I have an ungrateful 5 year old...What do I do?

Becky - posted on 12/26/2012 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I have a 5 year old, the oldest of 3 boys, and I am no longer with his father. For Christmas this year he told everyone for every gift he received "Thank you but I don't like it." He did that for every single present he received this year. What do I do? I don't want to raise an ungrateful child and i don't want his younger brothers to imitate this behavior.

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Ariana - posted on 12/27/2012

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It's to late now, you already let him do it. After the first time you should have told him, we don't say that, and if he did it again, he should have gotten a consequence (time-out, present taken, something).

I would go explain to him what he had said and how it hurts other peoples feelings. Even if he didn't like the present he shouldn't say so.

As a way to make up for it I would actually have him write thank you cards addressing the person and acknowleding the present he got (if you can remember who gave what), thanking them for the nice presents.

I would say this calmly, and just explain that him saying that may have hurt other peoples feelings and from now on we don't do that, to make up for it he'll help send thank you cards, maybe have him draw a picture on it and sign his name. That way he's not 'in trouble' but just making up for his mistake.

If you didn't stop him the first time you can't blame him for doing it again. In his mind maybe he really didn't like it, he needs to know even if he doesn't like something we don't say that because it might hurt other peoples feelings. If he really is being rude and refuses to write the cards for some reason, I would take all the toys/presents he got until he's willing to be more respectful, and tell him you are dissappointed in this behavior. I don't think he'll do that though if you explain the situation to him.

Evelyn - posted on 12/26/2012

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So he did not get anything Sponge Bob for Christmas? Do what is suggested here. But do not take all his things away. I would make him apologize though. He most likely hurt the feelings of those who got him the presents.

Dove - posted on 12/26/2012

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I would be inclined to think some of his acting out is due to the situation with his father and would take a gentler approach accordingly.

I would not get rid of all his Spongebob things since he didn't receive any of those things for Christmas. Perhaps having him donate just a few (5?) of his things and then having him earn back the rest by demonstrating acts of kindness towards you and his siblings would be a better approach.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/26/2012

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Becky, I like the idea behind what you are doing....but damn. YOu are being a bit harsh. Just explain like the other women have said. And as for the presents he got that he doesn't like, just calmly talk with him about donating them so children his age that did not have Christmas can get some presents.

Becky - posted on 12/26/2012

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When he did that at my house and the Christmas we had at my boyfriends parents house I acted on it right away, most of this incident happened at his fathers house for Christmas. I didn't go overboard by any means and got him gifts I knew he would enjoy and now today he doesn't like one single present he received here or over there because he didn't get anything Spongebob. I took everything away from him that is his and we are donating all his Spongebob things to a local thrift store. I also told him he is going to have to earn his other toys back by doing some chores around the house. Is that to much for a 5 year old? I don't know if he is acting out because he really didn't like his presents or if this Christmas he finally figured out that his dad and I are not getting back together.

Dove - posted on 12/26/2012

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If he doesn't like his gifts.... take them away from him and give them to someone who WILL appreciate them.

Did you say anything to him after the first time he said it though? I would've told him to leave it at a 'Thank You' after the first time and if he said it again I would've 'swooped' in and removed the second gift he said it about.

Perhaps taking him to donate the gifts himself to children who, quite literally, have nothing would sink in to him.

I wouldn't hesitate to act on this now and, hopefully, you would never have to be quite so swift again.

Amy - posted on 12/26/2012

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After the first time he said that I would if pulled him aside and reminded him that it's the thought that counts and that he hurts people's feelings when he says that. Then if he continued I wouldn't of let him open anymore presents. I always remind my kids before birthdays and stuff, just say thank you even if you already own it we'll figure it out later.

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