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My Daughter Is Ungreatful

I have a 9 year old daughter. She is becoming increasingly ungreatful. How do I handle this in a christian way.

Moderator - Remind her by telling her. If that doesn't work, cut back on what you do for her so that she can understand.

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 ---Betty5357 on 7/13/08
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Beloved, what best way to tell you? Many know my daughter ran off marry muslim( off-brand) guy. It' s been so hard all these years. I think the Lord has done way more than certainly, could've imagine. My daughter never comes but, please JESUS let this be the time. Even if things do not be fully/ I need to say you are loved.I forgive you. Hope
she listen to the Holy Spirit I have been praying so long .
It could be so joyous! Thanks!
---ELENA on 12/23/12

I would like to say Thank You for all your advise. My daughter has been doing much better. I believe that has happened because of the suggestions you guys gave and I did try some of them. She is saying "Thank You" a lot more and I am letting her be a child a lot more. I really Thank you all. Please keep us in your prays as you all will be in ours. God Bless you all. Thank You again.
---Betty5357 on 8/16/08

Hi Betty!

How is your daughter expressing being ungrateful? Is she angry? Does she complain? Does she do well in school? How much responsibility do you expect of her? Does she have patience with her siblings?

More details please! :-)

---Deb on 8/11/08

Betty...Maybe your daughter is ungrateful for the spankings that she gets. Especially when you hug and kiss her after the spanking. That sends a mixed message. Hurt and pain do not go along with love and kindness.
---SusieB on 7/28/08

She probably thinks the world revolves around her..selfish. I would make her do things that help other people. Get her mind off herself.
---melanie on 7/28/08

Betty, you just EXPLAINED and elaborated (always a wise thing to do when asking for understanding).

Instead of jumping to conclusions and demonizing her as an ingrate, now it can be understood that she is a 'COMPLAINER' because she insists on being treated like a 'primadonna' (or do you have unfair expectations of her?).

Do the other children in the family get more love, attention and respect than she does? (or does SHE feel that they do?, there is a reason for that).

Maybe she sees the other children being treated better than she is (or was treated when she was their age).
---more_excellent_way on 7/27/08

Betty ,,, she seems just normal.

Don't accuse her of ingratitude, and don't make her go all the time to church with you ... let her feel she has some choice in things.

Allow & Wait for her to grow up & I am sure she will become a fine woman
---alan_of_UK on 7/27/08

When my kids were little, we were pretty poor, and could not afford the material things. I sought creative ways to show the kids the Lord's graciousness and He did not disappoint. Once, I won tickets to an Amy Grant concert from a radio station. Appearing at the concert was Michael W. Smith. My daughter was thrilled. Another time, I was able to take my kids to a taping of the TV show "Family Double Dare" and participate in the taping as extras. The kids got to see everything backstage and play on the set.

Pray for the Lord to show you creative ways to make memories for your family, individually and collectively, and allow your daughter to see these things as from God.
---Trish9863 on 7/27/08

Betty, the moderatorr is correct, even adults find reasons to complain all the time and are very ungrateful for what they have already. Many take what they have for granted because they have it. All they see is negative. They have and have and still want more. Selfish and ungrateful. Just take our sight, the food we have to eat that others don't have. A home, a great family, brothers and sisters that the Lord has given us. Too many, a job. The ability to breath and move our bodies. Where many cannot. Just waking up in the morning is a blessing. They don't see period. They are blind to the things God has already given them.
---Mark_V. on 7/27/08

alan of UK-

Just to clearify, an example of my daughters ungreatfulness, she seems to complain about everything. She is almost never happy with what she's got. We are a big family so we have to make sacrifices in some of the material things that we "want" because of things that we NEED.

When I say "every time the doors are open"-
that would be Sun. morning and night
Wens. night, vbs, those sort of things

We do engage the World outside. We all love sports. My daughter likes to play basketball,football, and soccer. We go through our youth center to do that and other things. We meet and engage with new people and things alot,
---Betty5357 on 7/25/08

You don't state why you think she's being ungrateful. It could be you are giving her things rather than time. The more ungratful she becomes, it could be a sign to you to give her more time. Of course, she just could be spoiled and has learned that the more ungratful she appears to be, the more things you buy for her. Cut back on things and give her more time. Let her talk with you, maybe she will end up telling you why she appears ungratful. This may take serveral months before you see any results, so don't push it.
---wivv on 7/24/08

What exactly are you expecting her to be grateful for?

What do you feel she should be doing to show gratitude?

How does your husband "show gratitude" and what for?

Do your neighbors "show gratitude", and for what?

How many other children do you know that show gratitude to their parents for being a good parent?

Do you show gratitude to her for being your child? (are you an ingrate or do you just EXPECT her to be your child?). Maybe you should show her gratitude by paying her an hourly wage.

She DOES expect you to be her mother (but you shouldn't hold this against her and expect her "gratitude").
---more_excellent_way on 7/24/08

I've heard of 20 year olds saying "Thank you mom and dad for making the EXTRA EFFORT to pay for college", other than that, I can't imagine what a child should be grateful to parents about.

If you were taught that you should "show gratitude" to God (for whatever, He is not an imperialist), you have been taught wrong (should God show gratitude to you for you loving Him?).

"Gratitude" is a man made concept that does not exist in Godly terms.
---more_excellent_way on 7/24/08

Betty....Now that you have partially clarified your question, let me remind you that your daughter is not grown yet. Could you please explain what it is that your daughter is not grateful for?
---SusieB on 7/23/08

Betty take heart,this will pass. Your daughter is probably starting to have the hormone changes which change her into a "woman". Girls focus becomes more self centered and often demanding due to wanting to fit in. She may desire material things because she doesn't know how to handle the feelings popping up in her and what she really wants is Mama,sometimes girls just need more of Mom to themselves where they can get the emotional support and information,to help them enter a new phase in life. Get her alone and ask if there is anything she wants to talk about.then y'all pray together about what she feels is her needs. Remember,God doesn't answer prayers so we are grateful,but to show his love for us.
---Darlene_1 on 7/23/08

Betty ... You have still not told us the ways in which your daughter is ungrateful

I suspect she is just being a normal pre-teenager.

Now I am going to get it in the neck from a few here!

You say "We are at church every time the doors are open"

I suspect that you are wrong in that ... do you not feel you should engage sometimes with the World outside?
---alan_of_UK on 7/22/08

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Thank you for all your answers to my question. I need to expand on that topic. My husband and I are raising 5 children. Our 9 year old being the oldest. We love the Lord Jesus Christ. We are at church every time the doors are open. We make our work schedules so that one of us are always with the children(no daycare or babysitter).I volunter at their school so that we can afford to send them through private school. My daughter is saved and knows Jesus as her Savior. We are very greatful parents. I do show my husband that i appreciate the things he does for us and he shows me the same appreciation. With all these things in mind maybe you can understand why i am so confused at how to handle this situation. Please keep sending your advise.
---Betty5357 on 7/22/08


Are you still here?

If you are, I am surprised. Lots of well-meaning folks here are giving utterly horrid advice.

Have you TALKED to her about the situation? You know, some one-on-one time, no agenda, doing something that SHE likes to do.

Then ask a few leading questions. I bet she will respond well.

Please tell us how THAT works.
---Observer on 7/18/08

When I was in my early teens, I became rebellious about the rules at our house. My father said that I could go live with our aunt and uncle if I wanted to. They were "hillbillies" who lived in a house with no running water and no restroom. They didn't even have an outhouse. Just used the woods. I got the point my father was making.
---SusieB on 7/18/08

You must be giving her most things that she demands from you and tolerating her behavior without correcting her. Until you correct your behavior,she will get worse and worse.You need to put your foot down and let her know she is to do as she is told until her 18th birthday and then she is free to leave YOUR home! Until then, what you and the dad(if he is in the home) says, is the law.No exceptions. Christian parents are no different from other parents. God gave you the authority over your children, for a reason. It is our obligation to do God'w will by teaching and rearing our children up according to His plans and ways. God hold's us responsible for this, as parents. His ways are right and good. The best for our children's lives.
---Robyn on 7/17/08

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Betty ::Child rearing starts at the Cradle not at age 9.You are reaping what you sowed.We teach by example not by words and actions.But you already know this .Since children don't come with a rule book You will have to painstakingly sift through the ashes see what is salvageable and work on those areas that need TLC some discipline But a lot of TLC,with ardent prayer and innovative ways to win her around. Rome was not built in a day.Don't Give up-Never.she is your Baby, and your responsibility.
---Emcee on 7/17/08

This is a 9-year old child for goodness sake. What do you expect her to do? She expects you to provide her every need as she is not able to do this herself.
---SusieB on 7/17/08

We are not to incite our children (Eph.6:4). We are to be respectful as we observe their development through life. This virtue of humility is nothing more nor less than the power of attention.
We are told that the way we rear our children is the way they will go (Pro.22:6). If we are hopeful that they will go the way of the Lord, we ourselves must first be in the way of the Lord. We are told that the Word of God & censuring gives them wisdom and it is wisdom that leads to understanding. We are not to with-hold anything Godly from them: to do so is to leave them to their own understanding, and this will only bring sorrow (Pro.29:15) because foolishness is bound in the heart of a child and only the Word of God can correct this (Pro.22:15).
---Shawn.M.T on 7/16/08

I echo Nancy's horror at the suggestion of blows to the stomach.

Nancy is also right that we should limit the reasons for applying physical punishment, but would add that a slap on the back-side (or a light slap to the thigh) may be appropriate for disobedience, even if there is no danger involved in the disobedience.

BUt lack of gratitude is not a matter of disobedience. You can order a child to say "Thank you" and pretend gratitude, but if you do so, it becomes still less likely that the child will be truly grateful ... in fact resentment will build up.

Physical pounishment is too often used ... I have on here seen the suggestion that failing to do well in exams at school should be rewarded by a beating.
---alan_of_UK on 7/16/08

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A child learns what they live. Which also means by watching the adults in the family,take a hard look at youself and those around you,what kind of example have all of you set? You also need to realize your child owes you nothing for giving her the things she needs to live. You had her she didn't have you. Teach her to thank God for the good things in her life. Have you taught her to say thank you for special gifts and treats she receives at all. Ask yourself am I being realistic about this situation or am I expecting more than I should? When I was a tiny child my Mama read verses in the Bible pertaining to things in life,I learned to trust & love God and behave rightly,way before I could read. It made me want to please my parents and God.
---Darlene_1 on 7/16/08

Children are naturally self-centered.

I don't see how depriving her or punishing her can increase her gratitude.

If you live near an impoverished area, take her there. Talk about the hardships these children endure. Help her think of a way she might help., e.g. donating toys or clothes. Help her prepare a care package for a soldier or write a letter thanking them for their service. Might she join you in sponsoring a child in an overseas Christian orphanage? The cost is minimal.She might exchange letters with such a child as is often encouraged by Christian organizations.

I any case, YOU must LEAD the way. And if she hears you express sincere gratitude to God and others, she will most likely pick up your attitude.
---Donna on 7/15/08

I am absolutely appalled at the idea of EVER spanking a child anywhere other than on the backside! There is too much risk of doing physical damage.

And for being ungreatful? Is a spanking supposed to MAKE her greatful? What sort of logic is this?

Spanking should be reserved ONLY for dangerous behavior such as running into the streets without looking, or playing with the stove. That way the child can/will associate the pain of a spanking with the harmful behavior, but in a way that is beneficial to the child--it is far better to receive a spanking than a life-threatening injury.

And using spanking for non-dangerous behavior lessens its impact for when it's really needed.
---Nancy on 7/15/08

Are *you* appreciative to God for how He provides for you? Check your own example > "nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." (1 Peter 5:3) Your ways can spread to your children to make them the same way.

There are people who actually complain against God's blessing of rain, instead of being grateful for this blessing which we so need for life on this earth. By cursing the blessing, we are blaspheming the Blesser. And this ungratefulness can be the tip of the iceberg of a deeper very serious problem, of how ones can actually make themselves the judge of how God provides for us, and doom themselves to depression by being so critical.
---Bill_bila5659 on 7/15/08

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a child sometimes specially on her age need a little spanking, some blow on the stomach and a little thrust on her abdomen. if that doesn't work maybe a paddle will do.
---drakerivas on 7/15/08

In a Christian way? If we dealt with our children the way God deals with His children, we would be brought up on abuse charges. But God knows what He is a doing, and so often we don't. Not to mention the fact that God tells us in the Bible, His word, to not be hard on your children, because they may become discouraged and give up. So pray and ask God what to do, because we do not know!>>>I have to pray over my cats, as to what to do. Now, I have the best cats in this world. Thank you Jesus.++
---catherine on 7/14/08

Though we raise our children in the Lord we still live in the flesh. After raising 4 children of my own i found that at such a young age it is often a stage they go through. they are trying to find themselves and independence. yes it is important above all to teach them biblically and for them to be thankful for all recieved and not take things for granted but it needs to be done on their mantality level. we as parents can't put big head on little shoulders they would not understand. I believe it is a day to day process to point out their blessings and make them earn things instead of handing all to them. ON THEIR LEVEL!!. they will take these traits into adulthood.
---stephanie on 7/14/08

in a situation whereby a child disobeyed his/her parent, as for me i think this should not be somuch rather seek for the child concern first, if there is no change i think even in the book of provebs it is said that do not spay the rock to spoir the cild and lastly if all this have tried and no sign , there is nothing that is above man God cannot do . u just have to allow free and keep praying with atleast one week fasting u are going to change in her. when praying, dot not ask God help this to be in the way u wish islike u are commanding. all what u need to do is to first pray for the child wisdom which is also understinding.
---neksa on 7/14/08

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There seems to be a plethora of child development experts on these blogs. What a pity, we have the blind leading the blind. What does the Bible say about getting a person back on the right track?
---Steveng on 7/13/08

Sounds as if she is acting like a 13 years old girl--albeit a few years early.

Your Q leaves much unanswered. for example, what ELSE is going on in the family? She may be reflecting some of the difficulties she has in other areas.

What are you two doing TOGETHER that she likes? She may miss contact with you, and her acting "ungrateful" is her way of saying "I miss being with you".

Is she acting out in a sexually precocious manner? That can be a sign of something unpleasant.

How is she with small animals? Does she mistreat them?

You have many questions that you need to explore, and some of the answers may require professional help.
---John_T on 7/13/08

What sort of thing is she ungrateful for?

Are you sure you give an example of gratitude to her father for the small things of life?
---alan_of_UK on 7/13/08

This question needs clarification. If the parent is expecting the child to be grateful for the everyday things that the parent should be doing for the child, that is one thing. If the parent is expecting the child to be grateful for gifts on birthdays, holidays, etc., that is something else. A parent should not be raising a child with the expectation that the child will be "grateful" for all the things that are done for the child. Children are basically oblivious to what their parents are doing for them. When the child becomes an adult, then they will appreciate what the parent has done.
---SusieB on 7/13/08

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I understand what being grateful means, but are you being too imperialist? You are her PARENT.

Are you saying that you 'spoiled' her with everything she could ever wish for? Are you expecting too much and asking her to be beholden to you? are her MOTHER.

If you are having a hard time in these economic times and can't continue to provide all of the 'bounty' that you used to, take her into your confidence and gently explain that to her, don't regard her as unapproachable.

The Lord can continuously provide us with all of His bounty because He has no limits.

If she is BECOMING more "ungrateful" and disrespectful, COMMUNICATE with her (talk to her).

Children WANT loving discipline from a parent.
---more_excellent_way on 7/13/08

First of all, pray for her. Is she saved? If she isn't pray for her to become saved. Then, pray for her to grow in the Lord. Her attitude is not uncommon from other children her age.

Take her to do volunteer work at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter where she can see the reality of poverty and kids without a lot of material things. Do projects that involve reaching out to others, like sending care packages to soldiers in Iraq, and gathering things for the homeless shelters.
---Trish9863 on 7/13/08

People become ungrateful when they lose touch with the closeness and care of God. If you haven't done all you can to ensure that she knows God through Jesus Christ your as much to blame as she.

There's always two approaches to dealing with anything, practical and spiritual and when you've done all you can spiritually it's time to enact practical measures to return the child's focus to a higher reality.

It starts with you, children mimic what they see, and you can't expect a measure of faith that you don't posess. So you have to start with you and take responsibility as is yours asking God to help you change.

Take stock of her moods and bring God into focus when she's missing the big picture.
---Pharisee on 7/13/08

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