One of the most important lessons to teach kids that will make their adulthood more successful is teaching self-control and delayed gratification.
Children who are taught self-control are more likely to grow to have financially secure and trouble-free adulthoods. Delayed gratification also has many different benefits. People that learn to manage their needs in the moment can thrive in careers, relationships, health and finances.
Delayed gratification takes teaching discipline and the ability to manage impulses. This can be hard to teach children and will definitely take time. But starting to do so early can have lasting benefits to raising competent and successful adults.
There are many different strategies that you can implement with your parenting style in order to teach your children delayed gratification.
Consistently reward self-control
Rewarding self-control can start with many of these other strategies to teach delayed gratification, like teaching them to save money, however this can be in taught through many other behaviors. Praise the simple efforts for self-control. This can include waiting to drink some juice or eat a cookie. Make sure they understand your expectations in certain situations they may consider tiresome or boring. Praise them for positive behavior and give them chances to take breaks and calm down if they are upset or angry.
Model self-control for your children
Model this behavior for your child. Do whatever you can to curb your own frustrations. Remain calm. Show and speak to them about saving, buying things you’d like and waiting to do so at the right time.
Teach children to use distractions
When your child is in a situation that is uncomfortable teach them how they can use distractions to work through the situation in a calm and productive manner. This can include counting, finding a different activity and focus their attention somewhere else.
Develop and practice “If-Then” plans and to set achievable goals
Help your child create plans, set goals, and implement those plans. Help them understand what they want, what they need to get that, and how to get what they need. Set up achievable steps with your child to achieve their ultimate goal. Prioritize those steps and celebrate with them as each goal is achieved.
How do you remember learning delayed gratification as a child? How do you feel it has helped you as an adult?