Okay, unpopular opinion time but just bear with me. I’m going somewhere with this. This new generation of children seem to have a problem. It would be too simple to say that children nowadays are spoiled. But, no, that isn’t it. It is that parents don’t make their children wait for anything anymore.
If a child wants a toy, they get that toy within days of asking for it. Years ago it was common for children to have to wait for birthdays or Christmas to get presents. Now, it is just a given that every week they will receive something new.
Tangible objects aren’t the only area where this is a problem. No, children believe that they are entitled to get all of the attention they want whenever they want as well. Yes, parents should be spending ample amounts of time with their children but they need some alone time as well. Or even just a few short seconds where they have both hands free. I have seen mothers trying to cook, talk on the phone, and clean all whilst holding their toddler who cries whenever they are put down.
Children need to learn that there is no harm in waiting. This type of behavior is counterproductive. The child learns that the more they complain, cry, and whine the sooner their bad behavior is rewarded. And the parents are never given whatever it is they need. Some alone time, better grades, the children cleaning up after themselves. These things are never done on their own without some prompting and the obvious promise of reward to come.
The practice of making children wait must start early. It is tough. Madi is only 11 months old but I think it is in her best interest to start the waiting game now. We have a particularly hard time of it during dinner. Madi wants both food and attention. Even though I know she is already full and nothing is wrong with her it is still difficult for me to not jump immediately and give her what she wants.
So now I lovingly tell her to wait, reassure her we will play again when I am done, and if she still pretends to cry I tell her firmly no.
Yes, its hard but it is best for us in the long run. How do you teach your children to wait?