It’s not uncommon for parents to feel unappreciated by their ungrateful kids. In fact, it’s probably more common than not. But what do you do when your own kids are constantly taking you for granted? How do you teach them to be grateful and humble?
Possible Reasons You Have Ungrateful Children
Before we get into how to change things, let’s take a step back and look at some of the reasons why your children might be showing an ungrateful attitude. Why is your child’s behavior changing for the worse?
They Don’t Know Any Better
This is probably the most common reason. If you’ve never taught your children to be grateful, they simply don’t know any better. They don’t realise that they should be expressing thankfulness for what they have. You will end up realising it’s hard meets kids endless demands.
They Feel Entitled
In today’s society, entitlement is becoming more and more of a problem. With social media, it’s easy for children (and adults) to compare their lives to others and feel like they deserve more.
The entitlement epidemic is one of the reasons why gratefulness is so important to instill in our children. When they learn to be thankful for what they have, they’re less likely to feel entitled to things they don’t and you’ll be raising grateful children in no time.
Jealousy is another emotion that can lead to ungrateful behavior. If your child sees someone with something they want, they may become envious and start to resent what they have.
Kids struggle to hang out with others because of jealousy. Kids grabbing greedily is also a sign of jealousy.
If you’ve been catering to your child’s every whim, they may start to take it for granted. When kids are used to getting everything they want, they may not see the value in what they have.
They Don’t See the Value in Gratitude
Part of the problem is that children often don’t see the value in gratitude. To them, it may just seem like something you do to be polite. They don’t realise that gratitude can actually have a profound impact on their lives.
How to Model Gratitude and Humility in Your Home
The best way to teach your children to be grateful and humble is to model those qualities yourself. Here are a few ways you can do that:
Be thankful for what you have. Make it a point expressing gratitude for the good things in your life, both big and small. Make thankfulness a part of your family’s daily routine. At the dinner table, have everyone share one thing they’re grateful for that day. Teach gratitude everyday and you will see good behavior in your child.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Just because someone has more than you doesn’t mean you should be unhappy with what you have.
Be humble. According to child development experts, pride is a natural human emotion, but it’s important to keep it in check. Teach your children that humility is a virtue.
Practise random acts of kindness. According to a a parent coach and educator in Seattle, show your children that it’s not only important to be grateful for what they have, but also to give back to others.
Remind them that the gift giver is more important than the gift. When your children receive gifts, remind them to focus on the thoughtfulness of the gesture, not the actual gift itself.
Lead by example and your children will likely follow suit. Modelling gratitude and humility in your own life is the best way to teach these qualities to your children.
Set boundaries and expectations. Be clear about your expectations for your children’s behavior. let them know that taking things for granted is not acceptable in your family.
Encourage an attitude of service. One way to instill gratitude and humility in your children is to encourage them to serve others like donate toys. Help them find opportunities to volunteer, whether it’s at a local soup kitchen or animal shelter.
Mentally preparing them to be kind at a young age and constant reminders can help you raise a child with a grateful attitude.
Teach them to be thankful in all circumstances. It’s important for children to learn that they can be grateful even when things are tough. Help them find the silver lining in difficult situations.
Encourage an attitude of gratitude from an early age and you’ll instill a lifetime of thankfulness in your children. Help your child identify and label feeling words.
Teach empathy. One of the best ways to teach humility is to show your children how to empathise with others. Help them understand what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. You can do that by teaching your child empathy.
Delayed gratification. In today’s world of instant gratification, it’s important to teach your children the value of delayed gratification. Show them that good things come to those who wait.
By offering gentle reminders and modelling the behavior you want to see, you can help your children learn to be grateful and humble. Just remember, it takes time and patience to raise a grateful child. Don’t get discouraged if they don’t seem to be getting it right away. With a little effort, you can help your child develop into grateful and humble adults.
Teaching your children to be grateful and humble can be a challenge, but it’s definitely worth the effort. By modelling those qualities yourself, you can set a positive example for your children to follow.
Over time, ungrateful children can learn to turn their narcissistic tendencies around by practising gratefulness and developing a more humble outlook.
It’s important for parents to be thankful to themselves, so their kids can see that it’s an important virtue. It’s also crucial to delay gratification, empathise with others, and practice random acts of kindness to develop a more humble outlook.
Hopefully this helps you in your parenting journey!