Friday, January 30, 2015

The Importance of Learning to Wait

One of the most important lessons to teach children and teens in the Instant Gratification Generation is to feel comfortable with waiting. This is even more important for children and teens of this generation. We have a generation directly impacted by the rapid development of technology. These kids have known nothing other than full access to the digital world. Answers to questions are provided within seconds thanks to Google, directions to a new restaurant are provided via GPS, any TV show missed can be found "on demand", and people are available to solve problems in an instant via cell phone. The result is that today's growing children and teens are learning to navigate the tumultuous world with the aid of all these modern conveniences - and therefore expect instant solutions to their problems.

Parent Tip:
When we were kids waiting was naturally built into every day activities. That is no longer the case. In fact, the opposite is true. Because the trend is to make things quicker and easier, parents need to really find opportunities to make their children wait for things. If you are engaged in something and your child makes a request, develop an automatic response to let him or her know what you are doing and how long he or she will have to wait. For example, say, "I'd love to help you with that. Let me finish what I am doing and I will be with you in a few minutes." The younger the child is, the shorter the waiting period. It is also great to share a reason for why your child is waiting: for example, "I need to make a phone call first," "When I finish this chapter," "When I put dinner in the oven," and so on. This helps children learn they are part of a family unit and their parents' activities are important too.

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