Living like we do in a society of NOW is one of the forces wrecking our society. Everybody wants what we want right now! It starts in all of us as young children, and often if left unconquered, it pervades our lives as adults. I am amazed at how instant we want everything. I remember just a few years ago, that the interenet took minutes to boot up, while today instant isn't fast enough speed. Waiting isn't our cup of tea! We want to go through life faster and better~hanging around and waiting won't do! But the ability to wait is powerful.
Seeing that LATER is not our enemy is a result of exercising a skill that if we begin in our selves and our children will reign-in impatience and increase our ability for waiting. We've all heard the quip:
God blesses those who wait!
Well, being in a hurry can harm our children. As a young child impulse control has to be mastered as best they can whenever we can help them. It's quite natural for them to run and move constantly, but the "I WANT IT NOW" monster has to be taught to sit quietly and work through the urges. I hauled our preschoolers into church and really worked with them on siting quietly. NOT easy, but I wanted them to hear the Word and to sit as best they could. I often brought books, puzzles, quiet games and matchbox cars for their little hands. Can you tell they were boys? In teaching them this alternative behavior of sitting quietly and listening instead of the natural inclination to walk the aisles and be noisy made the later transitions of sitting without toys and hands on activities much easier. It is a process of training.
I remember once I took all of our children ages 7, 5, 3 and 2 into a restaurant for lunch after church. All dolled up, my kids sat quietly and mannerly at the dinner table in this place. Out of my eye and older lady was watching my children. I'd put my finger over my mouth to remind them to remain talking quietly and praised them in their successes! After a while, she caught my eye and complemented our beautiful family and said how mannerly they were behaving! Oh the pride in my sweet babies! But more important was the GREAT STRIDES in behavior as just a short time earlier I had hauled my angry screaming little toddler girl out for her distress over not getting something she wanted at the table! My oh my! WE tore the house down that day, but what a blessing to see that my kids HAD LEARNED!! Training was paying off!
Delayed gratificiation is possible to teach and so necessary for our lives. Boy, I am glad that I don't fall out in the floor (like I may once have done~don't ask my mother! LOL) anymore but can wait on the good things promised me. Sometimes it's hard, I know. But in the waiting is the sweeter satisfaction of the gain.
Now that my kids are teenagers, it's awesome to see these lessons well learned. We are waiting on grand things like drivers liscensces and college enrollements~but one day, these too will arrive...and oh, oh, oh it will be sweet! We are taking the stages and ages each one as they come in the order designed! NO rushing here~it's all coming soon enough! W A I T I N G!!
Enjoy teaching delayed gratification to your children. It will help them become happier people and make like just a little bit better for everyone~think of my lady who didn't have to hear screaming that Sunday! whoohoo!