Ungrateful & privileged

Sadly, we live in a society and culture that encourages a sense of entitlement from some children, but not all. Even if we raise a grateful child, children may still go through the sense of entitlement, ungrateful stage. Although that doesn’t indicate whether they will stay ungrateful or entitled forever, parents still need to have control over their attitudes.

As a child, I was grateful for the roof over my head, the food on the table. I was grateful for just about everything. I never stopped to question anything. It’s just the way I was. It’s only later on that we come to understand our life and how things turn out. The old-fashioned values are what we lived by, as did our parents, as did their parents before them.

Children tend to see their world through other children’s eyes. From an early age, children are conditioned to want what other children have. They see what other children have and want what they’ve got, if it’s more than they’ve got. Children grow up thinking and believing they’re privileged; everything starts and stems from their thinking.

Of course, as parents if we don’t encourage our children to think new things, our children will continue to process their thinking believing they’re privileged. Being spoilt isn’t just a practical thing. Sadly, parents may sometimes spoil their children to believe they’re brilliant, amazing children and that changes their thinking and how they choose to behave.

Children may also show signs of arrogance, be conceited, feel superior, big headed and may also lack the respect, but even with some or all those things behind them, the right disciplines in place, will usually bring about the right outcome in the longer term.

Nothing is ever set in stone, we can change the way we see ourselves. Old thought patterns can be changed. We can change our thinking on just about everything. I’m testament to that.


22 Jul, 2017

10 thoughts on “Ungrateful & privileged

  1. In my school class we had one student that was obviously well-off and got what she wanted and flaunted it big time.

    I was so jealous as a child and kids that were my friends were also friends with her, obviously because she had money. I would invite my friends over or discuss doing something and then she would do the same and they would go with her most of the time, because she offered more, bigger better things to do.

    But in the end, a lot of them figured it out especially one whom is still my friend today. I see it all the time; the kids that have everything and think they are privileged.

    Society has put more emphasis on objects and money. If you have it, you’re privileged If you don’t you are below the ones that do have it, no matter what you do in life.

    1. Thanks Lisa. Yes, I couldn’t agree more. You are absolutely right. I believe it’s a class thing. Happens in families, cultures, society and institutions. I find it sad, when children grow up to believe they’re better than anyone else.

      That said, we can all work to change how we see and deal with each other. Even if we are privileged we don’t have to show traits of being ungrateful or that we’re entitled and that our families owe us.

      It really is an attitude thing. And attitudes can always change.

  2. Wow, I really like this. I’ve been thinking a lot about this with my own girls. They’re 15, 13, and 10.

    All the time, I hear (especially from my 13 yr old and 15 yr old) how their friends live in bigger homes, how the friends get to go on vacation and why can’t we do that? I hear from my children how other girls at school act snotty and superior and they’re spoiled.

    I tell my girls they are bright and beautiful children (they really are) and to be thankful for what they have. I try and remind them that their situation isn’t nearly as bad as what other people have to endure and to be happy for what they have.

    Just a few months ago we moved from a teeny house to a much bigger house and I hope they recognize that. I don’t want to ever come across that I’m dismissing their feelings on the matter, I would just really wish and hope they see a much bigger picture.

    Sometimes I mention how I grew up and their grandparents and great grandparents that I told my daughter today,that at age 8, my great grandfather was thrown out in the streets by his parents because they couldn’t afford to feed him. And guess what? He survived those streets!

    Got married at 18 and became one tough hard working man because of it. So be grateful for what they have and that they have parents that love them unconditionally and trying to teach them a lesson.

    So what if we don’t get to go to the beach every weekend like other children, or get to go on vacation or get brand new clothes at a brand name store. That is never what real life is all about.

    1. Thanks Bonnie. I agree with you. Although I never presented in the way you talk about with your girls, your response does resonate with me through experiences with my own family.

      I think you’re right and you make some very valid points. All you can do is reinforce how you see their lives and how lucky they really are.

      Sadly, it’s not always easy and children sadly will never equate or understand our experiences or that of our grandparents because they haven’t lived in our era or our lives and you and I see and understand, children often can’t. They will only know what they know through their own experiences. You and I lived in different times, our values were different.

      I believe though that our values can do more than we think; I continue to reinforce my own spiritual values through my disciplines. How we relate to people, what we give back, our beliefs, compassion, empathy, tolerance show children a different way.

      Children will always want what they can’t have, look to the things other friends have. I have experienced this with my own children, (sure most or if not all parents have) but hope the disciplines our children have had, will bring about a new thinking from them, perhaps not so much now, but later in life when those taught values will finally be put to good use.

      Just keep reinforcing your values and your beliefs as you are doing Bonnie and your children will get the ‘life’ thing eventually. Your values are perfectly in tact.

  3. Thank you Ilana! We can only do the best we can, always with good intentions for our kids.

    I love the saying, “kids weren’t born with an instruction manual,” how true that is! I just want them prepped for the real world and stay strong and focused, and to never allow this cruel world to consume them.

    1. You’re welcome. Yes, they don’t come with a manual, neither does our parenting; so we can be forgiven sometimes.

      Sadly, Bonnie however hard we try the world will consume them, there’s no getting away from that unless they choose for that not to happen. It is possible, but they have got to want to live a more simple life, so that they’re not taken in by all the world has to offer.

      My spiritual beliefs continue to ground me. I believe that is the nearest belief system that puts the spotlight back on us, so that we learn how to behave and interact and how to give back, without wanting something in return.

      It’s too easy for children to get sucked into this world and all that it offers, sadly. All we can do as parents is guide them, in the hope they see our values, which will keep them more grounded.

      Just keep doing what you’re doing and allow them to make their own mistakes and decisions, (as long as their decisions aren’t harmful to them and they’re talked through). They’ll soon get to learn their values. It really is how they learn.

  4. As long as we do the best we can and instill a sense of self worth, respect for others, right and wrong and confidence in our children, then it’s job done.

    Unfortunately, we live in a consumer society where more value is placed on what we have, than who we are and that makes for the haves and have nots.

    With maturity children often see this, but I also know many adults who still think they are better than others and I suspect they will never see the true values in life.

    1. Thank you. Yes, children will only see these things if they are taught these things.

      I would like to think maturity changes us, but maturity doesn’t always change us, particularly if we’re working from our unconscious thoughts. All that happens in those circumstances, is that we go on to repeat the old learned behaviours.

      Discipline is important if we are to teach children their values. Being ungrateful comes from a lack of values; where children come to expect, rather than appreciate.

      It’s up to us as parents to follow that discipline through, so that children begin to see things for themselves.

  5. I grew up poor but I didn’t know it. So I didn’t see myself as privileged in a material sense; but in a little boys head I was grateful and happy.

    Of course, there were those who tripped over themselves in privilege, but I delicately made a point of looking the other way.

    1. Thanks Tim. Yes, I can resonate with being ‘grateful and happy.’ I also think I grew up poor but didn’t know it. We have a lot of things in common.

      The art of good parenting in that sense, is when a child feels protected, even if they are poor. I also believe our inner workings and beliefs take away our need for material things.

      Your responses highlight a lot of your inner workings and show me that.

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