Sunday, March 24, 2019

Am I Unintentionally Raising My Children To Be Ungrateful? ♥

This is a post I've wanted to write for some time (in fact, there's quite a lot of posts I've been meaning to write for 'some time' but I never have the time!) but I wanted to be careful with my words.

You see, I never want to speak about my children in a manner which they would find upsetting if they one day chose to read my blog, but there are days when I find them to be the most ungrateful people I've ever encountered in my life and as their mother it bothers me so much.

When I find myself in these moments, witnessing their ungratefulness and non-gratitude for all the lovely people, experiences and things they have in their life, it makes me feel as though I've failed them. After all, isn't it my 'job' as their mother to make sure they appreciate all that they have and have them show that appreciation through good manners and behaviour?

In these moments I find myself in despair. I'm absolutely frazzled and am seconds away from raising my voice. I hate the 'shouty mother' within me, but sometimes it's necessary for her to come out, to show them just how exasperated I am by their attitude and how I will for them to stop it.

Take today for example, a beautiful sunny day. I let them paint outside. I stayed with them, showing them how to make butterfly effect paintings, how to clean their brushes in a cup of water... the simple things. It was a lovely moment - one of those simple yet utterly lovely moments which makes me glad I have children, but then, the ungratefulness seeped into our lives again.

They wouldn't just play nicely in the garden, nor with each other or all the toys out there - including a playhouse that I would have been over the moon with had I had it myself as a child. But no, none of these things, or the company of each other was enough to make them play nicely. It was declared that all these things we "boring". All these things which I and their father had worked so hard to get them were simply not good enough. It may just be a typical childhood response to some, but to me it's just simply ungrateful.

There's also the times when we go on lovely days out, they get treats, have a lovely time with friends... but they're often followed with tantrums and tears about friends not coming to our house for a play date or not being allowed to play because it's homework time, etc...  Why were all the lovely things we've just done and had simply not enough?

There always seems to be a sense of 'give me more' and entitlement - especially from my eldest, and there is seldom an appreciation of all the effort and experiences I give him. I'm not going to lie, it actually makes me wonder why I bothered in the first place?

Then there are all the toys they've gotten that they break within a matter of minutes after getting them. There seems to be an attitude from them that - "it's okay, they'll just buy me more", but the truth is, I didn't really have the money to get it for them in the first place.

I don't know if all stems from being a stay at home mother ever since they were born. I think they just assume that I will always be here and also, as a blogger, that I will always have nice things to give them.

I've actually stopped taking on toy reviews because I feel like they've begun to think every week is Christmas and their father and I have decided that new toys will only be given on birthdays and Christmas - just as it was when we were children.

I constantly have to toe the line of wanting to spoil my boys and make every occasion for them special, whilst trying to get them to appreciate everything they're given. While I'm absolutely delighted that their father and I can give them joys in life such as a holiday every year, multiple days out as a family, toys just because they want them, play dates on a weekly basis... I want them to realise that all of these things are not a given for everyone and that they should be grateful for them.

A simple 'thank you' or acknowledgement from them goes a long way and I want them to show respect, manners and gratitude to everyone who gives them something in life.

Some things I will be implementing at home with them

  • is rotating the toys so that when the other box reappears again they'll (hopefully) appreciate the toys in it a whole lot more.
  • having a toy cull so that they can learn to appreciate what they have more and also learn the lesson of giving to charity
  • speaking more about our days out after we have them and showing them the pictures taken on these outings so that they can remember the good times we had and know how lucky they were to experience these things
  • I will stop giving into their demands for 'more', especially on days where they have already had treats, play dates, etc. They need to learn that enough is enough and to be grateful for what they've had.

I just want to make sure that I do my job of raising them into decent human beings as well as I can. I know that every child can say and do things that can make them appear ungrateful for the efforts people have made for them. However, I also need to look at my own habits of spoiling my boys and giving in to their every whim. It's not healthy for them, nor is it doing them any good.

Do you ever encounter moments of ungratefulness with your children?
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