Originally Posted by pumpkingirl71
While she was in timeout, the rest of the family ate most of the strawberries. When she came back, she asked for berries. I gave her the strawberries off of my plate. I said to her "What just happened?" She told me she didn't know. So I said "Mommy gave you my strawberries because you didn't have any. What could you say to me?"
Do you expect her to say please and thank you for everything? If you just did that with her because you were already pissed about her "ingratitude" then I think that's inappropriate on your part. The berries were part of her breakfast, if I'm not misunderstanding, so why (if you were not going to take away her breakfast as punishment) would you allow everyone else to eat them up when they'd already had rhubarb and berries, so this would be on top extra? I guess that combined with the above seems a little...I dunno. Not that great of a moment?
I do get being frustrated. I have a child who is severely lacking in the non-self-centeredness department (she's 8) myself--and she does NOT have the complication of attachment disorder. I will admit to having picked fights with her in frustration, myself--or being hypersensitive to her "ungratefulness" after a bout of whining/screaming/tantrums and pushing her in that area just because I could and I was fixated on it.
But now we do require pleases and thank yous at home (which I know drives a lot of people nuts--better them than me enforcing it haphazardly and honestly coming down harder on the one child that gets on my nerves all the time about it), all the time. I also am required to say please and thank you. For me, this has taken a lot of pressure off--both in feeling like I might be overly punitive out of frustration with one child, and calming myself internally. My mom CONSTANTLY guilt tripped me, about everything. I could see her saying something like you did in the above, which is perhaps why I got instant icky feelings from that described interaction--which is why even has a relatively young child I stopped taking anything from her or even asking things of her, because I didn't want to deal with the strings attached to everything. Which is a sick way of personally interacting; none of my children ever learned manners by osmosis, so I had to get over being allergic to strings attached, and for me the solution was a blanket policy of please and thank you.
I think a missing component of the "Gratefulness" debate is that a lot of "grateful" assumes a power differential. It isn't about manners. It's the power differential that can be dangerous to wield and can produce rebellion in those who it's wielded against. And, in the case of parental emotional abuse and martyrdom, it's that power differential (bullying the child, using "everything I've done for you!" as a way to manipulate or wound or enmesh with someone) that's the problem and ick--not necessarily the specific complaint about the thank you (or lack thereof) in a particular situation.
I don't think adoptees have to be grateful at ALL about the fact of their adoption. Frankly, in the vast majority of cases, they had *no power* whatsoever, it was not their choice, other people decided everything for them. But...expressing gratitude for presents, sacrifices (as developmentally appropriate), kindness, ect--that's something that every person should learn how to do regardless. It's not the same as the "Grateful adoptee" power differential discussion. IMO.
But what you are talking about, OP, is a bit different. I think in most normal contexts, what you said could be just a very calm, nice explanation. But looking at things through my own (sick, damaged, probably attachment disordered myself in some respects) perspective...I would have told my kiddo that the strawberries on my plate were the only ones left, would she like some, giving her the choice whether or not to take them--not put them on her plate as a response to a request (I assume polite) and then demand that she express gratitude beyond a simple "thank you" that should be happening as a matter of course. That feels a little manipulative to me. But I assume that this is not what happened, and it's only my own lens that sadly kind of makes ME "hypersensitive" to issues of gratitude.
I've just found it, as someone who struggles through this kind of thing as an emotional minefield because of my mom's illness, so much easier to concentrate on the basics as habits and not really care if they fully understand or buy in to the reasons behind the niceties, if that makes sense. I don't know if your DD is at all sensitive to power struggles, but I think frustrations over ungrateful kids (and let's face it, most are at some point!) can really escalate things quickly on both sides.