In today’s fast paced society today’s teens are, too often, not learning the importance of delayed gratification.
Is this instant gratification necessarily a bad thing? Absolutely. Today I want to provide you with a practical delay gratification technique you can implement within your home to facilitate patience and self discipline.
Consider the common scenario: You are with your family at a shopping center and before you have a chance to step foot in the door your teen asks for items that he claims he “must have.”
Before you immediately begin buying these items to keep the peace, or even before you say “no,” ask your teen how important having the item today actually is.
The goal for this question is to help him/her to think through the claims that the item is an immediate need and to practice the self discipline of delaying gratification.
So lets play out an actual example to provide you with practical guidance.
Let’s say your daughter is eyeing a new pair of sneakers and she is trying to convince you that she needs them today.
Instead of dismissing her or giving in, first determine whether it even merits the purchase.
If the purchase is legitimate, consider holding off buying the shoes that day.
You can then assign a date, between one to two weeks in the future, to make purchase.
During this time frame you are placing some margin in your child’s life to contemplate if the “need” is really more of a “want.”
Another option is to consider adding some extra menial tasks around the house so your teen will have a sense of ownership of the sneakers.
By implementing this strategy you are successfully training your daughter the wisdom and self discipline of delayed gratification.
Conversation Starter: What are some other strategies you can implement to train your child in the importance of delayed gratification?