or another, all children will go through an ungrateful phase. Here are a few tips for how to effectively discipline an ungrateful child.

5 Ways to Effectively Discipline an Ungrateful Child and Deal with an Ungrateful Kid

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 Entitlement When More is Not Enough: How to stop giving your kids what they want and give them what they need Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age The Entitlement-Free Child: Raising Confident and Responsible Kids in a Raising Children Of Entitlement You’ll Thank Me Later – A Guide to Nurturing Gratitude in Our Children (And Why That Matters)


What to Do When Your Child is Ungrateful

For starters, make sure that you are always looking inwardly first. 

Do you express an attitude of gratitude? Are you always showing that you are thankful for what you have in life?

Our children are sponges in the way that they soak up information. And if they see you being kind and showing gratitude, they’ll start mirroring that as well.

Activities and Ideas to Teach Gratitude and Kindness to Kids

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.

What do I do with an unappreciative child?

Unfortunately, unappreciative and ungrateful go hand-in-hand. 

Your child simply takes too much for granted, from the basic needs to the more elaborate things.

Again, however, this really does start with the parents. 

It may not be what you want to hear but you need to take a look at yourself and your own approach at life.

For me, I had to look at my childhood and how I was raised. My parents did an awesome job, though I’m biased there.

But I was spoiled. I wasn’t grateful for this stuff, though over time I learned to appreciate what we had.

Did this turn me into an ungrateful and entitled adult? No. But it did help me see where I went wrong.

 A Thankful Heart Is a Happy Heart: A Gratitude Journal for Kids Gratitude Soup Gratitude Journal for Kids My First Gratitude Journal: A Write-in, Draw-in Gratitude Journal for Kids Gratitude Journal for Kids: Gratitude Journal To Write In To Release Anxiety My 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 Yes Learn To Express My Gratitude- Journal For Kids: A write in draw in gratitude journal for kids My First Gratitude Journal: A Write-in, Draw-in Gratitude Journal for Kids Gratitude Journal for Kids: 30 Days of Gratitude Awesome Kids Jam-Packed Journal! Gratitude Journal for Kids Gratitude Journal and Activity Book Volume 1: A Family Fun Activity Book Gratitude is My Attitude. A Gratitude Journal for Children With Inspirational Quotes Kids Gratitude Journal: Live With an Attitude of Gratitude The 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 Gratitude 365 Day Gratitude Journal For Children: Gratitude Journal for Kids, Teens and All Children


Why are kids so ungrateful?

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.

Keep these tips in mind and in the meantime? Consider how you reflect gratitude. 

Be firm and the crisis will pass.

Remember, it’s all in a day’s work of a parent. And it’s never too late to raise a child with character.

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Digital Product Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is a late diagnosed autistic/ADHD mom. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodiverse family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. A blogger, podcaster, writer, product creator, and coach; Kori shares autism family life- the highs, lows, messy, and real. Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori is on a mission to empower moms of autistic children to make informed parenting decisions with confidence and conviction.

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6 years ago

Some sound advice, my little one is not even 18 months old but I’m working with her to acknowledge please & thank yous so when she does start talking more she can be polite and appreciate things more.

6 years ago

This is such a great list. I try to do all of these things. Good to know that I’m on the right track. I just need to work a lot harder at keeping my cool!