My most difficult moment in parenting ... realizing the lack of gratitude of my teenager.

D - posted on 11/27/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/nurturesh...

So I read this article about the universal lack of gratitude of teenagers. It is by far one of the most difficult moments I have experienced as a parent. While I don't expect to be exhaulted as mother of the century, I certainly would like to be appreciated. Oh well, I guess I am not alone and as the article suggests this is a universal rite of passage. I will always wish I could have done more for my children. Who doesn't want to give them everything? But it doesn't always work that way ...

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Susan - posted on 12/04/2009

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Quoting Julie:

Sometimes I don't always feel my kids appreciate me, but then something happens as it did last year at Christmas, with the downturn in the economy I was barely able to get them what they needed let alone anything for Christmas, so it was pretty bare underneath our tree, and I just wanted to cry, I didn't even want to look at their faces when they opened their presents. They could obviously tell how I was feeling, and they both told me they loved what they got, and they loved even more knowing how hard I worked to get them. They told me that it didn't matter what they got, as long as they always had me.....and then I knew, they are just teenagers, but they really do appreciate me!!!


Oh my goodness, you brought tears to my eyes! 

Margaret - posted on 12/02/2009

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Hang in there! ...I am going through the same thing with my own kids. all we can do is with love and patience, hope we can get through these next years.

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Kim - posted on 12/04/2009

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Quoting D:

My most difficult moment in parenting ... realizing the lack of gratitude of my teenager.

http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/nurturesh...

So I read this article about the universal lack of gratitude of teenagers. It is by far one of the most difficult moments I have experienced as a parent. While I don't expect to be exhaulted as mother of the century, I certainly would like to be appreciated. Oh well, I guess I am not alone and as the article suggests this is a universal rite of passage. I will always wish I could have done more for my children. Who doesn't want to give them everything? But it doesn't always work that way ...


Babygirl just PRAY, PRAY & PRAY some more!!!   teenagers r a real trip & they think that we OWE them EVERYTHING - WE DON'T!!!  do what u can & want - bump the rest!!!

Barb - posted on 12/03/2009

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Jennifer, you are not a bad parent at all and if you see in a number of these posts other parents are doing the same thing. Not giving into the demands of their kids.. if they are sulking well then, they are learning how to sulk

Actually, after my post about how good my son is.. he of course proved me wrong, copped an attitude. His car wouldn't start and he got all upset, i told him to calm down and this is how we solved this problem, we were going to jump his car. We did, but instead of saying thank you or being grateful his car was running, he was angry because now he didn't have time to get a doughnut before school.

Unfortunately for him, i had all day to stew about this and when he came home we had a talk that if he decided not to say thank you for nice things we did for him, like jumping his car, don't ever expect me to do it again, ever. I'm good with him riding his bike the 8 miles to school in the rain.

He now knows its not tolerated and what's expected.

I firmly believe we teach people how to treat us. why would our children be any different? I don't understand the sense of acceptance i read in the posts.

But to each their own, what works for some won't work for everyone.

Jennifer - posted on 12/03/2009

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Im lost for words. I'm not saying it's not ture cause I seen it in other child as young as 3 to 30 year olds still un grateful to there Ederly parents.. this is something parents teach their children and I have never meet a children that grew out of this..

I for one must be a bad parent simple because I never wanted to give my children “Everything”. I wanted to teach them to always be happy what ever you have in Lifecause life is un fair and if all you got is to smell a rose and a warm day then smile.. today my children are the very gratful type of young adults..My son tells me thanx for clean the house it looks great and my daughter tells she a lucky kid to have a mother like me. I don’t need any MOTHER OF THE YEAR AWARD My award is when my child smile at me.

Tracy - posted on 12/03/2009

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sweetheart i feel for you as a single parent i work seventy to eighty hours a week and have a whopping over draft but my teenagers won t accept that i have no money and generally sulk and make my life hell untill they get what they want and i feel no respect at all

Mary - posted on 11/30/2009

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I completely understand. Our 13 year old hasn't gotten to that stage yet, but our 15 year old sure has. We're to the idiot parent stage. She has absolutely no respect for anyone but herself and her friends. I'll be so glad when it's over.

Valerie - posted on 11/30/2009

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I want to give my kids advatnages and open doors for them that were not there for me but I believe they also have to earn what they are given. My son is 16 and for the most part he is appreciative and understands when I can't give him what he wants. My daughter on the other hand thinks the world revolves around her and that everyone owes her. She's 14 and has even decided that she wants to live with her dad where she won't have to earn what she gets and where there are no consequences for breaking the rules. It's so frustrating.

Marjorie - posted on 11/30/2009

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I too understand how you feel. I also appreciate the comments from Julie Allen. My husband and I had tried very hard to teach her how to do things. My husband and I decided when she was born that I'd be the one to go to work sas I can earn more income. That didn't stop him from starting his own small business at home. Our daughter followed him around and began learning many woodworking ways, tools to use and how to do things at a very early age. Since then she has been pretty independent.

My daughter was 13 when I deployed to Iraq. We both realized how much she appreciated me while I was deployed. She told me over and over that she wished I was home to help her with things and just talk to me when she wanted.

While the follow on years have had their difficulties, she still remembers once in awhile to tell me she appreciates what I do and what her dad does for and with her (like teaching her how to bowl).

On the other hand we have helped other families with teenagers and they have never expressed gratitude that we took them into our home, gave them a place to sleep, food and helped them with their homework. Since they have moved on I doubt we will ever see or hear them express their gratitude for helping them through their difficult time.

Yes we try to give our kids everything we can. Feeling like your child doesn't appreciate you is the most difficult moments. There have been many times I have felt that my daughter really doesn't appreciate me. Some of those times I told her how I felt and I think by sharing my feelings it has helped her to realize that the little things matter. We try to always thank her for her help, for doing her chores, and just about everything that we ask her to do or that she has done without being asked. I believe that has also helped to establish that showing appreciation and gratitude are important. I wish you the best and will say a pray for you both

Becki - posted on 11/29/2009

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Our hearts tell us that we want to give them everything, but our minds should guide us when we make choices about what to give, and what our children should earn. Handing everything they want to our children with no effort on their part seems to give them a sense of entitlement that is infinitely frustrating to us as parents and does nothing to raise their self esteem. Having to put in some effort to earn the things they want helps them become aware of the rewards for their hard work and dedication, and gives them the sense of accomplishment and independence that they will need to become self -sufficient adults.

Julie - posted on 11/28/2009

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Sometimes I don't always feel my kids appreciate me, but then something happens as it did last year at Christmas, with the downturn in the economy I was barely able to get them what they needed let alone anything for Christmas, so it was pretty bare underneath our tree, and I just wanted to cry, I didn't even want to look at their faces when they opened their presents. They could obviously tell how I was feeling, and they both told me they loved what they got, and they loved even more knowing how hard I worked to get them. They told me that it didn't matter what they got, as long as they always had me.....and then I knew, they are just teenagers, but they really do appreciate me!!!

[deleted account]

I know how you feel! Im a mother of four, 21,20,17 1/2 and 13 1/2. its not easy and you always feel like your not appreciated and they seem to look down on you at times..but now my two oldest..(girls) are new moms and I see that they do look to me for help and need me..I feel appreciated now. I do think it comes with age I feel I did the same thing to my parents. I thank them now and have told them that i was sorry for the things i did to them.

Barb - posted on 11/27/2009

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i don't know that i wanted to give my son everything. I just wanted to give him enough. and when i can give him more than just enough he seems to appreciate it with a "oh wow, mom, thanks." or an "awesome!" or a "that's cool" may not always be appreciated in a 'thank you'

On the flip side, i make sure i show my appreciation so he can see how it's done. When he helps with he laundry or dishes, mows the yard i like to give him an 'atta boy' good job, looks so nice. you are such a great help, what would i do without you?

After he got past potty training and feeding himself i didn't feel i should do everything for him. I felt as a parent it was my job to show him how to do things and then let him try with my guidance so he could be an independent person.

You appreciate things you work for and accomplish on your own. You also appreciate things other people do for you when you know first hand the work involved to accomplish it.

Did the article just say this behavior is to be accepted and as parents we shouldn't try to show our children what it means to appreciate something or someone?

Sue - posted on 11/27/2009

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It's true. They expect we should just do all of these things for them. In a way they are right we should. The gratitude will come later when they are adults. How did you fell about what your parents did for you and did you feel different once you where and adult? I have seen parents who force their children to express their gratitude. They were so grateful they left when they were 18 and never returned.

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