The Mommy Files: Getting Kids to Show Gratitude
As our older daughter heads into her teenage years, we’re seeing an increase in what I like to call the “I want it now” attitude. And then, to make maters worse, when she gets what she does want, albeit not on her schedule, she’s almost irritated that we’ve finally given it to her.
This does not sit well with me.
And it suits me even less when it involves manual labor (such as the removal of the carpet in her room).
Now, I do realize that some of this is tweenager at its finest…and I remember throwing a few eye rolls of my own when I was approaching 13. But it doesn’t make it any easier to take.
The first paragraph in this article by Charlotte Latvala pretty much sums up how I feel about it…and the very same complaint that I frequently lament to my very own husband. Though her complaint is about preschoolers, I can assure you it doesn’t get any better when they’re older.
So, how do you nip it in the bud? Good question.
Christine Carter, a sociologist and the director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Parents program, shares her insight into how to teach your children gratitude instead of entitlement. One of the things she mentions is using family dinners as a way to each share three things that made you happy that day…these would also make great conversation starters.
I appreciate Ms. Carter’s insight, I really do. But I think that—at least in our house—Joan Rigdon’s epiphany will also likely be our saving grace. It seems that sometimes our children can teach themselves the hard lessons…it’s just a matter of how you approach it.
photo credit: chris attack