How about the kid who just wants to take one stroke of the icing off a beautiful birthday cake?
Don’t we all know a well-meaning adult that places a huge bowl of candy out and tells children “Just take one, dear!”
Sometimes it’s just too much for them to control themselves.
They burn the roof of their mouth with the hot melted chocolate chips.
They get in trouble for just “taking a little” of the cake’s icing before it’s served.
They take two…ok,really three…pieces of candy out of the bowl—and hide the other two in their pocket.
Self-control is simple.
It’s delayed gratification.
Postponing good now to enjoy more fully later. It has its perks, you know.
Our kids will be so much happier if they are able to control their impulses that tell them to “Take it now!”
Teaching children self-control affects every aspect of their life. The same kid who learns not to swipe the icing, dig into hot cookies or steal more candy will be rewarded.
The cake is sweeter when we have to wait for the song to be sung.
Hot cookies become perfectly warm and gooey in just a few patient minutes – enough to chill a big glass for milk.
(A short note to anyone who puts a bowl full of candy out anywhere and expects people to just take one. That one is just unrealistic—and tortuous to young children – and adults. Please stop. It sets me….um, them….up for failure. Let’s be loving instead and put the candy away, please!)
God rewards delayed gratification because He knows it is ultimately good for us.
Happiness is not based on what we have been given, rather what we have had to sacrifice to get.
Our children deserve to have the opportunity to show self-control when they are younger with the candies, cookies, and cakes of our world.
When temptations come along that seem just as sweet we pray that they will remember that the wait is always worth it.
How have you taught self-control to your children?
How do you model self-control?
Where is area that you find it the most difficult to teach self-control?
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