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Dealing with an Ungrateful Child

ungrateful child

I said I wasn’t going to blog on my recent holiday and to some extent this was true but my eldest has been such an ungrateful child, I had to write it down.

We all expected this holiday to be harder and it is but not for any of the reasons I thought. Little Piglet is almost 21 months and at that delightful age of wanting to leg it all the time; hurtling at stairs, slopes and any other danger you can think of! This of course is fun and games but certainly not unmanageable. In all other aspects she adapted well. The heat, sleeping somewhere else and her eating?? I had never seen anything like it. Devouring everything and anything with a monster appetite.

Her sister I expected to be easier. She’s four. Older and more independent. She’s been fine over the last two years; gaining confidence in the water and taking holidays in her stride.

I was wrong.

She was the most difficult in ages. Hot, tired, moaning and worst of all, being such an ungrateful child. Something I hate and something I never really wanted to experience.

I kept my patience for a good few days. Gave her the benefit of the doubt. It was hot; hitting 30 degrees. She was tired. Later nights and being disturbed a little by Piglet waking up in the morning. She may have been a little homesick.

But I guess there was only so much I could take and on day 5 of the holiday it was enough. My Mum and step dad had gone away for the day together and we had all gone for a browse in the local town. To be fair it hadn’t been a bad morning apart from all the moaning from my eldest. On return to the hotel, I blew. First time in ages. I said things I shouldn’t. Called her ungrateful. Even called her a brat. Said she was so lucky to come away. Said flying was something I had never done until I was 16. I don’t lose my temper with her often but when I do, she remembers it.

I read somewhere you shouldn’t make kids feel guilty for what they have and I to some extent I agree. She didn’t ask to be born who she is, where she is and into our family but she was and at the same time it doesn’t excuse taking everything for granted.

I let her sleep and when she woke we had a chat. I always apologise for shouting and upsetting her but never for the reasons why. I explained to her why I was so cross; she was taking her holiday for granted and she did need to realise she needed to be grateful for what she is bought and what she has.

I’m not sure it has sunk in. It’s a hard lesson to learn and it’s hard to deal with as a parent. It makes me uncomfortable when she is so rude and ungrateful. I know she’s four; she’s got a lot to learn but if anyone has dealt with this too would love to hear your thoughts!



  1. Nige
    July 2, 2018 / 2:58 pm

    Hi Sarah,
    This is all so close to home for us, Ruby and Maisie on our recent holiday to Disneyland Paris I lost my temper mildly to begin with then about the third day in I lost it in the hotel room, very ungrateful spoilt brat behaviour.
    Our kids are lucky very lucky and it’s not because I didn’t have it, lucky in relation to lot of other children who don’t even get a holiday. Our two will be having two holidays this year abroad. That’s super lucky yes to some extent we are spoiling them but they need to appreciate it as well. That is a fine balancing act.
    Ultimately I have put it down to age and hopefully they will improve as they get older. We will see, you are not alone. Fab post.

    • RunJumpScrap
      July 3, 2018 / 7:45 pm

      Ah sorry to hear that! I really think tiredness and being overwhelmed is to blame but I hate feeling so cross with mine. Feel you just have to say something. Thanks and hope won’t last!!

  2. July 3, 2018 / 5:24 pm

    I lose my patience with my eldest too often to be honest. Though he has more respect for hubby.

    • RunJumpScrap
      July 3, 2018 / 7:43 pm

      It’s hard not too isn’t it? x

  3. July 4, 2018 / 10:10 am

    My girls can be ungrateful brats at times. We went to the fair on Sunday and we spent well over £50 on rides and treats for them and they still wanted more money spent on them when we nipped to the supermarket. I did the whispering shout. They soon realised they were being bratty and ungrateful. I felt guilty but at the same time I knew they needed telling. #bloggersbest

  4. July 4, 2018 / 11:19 am

    Yup, i’ve been there. Its a life skill/lesson that children go through. I find they grow out with support #bloggersbest

  5. July 4, 2018 / 11:57 am

    Don’t feel guilty for losing your rag, I often do and often remind Ella how lucky she is to have a nice bedroom, holidays, days out blah blah blah. Kids take so much for granted and often all we want in return is a bit of respect and a simple thank you!!! #bloggersbest x

  6. July 4, 2018 / 2:12 pm

    Teaching children to appreciate what they have and realise how privileged they are if they have a home, food on the table, holidays etc is so difficult but it’s really important. Not sure there is a right way to do it, but I know if (when) the Tubblet behaves like that I get really cross with her as well. Some of it’s down to maturity, but if we don’t tell them, how will they know?!

  7. July 4, 2018 / 3:38 pm

    Oh the 4nado! 4 is a tricky age as, although they can hold conversations they don’t actually always understand the concepts that are discussed. They are very egocentric so wouldn’t understand the concept of being grateful as they are more worried about being hot or cold or tired or hungry; very physical concepts. Take care. #bloggersbest

  8. July 4, 2018 / 9:13 pm

    Yup, I know this all too well and it so difficult isn’t it. It’s also really hard to to get them to have the understanding isn’t it. #BloggersBests

  9. July 4, 2018 / 10:19 pm

    There are times when L can be so flipping ungrateful I could just scream. Some of that is to do with being incredibly lucky, as a bloggers child he gets toys seemingly on tap, day trips, holidays etc, he knows no different. Now he’s four I make an effort to explain to him that he is lucky and he needs to be grateful for what he has. I have also started making him donate some of what he is given, not everything but some of it. Be it a box of toys to the school fete, a gift to his friend or a trip to the charity shop for our local children’s hospice. This has helped, a lot actually. #bloggersbest

  10. July 4, 2018 / 10:37 pm

    It can be so hard when they are young and can’t fully grasp the value of time and possessions, we all face it though, so know you’re not alone #BloggersBest

  11. July 5, 2018 / 10:33 am

    Oh yes, familiar with this one. I hate to say it, but I have found it to get more challenging as the kids get older. Kids want their independence and you can’t let them do something so when you treat them another way, they’re ungrateful for it. Add in heat and an unfamilair environment and you have a very tricky situation indeed. Hope it’s all sorted out now you’re home.

  12. July 5, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    Honestly I can’t tell you how many times I’ve got angry, been upset or left in tears at the lack of gratitude from my kids. Sometimes I wonder whether I should just pack in all the holidays and treats – and then the guilt kicks in so I do it and then it starts all over again! A vicious cycle and none of us have the answers – it’s all part and parcel of parenthood, I suppose.

  13. July 12, 2018 / 2:53 pm

    I always find the more they have & get the worse they are! I think it’s hard for them to grasp the concept of being grateful & having things other children don’t as they live in their own little bubble #bloggersbest