Practising Delayed Gratification

My kids, God bless them, are relatively well behaved, or so we heard from strangers.  More importantly they are very grateful and appreciative for all they have, not because we can’t afford it – but because we practice delayed gratification.  It is easy in our society and world culture to give them everything they want, and immediately.  Logistically we can do it, especially with our online shopping and immediate delivery of anything from food, to clothes, to live streaming movies that just made it to the cinema halls.  There is nothing forcing us to delay giving them things or stopping us from giving them instant gratification.

Many studies though, and rightly so, show that practising delayed gratification can benefit kids in so many ways.  Fro patience, to being appreciative of the moment and the non material items in their lives among other things.  Studies have shown kids that are not instantly gratified are more focused, passionate, emotionally expressive, and in tune with their feelings.  All things strengthened by the need for something that doesn’t immediately show up – as insignificant as it is.

It’s so easy to quiet up the kids by giving them what they need right there and then – but the long term consequences are well documented and inevitable.  Not taking the easy way out in their formative years form toddlers to just before the teenage years will help their character in innumerable ways as they mature and grow up.  After all isn’t that our purpose as parents, otherwise what’s the point if the only reason we have kids is to shut them up with electronic devices and snacks? 

Why bother parent at all…and if you are feeding their instant gratification you should not consider that parenting at all. In fact, at the risk of sounding too preachy, you might as well set them up for failure in their future ethical perception, developing any semblance of principles, having a professional work life and overall happiness and positive outlook.

It’s tempting, it really is – but delayed gratification when it comes to things as trivial as candy, tv shows, or even getting the clothes they want will do wonders.  It’s a tough proposition, but once applied respect, appreciation, maturity, and contentment will soon follow.  It is inevitable, ensuring that goals and needs are always there as a goal or purpose in daily life will keep them fulfilled and passionate about living life.  Sounds dramatic, but you’ll be surprised how true this is.

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