Parenting is hard, finding that happy balance can be the most difficult part in my opinion. While I am not an expert in this department maybe tips about how to teach your kids gratitude and not raise spoiled children can be a step in the right direction for all of us.
These two, I love them so much but I have to admit there are days that are so challenging. I love being a mom but at the end of those challenging days I do question what I am doing wrong…or right. I wish I could sit here and list out tips and advice that has worked for us but the fact is, we need these tips just as much as you. This is hard for me to write about, I feel like I am stepping out from that Instagram filter of perfection and exposing a piece of our family that we are embarrassed to show. This is real life…
Let me tell you about our most recent experience. I had big exciting family plans to head up to the Ice Castles in Dillon, Jeremy and I were so excited to take a family day trip but frankly there were moments that we just felt like we hit a #ParentingFAIL with both Jude and Teagan. I know I am not alone. You plan something fun and special, and you just want it to be a good day for everyone. BUT the kids lose their minds and suddenly become ungrateful and spoiled! NOW WHAT?
I would never consider us to be strict parents and on the other hand I would never consider us to be too lenient of parents. But maybe we haven’t found our best balance? I am not sure. But as I write this I just want to be honest with you all. When this happens, I just want to cry. The pictures show fun and smiles and yet to get those pictures we fought and raised our voices. So silly. Oh and their ears, I swear, sometimes they really do stop working! What are we doing wrong? How do we make sure we are raising the best little humans possible, enjoy special treats and adventures with them, and most importantly not let them get away with bad behavior?
As we left the Ice Castles both Jeremy and I were exhausted. Not good exhausted either, but the kind of exhausted where you just want to call a timeout and find a babysitter. Sure, we had fun there, but the ungrateful attitudes and spoiled behavior took over and since then. I cannot stop thinking about it. I want to let my kids experience things like the ice castles or our Mexico vacation but sometimes I wonder if we are doing too much?
Oh…I don’t know what the answer is but as a parent that wants her kids to grow to be good, responsible and grateful adults I know we have some work to do. So, I decided to do some research and find some tips that I know we will be trying to implement in our family and hope that you can take some of these and use them as well. I know that I have always been honestly with you, my readers, and I want you to be honest with me. Please, tell me I am not the only mom feeling this way during special outings, events or holidays.
How To Teach Your Kids Gratitude
- Gratitude is a really hard aspect to learn. It takes time so parents need to be patient with their children and themselves as this trait is taught.
- Bring the act of being grateful into everyday experiences. Examples would be talking about being so lucky or blessed to have dinner on the table or too many books to read.
- Encourage generosity. Rooms too messy and full of toys that are not played with? Make it a family event by filling up a bag or box of toys/items to donate to someone in need.
- Say NO! Parents need to be able to say no to more toys, THINGS, ect. This is something we all need to practice more of.
- Stop delivering empty threats. I am guilty of this – so many warnings of what will get taken away just for one of the kids to STOP misbehaving.
- Be consistent with your requests and expectations.
- Make it the norm to write Thank You notes – not just for gifts but for experiences and other actions that a thank you note would be appropriate.
- Limit the prizes and toys. This is hard for us – REALLY HARD!
- Learn about other cultures and life situations that will help your child see “how good they have it”.
- Remember – YOU ARE THE PARENT!
- And in all of this, make sure you are teaching respect as well.
All of these tips really do make sense and I know we need to work on these with both of the kids. I totally agree with the limit of toys but I really struggle with the limit of events and experiences. It is hard to cancel plans that I have made just because of their behavior – some of that would hit the checkbook. Thank you for listening to my frustration and hurt today. I know this is just another parenting challenge that most of us are dealing with and I hope this can help you a little bit too. GOOD LUCK parents!
Looking For More Parenting Advice? Check These Links Out From Building Our Story:
Tips on Parenting a Strong Willed Child
It’s Just A Boy Thing – Teaching Your Boys Personal Boundaries
Simplifying Our Homework Routine
Raising a Strong & Confident Young Man
Are there any other tips or advice you might give a parent who is struggling with teaching gratitude to their children?
These are great tips. I work at a lot of events and am amazed at how many adults and children don’t say please or thank you when receiving items.
Aileen Adalid says
This post is so insightful and I totally agree! We need to teach kids as early as possible about this kind of principle because it will surely help them in the long run. I’ll definitely be sharing this post to my sister!
You have such a beautiful family! I’m a parent who is all for teaching my kids gratitude, I taught them this at a young age and even now as they get older I remind them daily. I feel teaching them respect is number one and so important, so sad when you see children being disrespectful. I agree with all your tips listed above and saying NO should be practiced more with lots of parents.
Ali Rost says
Oh my, haven’t we all been there with our kids? While I’m a grandma now, I can remember days like you described all too well. Then I’d over-analyze .. Are my expectations reasonable? What does the gratitude I expect from them look like? There aren’t any answers, but it’s comforting to know every parent is going through it too. My daughter-in-law is doing the coolest thing with my grandson. Every night before he goes to sleep she asks him to think of three things he’s grateful for in his day. She’s been writing them down in a journal for him to have one day. x