Delayed gratification

Today in the OB’s office I picked up a parenting magazine, one of those that usually has good recipes but not much else to inspire me to renew the subscription I allowed to expire four years ago.  However, it will do in a pinch, right?

Anyway, inside the magazine was an article about how to help your child/ren deal with the tumultuous financial times without stressing them about it.  I confess I didn’t read all of it, expecting at any moment to be called back to the exam room, but one header in the article jumped out at me:

Delayed Gratification

Basically, it suggested that in this culture of instant-gratification (I’ve also heard it termed the “microwave culture–we want it in a minute or less!”), we’ve usually given our children things when they want them, or as soon as they’ve saved up their allowance for them, etc.   Now that things are tight, maybe we should teach our children the value of waiting for some special toy, which not only will help Mom and Dad’s pocketbook but will also teach the kid some patience.

Not a bad thought there.   We’ve been practicing it for a while now.  If the boys (mainly Rascal) request something more than crayons we usually suggest they ask for it for their birthday or Christmas.  It weeds out the fad items that they’re going to like for five days and then never play with again.  It keeps us from wasting money on expensive items early in the year and then scrambling to find something “as good or better” for their birthdays.   Of course, this is easy for us now because our kids usually get the gimmies for things like balloons and doughnuts.  😉  Still, I think it is a good policy to follow for the time being.

Now if I could discipline myself to maintain the same restrictions with me…..

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