DELAYING GRATIFICATION

As a father you have a huge say in deciding what you allow and what you don’t allow in your own home. Each parent must consider exactly what they will teach their children, for in doing so you will in a major way be shaping the future of their young lives. Every decision made has consequences, wise decisions well-considered usually result in positive outcomes, while rash decisions not thought through properly often have undesirable ramifications.


We must teach our children to be patient and self controlled

I have observed a growing trend of adults who are parenting toddlers and/or parenting children who consistently make decisions based upon supplying immediate gratification to their child. These parenting decisions are often made just to ‘keep the peace’ and avoid a ‘behavioural melt down’ in the middle of a department store.


I don’t think the parents realise that they are training their child that this type of behaviour is ‘acceptable in society’ and even ‘required’ in life if you want to get your own way. Their child will not thank them in the years ahead if they end up in a prison cell after having assaulted someone because they couldn’t get their own way!


Many other parents get caught up in ‘following trends’ or the latest celebrity 'parenting styles' without any significant thought about what the results of those decisions will be.

Giving your young daughter scantily clad dolls as a child will begin a train of thought in her mind that this is the way she should dress and act when she is older, because ‘it’s obviously alright with dad!’. The gift once given sows a seed thought in a young mind, a seed that will grow into maturity and shape a life accordingly.

A major part of being a parent is preparing your child for life as an adult. Allowing any child everything their heart desires without due consideration of the consequences that will ultimately follow is setting them up for massive failure as an adult. Delaying gratification is an effective way to train your child about the realities of life, that it often requires hard work and patience to achieve our goals in life and they don’t just ‘appear’ because we want them to!


Self-control is only developed through having to control yourself! It is a character trait that must be exercised if it is to be developed properly. If we want our muscles to grow, we have to exercise them regularly, they don’t just grow big themselves unless we put in the hard work! Teaching your child to control their emotional outbursts is vital if they are to become successful in adult life, because no-one wants an employee who is ‘out of control’.


There are 4 main steps in training up your child:

1. Teach them clearly what is and what is not acceptable behaviour! We must clearly articulate that there will be discipline for breaches of the boundaries.

2. Reinforce the training by utilising disciplinary tactics whenever they breach the boundaries that we have set up.

3. Appreciate their good behaviour with encouragement and praise.

4. Be consistent in enforcing both discipline for breaches and praise for their accomplishments.


Being a parent means that we can’t just be the ‘nice guy’ all the time, there will be times when we as guardians of our children’s future must be firm and say No! Every father wants his child to grow up and have a happy and successful life, delaying gratification is a big step toward helping them achieve it!


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