Looking for Wisdom - Fire Edition

Well, I'm borrowing this little idea from Thrills. I am in need of some mommy wisdom... serious, need. Here goes.

My 5 year old, EJ, is suffering from severe bouts of ungratefulness and selfishness. The latest example was last night:

Me: Hey EJ if you could go anywhere for dinner tonight, where would YOU like to go?

EJ: Ummm... I'd love Mexican, mommy. Can we have Mexican?

Usually, we do not elicit opinions from our children on where to eat or other decisions. But last night was a special occasion and I thought it would be fun to ask him what he desired. In the end, we did eat Mexican food.

At the restaurant, EJ enjoyed his meal, including heaping amounts of chips and salsa. Towards the middle to the end of the meal, he began to get moody and started hinting around to dessert. We said firmly that we were not getting dessert tonight, sharing with him that this was a big treat to go out to eat in the first place.

Everything went downhill from there. Grumpiness and irritability set in.

Now this grates on every nerve inside my body. I am serious when I say, I want to yell, scream and throw my own fit for his attitude. Instead, I chose to very calmly explain that his attitude was hurtful and ungrateful. He continued on. And I calmly ( and I stress calmly ) began to take away the next thing he was supposed to do.

For the many times that I did talk to him about his attitude that evening, he never apologized or seemed to have gotten that he was wrong. Towards the end of the night, he again displayed quite an attitude with me over something else.

Here is my question: What do you do with ungratefulness and selfishness in your house?

I can not tell you what I would prefer to do right now. It involves taking away every little toy and fun. Bringing him to an orphanage, or somewhere for him to realize just how good he really has it. Please, even me out and share with me your wisdom!!!

Now, don't hold back on me friends ... leave me a comment and share.


  1. Wow. Ummm...pray hard? Acknowledge when he is grateful and tell him how this blesses you? Gosh...I guess I just nagged and lectured my kids to tears when they did this so it happens so rarely!

    Also, I tagged you for a meme!

  2. Hey there girl. I think that TCC should definitely weigh in on this...she did the take the toys away from Jeter when he was four...so, I will let her go into it more for you.

  3. hi girl. You know I walked this not too long ago. Remember my threats to take my eldest to Hershey Med to visit the kids with cancer?

    Anyway my advice would be to not take it personally. They are at an age where they recognize that they can control certain things and get frustrated when they can't. So use that to your advantage. Gratefulness, as you have said of yourself, is a choice. Give EJ the choice when you can. With the Mexican Restaurant you could allow EJ to have dessert if HE paid for it. Some situations do not allow for you to offer a choice in the physical sense but you can always remind him that his attitude is a choice. Give him the freedom to have the feeling but remind him that he does not have the freedom to inflict his attitude on others. It is a phase it seems. It does pass as you work with it!

  4. I am with Stephanie. Don't allow any condemnation to come on you. You are a wonderful mom doing the right things. EJ sounds like he is growing and testing the boundaries. Seeing what buttons he can push.

    Your calm response it what he needed.I just really felt like I wanted to tell you this has no reflection on you as a parent. You are a good mama.

  5. I am struggling with this in my home as well.

    I will look forward to others wisdom.

  6. I agree with other commenters - this is a choice and it is a phase. How to deal with it varies due to many factors. God knows EJ better than anyone and regardless of any of the advice given here - what works for one child may not work for another.

    So...what did I do? I definitely teach the boys that they have a choice and that there are consequences to those choices. I have found that with this situation, what has worked best with my boys as consequence for poor choice/attitude has been a loss of privaledge. Jeter didn't fully understand this until we got 'extreme with him' (Promises referenced this) meaning we took away all of his toys and he was able to earn them back daily. The first thing he chose was not TV, trains or legos. He chose books.

    We haven't had to go to this extent with Barber but he has been warned recently.

    My theory is I love them too much to allow them to not learn the lessons needed to get through these phases successfully.

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  8. You've already received a lot of good advice. I think that I could only say to keep doing what you're doing. It's a slow process and it will eventually click. I'm sure you remember from the book...it's just immaturity, not rebellion :-). I think that you are well on the right path.

  9. My kids are too little, so I don't really have advice. However, I know that it took a long time for me to understand how much my family really had to be grateful for. I don't know if there will be immediate results, but he will grow into it.