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Ungrateful 4 year old

(9 Posts)
MishMooshAndMogwai Fri 15-Jan-16 17:04:49

I know she's only 4 (all be it an old 4) and I'm not expecting masses of praise and endless thanks but...

I'm having an increasing problem with dd being ungrateful. It's happened quite a few times when I've offered her a treat and she's got upset because she wants more (before even taking what's offered) usually of sweets or a little treat when we're on a day out which I kind of get, she's 4 after all, even though I think it's a bit odd that she'd rather go without than have the amount that I'm offering.

Today we reached a new height though when I offered to show her the website with some slippers on that she's been talking about spending her xmas money on. Lovely, had a nice little time looking through them and comparing them etc deciding which she'd like. Then she decided what pair she'd like and I was just about to pay when she looked sad and I asked what was wrong and had she changed her mind, she burst into tears and said she was sad that she's only getting 1 pair! We talked about how she only had enough money for 1 pair and she only really needs 1 pair of slippers but if she really wanted another pair then she could ask for a pair for her birthday which isn't that far away but she was having none of it.

I didn't buy them in the end, was that unreasonable? Is this odd? I feel like I can't treat my own daughter! I feel like still giving it to her would reward this weird, ungrateful behaviour. How do I tackle it?

christinarossetti Fri 15-Jan-16 17:11:45

It doesn't sound like she's being ungrateful per se, rather asserting her independence from you and awareness of the wider world.

Hence, she wants to decide when she has a treat, how much etc and asserting this is more important to her than actually eating the treat.

Imvhe, children find shopping either online or in RL a bit overwhelming - there's just so much stuff and so many choices to make! It's not that she's ungrateful for only getting one pair of slippers, more the overwhelming choice on offer.

These sorts of situations are irritating, but try to think of them as a developmental phase, rather than focusing on the specific incident iyswim.

MishMooshAndMogwai Fri 15-Jan-16 17:21:11

Thanks christina, that's a refreshing way to look at it! She is very independent and a very old 4!

OrionsAccessory Fri 15-Jan-16 17:22:21

Next time it happens let her be upset and talk to you. Don't try to come up with solutions or tell her why she should be happy just listen to her. It may well be that she finds making decisions hard, my 5yo is a bit like that and she'll often choose not to get anything to avoid having to choose from lots of things. But if you let her lead the conversation next time you might get more of an insight as to what's going on.

I don't think you were unreasonable to not buy the slippers btw, she wasn't happy with the purchase (even if the reason she was unhappy seems ridiculous to us!) so not buying them right then seems like a sensible thing to do.

piggybank Sat 16-Jan-16 22:15:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ApplesAndPears1234 Sun 17-Jan-16 14:46:58

Just place marking for later.

Kleinzeit Sun 17-Jan-16 19:24:44

Aw… that doesn’t sound like ingratitude at all. As christinareosetti says, choices can be overwhelming to small children to the point where my DS (who has SN) couldn’t even bear to go into a toy shop until he was much older than your DD. You could agree with her – yes it would be lovely if we could have two pairs. And it is sad that we can only have one pair. But aren’t they beautiful – you have chosen the most beautiful pair of all. Look at those gorgeous pink spangles. Reassure that she has made the “right” choice.

Believeitornot Sun 17-Jan-16 19:30:10

Why should she be grateful? It is a bit like an adult offering me half a slice a cake when I wanted a whole slice. So I would suck it up and say thanks but inside I might be feeling a bit put out. So externally I am displaying good manners.

Your four year old won't have that internal/external expression going on. It sounds like you want her to express thanks politely even if it isn't what she wants. So basically showing good manners. That's a bit different.

I've been teaching my 4&6 year olds to express thanks even if they didn't want something. I've noticed that my 6 year old gets it whereas my 4 year old doesn't, because she's not emotionally mature enough.

I also wonder if you're trying too hard or expecting to be "validated" in some way by giving the treats.

MishMooshAndMogwai Tue 26-Jan-16 00:18:11

Sorry for disappearing everyone!

Yes I see what you all mean, thankyou! It does good to see with fresh eyes doesn't it.

believeitornot I absolutely want to be validated. Dd and I have been through a rough time recently and I want to do nice things with her to improve our relationship. Treats, at the moment, seem to have the opposite affect and I just want to make my dd happy. I feel like a shit mum at the mo due to circumstances and being able to have nice little moments like that is my only way of trying to connect with her. It's shit but that's how it is at the moment.

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