(One minute read)
What do you do when a child constantly finds reasons to complain, and does not show appreciation even when you try so hard to please him?
Last week, we discussed the strategy of validating the child’s feelings of disappointment, sadness, etc. But what if you’ve done this for weeks on end and the child still remains ungrateful? It might be that the child does not know the skill and importance of showing appreciation. In that case, you can draw a red and green picture demonstrating the behaviors of red -“always complaining” and green – “showing appreciation.”
Following RGBT’s Six Steps to Teach any Social Skill, you can then model and have the child practice doing both the reds and greens. And of course, make sure to praise the child every time he shows appreciation in the future.
Remember: Teach, don’t preach! (Explain the red and green without any anger.)
This is an important life skill that the child needs to learn before reaching adulthood. Although we can validate the child’s disappointment when he’s young, the real world won’t be so forgiving if he’s an ingrate. Therefore, the child is better off learning to show appreciation sooner than later.