Unappreciative children are those offspring who perennially fail to recognize the efforts others exert on their behalf.
For instance, a 15-year-old has parents who pay thousands of dollars for his soccer camps, tournaments and travel. Yet he is often rude and demanding towards them, frequently accusing them of not doing enough.
Kids can be unappreciative even after they leave the house. A mother of two toddlers may expect free babysitting from her own mother without ever saying, Thanks for all the help, Mom.
Of course, its unreasonable to expect children to have the insight of adults. A third-grader is never going to fully grasp all her folks do to make the household run. Still, she can learn age-appropriate skills for expressing appreciation.
Kids arent born knowing how to be appreciative. Parents instill that skill alongside manners and sharing.
Training starts in the earliest years when pre-schoolers are coached to say please and thank you, and continues into young adulthood when they write thank-you notes for money and gifts.
Generally the process is seamless. Boys and girls eventually master the necessary skills. But when two maladaptive factors occur concurrently, the system goes awry. Children turn into those gimme-more monsters that make them oh-so-difficult to be around.
The first factor is inadequate social skills. Parents fail to impart social graces. They may be too busy. They may suffer from guilt. They may be embroiled in family conflict. They may even be social boors themselves. Whatever the cause, Junior doesnt see the appreciation light and expects the world to revolve around him.
To make matters worse, folks give too many material items to their kids.
They supply an endless stream of money, lessons, clothes and gifts without expecting anything in return. This hyper-giving becomes youngsters norm. Whenever its deemed inadequate, or they crave the latest trend, they have no qualms whining for more.
While moms and dads complain about childrens ungrateful behavior, the solution is completely up to them.
When they stop fueling the greed-driven furnace and link outlay to behavior and attitude, the consumptive blaze instantly dims and becomes a flicker of its former self.
GOT AN UNAPPRECIATIVE KID? HERES WHAT TO DO
Wondering if your kids are ungrateful? Ask yourself the following questions:
Do you feel as if youre routinely caving in to your childs latest demand?
Do you harbor resentment that your child doesnt appreciate all your work?
Do you feel guilty that youre not doing enough for your youngster?
Do you question your adequacy as a parent?
Does your child fail to take care of what he or she already has?
If you answered yes to these questions, your kids are unappreciative to the max. Try the following suggestions to reclaim control of your brood:
Know that youre doing enough. Dont get sucked into the consumptive guilt trap that your kids need more, more, more. If youre putting warm food in their tummies, providing a cozy bed at night and giving them the basic necessities, youre already making the grade. Everything else is extra.
Be a strong adult leader in your household. You decide what your kids need. You can say no if theyre not going to get it. Their pleading and whining neednt change your mind. You have the final say.
Expect an attitude of gratitude. Never succumb to childrens snotty, inappropriate behavior. Make it clear that thank yous and gracious behavior are the minimum standard.
Assign and oversee regular, unpaid chores. Youngsters gain a sense of appreciation when they have responsibilities to perform at home. Start age-appropriate chores as early as preschool. Take the time to make sure theyre fulfilled correctly.
Require children to contribute to their activities. Paying for uniforms or lessons helps kids understand how much things cost. They can earn money outside of the home or perform tasks their parents would hire someone else to do.
Dont argue with your children. Never plead with children to have a better attitude. That only weakens your stance. Instead, express your expectation or limit and expect compliance. Leave the room if kids want to debate.
Model appreciation. Kids learn by watching their folks. When you write thank-you letters and express gratitude for others actions, your youngsters are likely to follow in your gracious footsteps.