Delayed Gratification

I don't espouse a lot of parenting advice here, as I am so far from perfect it would be laughable for me to give other people tips about how to raise their kids. And I have always made gagging noises when I read blogs where the mom goes on and on about what works great with her kids, as if there is some magic elixir we should all be taking to have perfect children.


There is one area that David and I are sticklers for. Delayed gratification. There is so much pressure in our society to have our kids grow up fast. There is also a growing frenzy of entitlement that I see everywhere--a trickle-down effect from grown ups to children. The "I want it and I want it now!" syndrome. Mortgage loan crisis, anyone? David and I have tried very, very hard to only allow our kids to experience things that are appropriate for their age. So that means no high heels for Lily (have you been in the kid's shoe department lately?) No Star Wars videos for Zinabu (he's 4!!!!!) and no cell phone for Carver (unlike some of his friends). We would both agree it is one of our hardest jobs. Trying to have our kids wait for things is a value that does not feel good to them. Teaching them patience and self-control is the hard road, but we have a job as their parents to let them be kids and enjoy that for as long as possible.

I happen to be a Harry Potter freak. They are probably the best books I will ever have the enjoyment of reading. Once Carver turned 9, I was dying to share them with him. (He still loves when we read aloud to him.) We could have blazed through the entire series in about a month, but he would have missed out on the anticipation of waiting for the next book. He would have not been able to absorb all the great details and clues Jo Rowling leaves along the way. He would have been scared at times and it would have been over his head at others. Carver knows that he has to wait, but we've seen the payoff. Last night I cracked open The Prisoner of Azkaban to start reading aloud to him and you should have seen his face. Pure joy!

Sometimes waiting is a good thing.


hotflawedmama said...

YAY HARRY POTTER! I'm presently rereading "the Half-Blood Prince." I often go back to them when I have nothing else to read. I'm a freak as well, I mean how can you not be? And I am literally counting down the days until I can read them to my kids.

I'm so with you on the delayed gratification. So hard but so worth it!

And your word verification for me is "pater" which is just hilarious.

P.S. When are you guys dancing for water? Seriously. I know Zinabu would be all about it. :)

Old Men Reflect said...

Sounds like you are mean, mean, meanie.

Sounds like you are a very great parent.

mean+patience+backbone=less hassle as teenagers