How can you get your kids to appreciate what they have?

How do you teach your five year olds to appreciate? My girls never had a problem but my boys just want and want. We just had Hanukah and still have gifts that are not opened, and yet every day they (twins) are complaining about when they can open Christmas presents. We tell them that they have a few days, and that’s not really the reason for the season. They also leave their toys around when they move from activity to activity, leave clothes hanging around when they get changed, and just expect somebody else to clean up. If I tell them to clean up something specifically, they do. At school, they clean up without being asked. They are good, sweet kids, but the fact that they can do it doesn’t is annoying, and I feel like they are old enough to take responsibility for their stuff.


They are 5 years old you said… you should’ve been teaching them the minute they start walking on how to put their clothes in hamper or wherever you need the clothes to go. You make them pick up every single toy before moving to another activity and if they don’t they lose that next activity. Seeing unwrapped presents is hard for all kids trust me my son is 12 and begs to open one present.


My kids know that they get one warning every day about cleaning up after themselves. After that… Anything that I have to pick up goes into a box and if they want it back then they have to earn it by doing chores. And yes… That goes for toys, clothes, backpacks, ect.


Be consistent with them and they are still little yes they are 5 so they do understand but they do need reminders I wouldn’t be to hard on them for not cleaning after every play time if your consistent one day you won’t have to tell them and they will just do it. I’m also curious if at 5 they understand the concept of a couple days (my oldest is 3 and I know she doesn’t yet) they are excited which is good and keep explaining them the real reason for it, maybe crafts that have to do with the reason, getting them involved and making it more than the gifts! Have patience 5 is still little :two_hearts:

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Have you ever heard the big word .NO AND STICK WITH IT!!

When my mom would not stop making Christmas so financial for my kids we started, and to this day they ate grown, we have a happy birthday Jesus cake. When they were super young we had a full-on birthday party for Jesus before we opened our presents. And I explained to them since we can’t see Jesus to give him presents that we thank him for all he’s done by giving each other gifts and showing love. The other stuff, they’re 5 years old. They should be doing it according to their ability

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Uh sounds like you need to stop letting them get away with that behavior.

Pick up what they are leaving around and put in a tote with a lid. Tell them their stuff is in “jail” til they act more responsibly and take better care of it. First time, 3 days…Second time, 1 week…Third time 2 months…They’ll catch on.

Give them the cup with ball on the rope no more nothing else. Chores to work for things

We have always tried to instill a sense of appreciation un our children. It’s not easy. Every time they complain after they’ve gotten something, we remind them “be happy with what you have and don’t complain about what you don’t have.” If they keep complaining, we’ll take away what they got.

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They sound 5. At school they’re constantly reminded and it’s the social norm. They need to be taught the same thing at home. Plus for kids, all the holidays are about presents. They’re too young to understand the religious aspects outside of the “thats a cool story” view.


Count down calendar for Christmas gifts. Also I told my kids from little ,what you mess is what you clean just like mommy in the kitchen. I repeated it daily and Never let them get away without cleaning up! Be consistent !

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Ill let you know when i figure it out my son will be 10 in February and hes just now starting to keeps his room clean ect. All kids ask for things my son dose it and now even more expensive stuff. I would just ignore it they dont fully understand what appreciation is. They have to wait end of story. My son was about 3 or 4 and everytime we went to a store he wanted a toy and would scream. Well December came and i told him no toys santa is coming(this is our belief) after that month he stopped i refused to get anything unless a food or drink item. And since hes done fairly well. Outside of normal kids asking. Im not sure where im going but it’s hard for them to understand things but no is no period if they keep asking then they wont get it. But this is how i parent.

They’re 5, I think your expectations for 5 year olds are a little high.

For starters, yes they may pick up after themselves in school but they are being told. The teacher reminds the classes daily…probably multiple times a day.
And makes it part of the transitioning routine. They don’t expect 5 year olds to just do it or know.
Dont be annoyed that you’re having to remind them, being reminded is still completely age-appropriate. If they’re not picking up because you “shouldn’t have to remind them” then you are equally to blame for the messes.

As far as gifts go and asking about christmas…
Again. They’re 5 and excited.
5 year olds aren’t the best with abstract concepts, so the fact that they dont really understand what christmas is about aside from the gifts/tree/lights ect isnt abnormal by any means. It takes time.
Asking about when they can open presents is not acting entitled for thier age range. My 7 year old still does this…but I can 100% guarantee hes gonna be just as excited about his new robe as he is his bigger gifts. I can promise you hes not going to complain about what he didn’t get.
And those things right there let me know he is not entitled nor spoiled.

You have to understand what you’re actually looking at behavior wise.

And STOP comparing your boys to your girls, and thinking how they dont measure up. That’s not ok at all.


Omg seriously they are 5 and your complaining about having to tell them to clean up well yeah I have to tell my 10 to clean up. As long as they are not giving you attitude or just not doing it its fine and they are 5 all they are gonna think about is the presents .

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I took a lil online child development class and it told me that children are naturally selfish. It’s a defense mechanism but this day and age it just makes them lil assholes lol. You just have to move past it because at 5 they still have a long way to go. Remember monkey see monkey do your kids will mimick you! Be grateful out loud for as much as possible and especially directed towards them.

Have a consistent clean up routine and only have a few toys down at a time. The rest go in bins where they can’t reach. Expect them to clean up and ask before you get the next activity out.
My 9 year old step son has been learning appreciation more by grocery shopping with me, we go through the self check out with me and he puts the money in at the end. It’s a great lesson in the value of money and why I say no to extras sometimes. He also has ways he can earn money. At 5 some of his chores may not work but there are ways to make chores rewarding. Stickers for a job well done, a quarter each chore, anything that makes them feel the behavior is being rewarded and acknowledged.
Good luck!

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I’ve begun having my kids donate toys to Santa, so he can bring them to other children who may need them, and to make room for new toys. :slight_smile: My oldest is three and doesn’t quite get it but I’m hoping it will help later in life. May have to change it to just donating toys to other kids depending on your lifestyle but either way I think it’s a lovely way to teach them some respect for others and their toys.

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I have a 13,11,10 and 8 Year old good luck!! The oldest is my hardest to deal with. I get told everyday they hate me when I ask them to clean up after themselves

Christmas almost didn’t come for them

And of course I get the idc

Have them set up a toy drive and donate them to a local charity who gives them to low income families/kids in shelters. A friend of mine did that with her kids. It may not solve the problem completely, but it’s a humbling and constructive activity.