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How to make your child be more greatful?

I am new to cafemom, so please do not laugh when I ask, what does "DD" stand for? OK, the real question is, my daughter is 11 almost 12, in the last year she has been being an ungrateful pain in the butt. We try and get out and do something fun with our children, something inexpensive that we can all enjoy doing together. After yesterdays day out as a family, my daughter cried with actual tears, because we wouldn't take them outto dinner and shopping. We tired to explain to her, and many times in the past, that only one parent is working, and we just don't have the extra money to do that. How do we make her understand? Do we cut all outings including the parks and nature walks and bike rides? Is it the age? Our son is happy with playing outside all day, but he is 4. What can we do???

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Asked by momoftwo9705 at 4:40 PM on Aug. 31, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (4)
  • DD stands for Dear Daughter

    It does sound like your dd is at that age! They are extremely moody at that age. It's the beginning of puberty. They are worse to their mothers, it seems. I'd just keep doing what you would normally do, your park outings and things. She may still complain, actually she probaly will! But that's just part of her growing up.

    Answer by robinann5 at 7:25 PM on Aug. 31, 2009

  • Well we have four children and also can't afford to go out to eat and places that cost alot to get in. My children are ages 10-19. I get up on sat or sun and my husband and I just explain to all of them that we don't have a whole lot of money to spend so we are going to go on a family hike and then have a picnic. Even when we do go place like amusement parks and things, my children will ask can they play games that cost extra money, I simply say we don't have the money for that. Maybe my kids are just happy that we are going anywhere at all but I don't seem to have any issues with them being greatful. The fair is coming up for instance and we will take our children but I will tell them we have X amount of dollars set aside for the fair and once that money is gone, they know not to ask for anything else. Don't be afraid to talk to your children about money and how much your family can afford to spend for a paticular event.

    Answer by sara13178 at 11:39 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • For sure, explain why you have to limit things - though people make different amounts of money, everyone has limits (relative to money and lots of other things!).

    But also, anticipate things/set expectations, or try to find a postive way out. Highlight before hand that this is what is planned - and get their buy in (and subtly point out it doesn't include eating out, shopping or anything else they might ask for).

    Perhaps for the shopping/eating out, you could anticipate that next month, as the weather won't be as nice, that might the the 'thing' to do (assuming you can afford it, or limit it to ice cream). Or offer an alternative like a picnic (and maybe see if a cousin or friend can come along). Try to include her in the decision and organization of what you decide to do.

    Similarly, if you want it to be family time, offer her other opportunities to invite friends - for a sleep over, movie night, etc.


    Answer by PhillyinFrance at 5:21 AM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • Sounds as though she's comparing things with friends at school. I talk openly with my son concerning our family finances, maybe not exact amounts, but say we only make so much money a month, and so much goes to housing, car, insurance, etc, and we only have so much left over that we have to save for a b or c. If we want to go skiing or out to eat, then we have to switch it out for something else, or do it at a later date. He may have to save his allowance so that he can pay for that event himself.

    Educate her in that most people are not rich. You don't need to provide a harsh reality, but something that provides enough of a jolt that she is indeed fortunate with what she has. Maybe have her help you the next time you clear out outgrown clothing and donate it to a homeless shelter. Have her present when you take it to the shelter. Or donate food to the local pantry.

    Answer by kitkabob at 1:17 PM on Oct. 20, 2009

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